We all have secrets, don’t we. But if someone leans over and whispers – I want to tell you a secret – is there anyway to predict the nature of the secret? It could be anything from a personal fear to a shameful act or a crime committed. To me, the best way to describe a secret is to look at how it feels. How does it feel to have one or to reveal one?
When I think of what a secret is, I think of something heavy, burdensome, dark and vibrating; a secret is always looking for ways to expose itself, peeping out yet hiding. Secrets are often oppressive, they weigh us down. Yet telling a secret can give you a rush, the feeling of doing something dangerous or bad. You don’t actually know what will happen when you tell. It will really get your heart pumping. This secret is, after all, kept out of sight for a specific reason. This unknown is both compelling and terrifying. The words are spilling out of your mouth all by themselves! You know you shouldn’t!
I feel like I’ve always had deep secrets, things that burned like small fires in my belly. When I was small enough to sit in my mother’s lap, I found out that she had secrets too. I remember her whispering, “I want to tell you something, only if you promise not to tell anyone.” Her warm breath in my ear made my neck tickle, and I nodded eagerly, feeling terribly mature and grown-up. Often, I was disappointed with her secrets, adult things that I didn’t experience as charged, like her anger at so-and-so for talking behind her back. What I did learn from being my mom’s confidante was that our own secrets feel very big and scary, but to others, they often aren’t.
Whether or not these things within us deserve secrecy, we carry them within ourselves as if they did. For example, I’ve carried my upbringing as a Hare-Krishna around with me for a long time. What will people think if I reveal this? The more I tell it, however, the less of a secret it has become, instead just another part of the puzzle. I used to think that secrets were awful and scary, but now I think of my own “secrets” as pieces waiting to be expressed. The more “secrets” I reveal, the more unburdened and free I feel. Secret’s have a life of their own, and as long as you allow them to live within you unchallenged, the more they will haunt you. Go on, lean over to someone and whisper, “wanna know my secret?”