Secrets can be weighty. Whether you’re holding your own or someone else’s, you can physically feel its presence. Now, sometimes the weight comes from a secret about something negative – a problem at work or school or with a friend or significant other or a health concern. These are the secrets that weight on our shoulders like those cartoon anvils or gives that ‘pit in the stomach’ feeling. But sometimes the secret’s weight is the opposite. Good secrets can give you a lift and put a spring in your step. Waiting until the magic week 12 (or whatever the doctor advised) to announce a pregnancy, holding back sharing the news of a college acceptance or job offer until the ‘deal is sealed’. These too are secrets that are weighty but instead lift the weight. In a perfect world, we’d all have more of the positive kind and less of the negative. But one thing is for sure, we’ve all got them.
Secrets. Big, small, kid-size and adult-size. Yours, mine, our parents’ and our children’s. We’re all holding on to them. Try as we might to be open, honest and transparent – we’ve all got something we’re holding. Everyone we interact with is also holding a secret, for good or bad, but probably both.
I think it’s just human nature to hold secrets and to ask others to hold them for you. They are essential to relationships and can provide a true litmus test between two people. Recently, I’ve discovered as my children have gotten older, when they ask me to not to reveal something they’ve told me in confidence, they really mean it. Gone are the days when, ‘don’t tell Dad’ was a cute thing to say to me to keep them from getting in trouble. (I assume there were many ‘don’t tell Mom’ instances as well) Now they confide and expect the level of secrecy once only reserved for the adults in my life. Previously I shared just about everything they did – good, bad, naughty, and especially funny. Now I hold back and hold in. Just another life transition I’m learning the hard way. Secrets are secrets, even when I don’t agree they need to be secret.
So where am I going with all these thoughts on secrets? Do I have a good one to spill or a bad one to confess? Stick with me for another week of observations - and don’t keep it a secret.