Do you want to know what my secret is? Most likely you do want to know my secret or any secret for that matter. Secrets are alluring. Secrets suggest that there is something juicy or interesting to know and if we knew this “secret” knowledge we would have increased powers. Many people associate secrets with power. In some facets of the world keeping secrets is akin to having power. The more powerful I become the more secrets I am likely to have and quite likely the more insecure and miserable I will become.
The allure of knowing a secret is huge. Walk through the non-fiction section of a book store and count the number of books with the word “secret” in the title. You will be amazed at the number of books that attempt to grab the attention of readers with the inferred promise of revealing some kind of secret that will help you to be happier, wealthier, thinner, faster, live longer, etc.
In a sense the publishers and authors of these books are not lying. A secret is information that we don’t know that we perceive to be of some value to us, even if the value is sometimes only of entertainment value, such as who is the hottest stars most recent secret love interest.
On the other side we keep secrets because we fear that revealing our secrets will somehow reduce our power or enable others to judge us in what we perceive as an unfavorable way which for some would mean a loss of stature, i.e. power.
The funny thing is that keeping or knowing secrets does not empower us. Secrets usually disempower us and create separation in relationships. I am sure that you can call to mind a number of relationships that unraveled because of secrets that were kept and inadvertently revealed or the relationship unravels because one or both partners sense that secrets are being kept and that they are not in a relationship of trust.
Secrets weigh us down, secrets are a burden; secrets are often the catalyst of a lie, for to keep a secret often means we have to tell a lie to protect the secret. In fact while we may view the ability to keep a secret as having power, the reality is that keeping secrets undermines our power and our character. When people are transparent and do not choose to hide their secrets they do not have to be concerned with anyone uncovering their secrets, they don’t have to live in worry that they will be found out and somehow destroyed. When people are transparent and someone asks “Is it true you did _____?” the person can honestly say “Yes I did do that, next subject”.
To be transparent to others we first need to be transparent to ourselves. Sometimes we have lived with a secret for so long that the lies we tell become what we believe even though deep down we know they are not true. Part of our journey to be our authentic self means that we much be transparent to ourselves. We must reveal our secrets to ourselves, we must let go of our secrets to truly know the freedom of our true being.
Note, I am not suggesting that you go out and blurt your business to everyone in your life. There may indeed be things that you know that would not serve others to know. There may indeed be secrets that you carry within you because to reveal our secret would hurt your business or your government. If your business has a secret sauce, then you are not likely to share that kind of secret and keeping that secret is not usually a burden for you. If you work in an environment such as the military where disclosure of secrets could cripple the safety of your country then again it is your responsibility to maintain your secrets. These are not the type of secrets I speak of today.
“Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead”
– Ben Franklin – American Statesman
Another thought is that you know all that you need to know for this journey. You have all that you need within you; you simply may need some external stimuli to help you remember what you know. Be wary of those who claim to have a secret, if they are writing a 300 page book then guess what it really isn’t a secret is it? That is not to say that some books with “secret” in the title won’t help you to unlock your innate knowledge for they may. We simply must be aware of the allure of the possibility of learning a “secret”.
When someone asks you “do you want to know a secret” simply tell them no thank-you. I don’t want the responsibility of knowing a secret and remember if they are telling you then it is most likely not much of a secret anyway. When people come to understand that you are not a person who wants to engage in the game of secrets they soon will come to respect you for not being the kind of person who engages in idle gossip and secret mongering. Guess what you won’t be missing anything anyway because what was supposedly a secret will often times become yesterday’s news.