Every one of us has a portion of their self-knowledge known to no one else. Some things are believed to be not worth telling; others are just very personal or embarrassing. Then there are our most closely guarded secrets. These privately kept facts run the gamut from innocent ones left from childhood to the secrets kept as adults that have rarely, if ever, told. Within the latter are often the kind of untold secrets that psychologists say can be poison to a relationship if their toxicity is bad enough or allowed to grow long enough.
From my personal path I know well the damage secrets can bring. I hid secrets of childhood and the resulting dysfunction so well that others hardly noticed anything was not quite right within me. I became quite a good actor and allowed no one to see past the illusions I projected. While the ability at keeping my secrets hidden grew, the toxic nature of them only served to make worse what was wrong within me.
The creator of an eight year effort called The Post Secret Project is Frank Warren. This began as way of him dealing with his own issues and has grown to include a secret told to told no one but written and mailed anonymously on a postcard to him by over 500,000 people. Warren says the secrets run from sexual taboos and criminal activity to confessions of secret beliefs, hidden acts of kindness, shocking habits and fears. Since November 2004, PostSecret has been a safe and anonymous “place” where people can relieve the burden of their untold secrets
Frank Warren said, It was through crowd-sourcing…the kindness that strangers were showing me, that I could uncover parts of my past that were haunting me… Secrets can take many forms. They can be shocking or silly or soulful. They can connect us with our deepest humanity, or with people we’ll never meet.
Here are a few “secrets” on postcards received.
Here’s a link to the Ted.com website (a favorite!) for Frank Warren’s moving video about the Post Secret Project: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/frank_warren_half_a_million_secrets.html
Today I am not completely free of secrets, but the big ones kept longest and feared most are no longer untold. By revealing my deepest secrets others have responded with everything from kindness and understanding to ridicule and contempt. What matters is I no longer carry any of that darkness inside and am outwardly the person as the inward me. What a relief. I’m free! And I’m very GRATEFUL!
What is love? Love is when one person knows all of your secrets…
your deepest, darkest, most dreadful secrets
of which no one else in the world knows…
and yet in the end, that one person does not think any less of you;
even if the rest of the world does.”