The secret about secrets

You’re only as sick as your secrets. Anon

Everyone has secrets; be a secret crush, a broken affair, some silly folly’s that are better kept under wraps, some embarrassing fears or some illness that you prefer to hide or some harsh realities that you hate to even recollect let alone recount to others etc. Unfortunately, secrets have a way of corroding the insides mentally and then physically of the person keeping them undisclosed. The net result is that people having too many secrets locked away within themselves fall sick, suffer from various ailments and are often depressed and cagey. Far too often they find the burden of carrying the secret a very heavy cross to carry.

One reason why secrets have an acidic tendency and corrode the inside is that most secrets have a touch of sinfulness if not being out rightly sinful. This is a tough situation to be in, because anyone with bare minimum value systems find this an indelible blot that cannot be cleansed in the normal course. People do find ways and means to mitigate their guilt like rationalizing it, ignoring it, denying it etc. The Catholics have an even more legitimate way through the confessional box, where their darkest secrets and sins are told to the priest and he dispenses absolution and pardon. Presto, the guilt and secret are nonexistent and the penance that gives pardon a small price to pay for a big relief.  Some secrets are too embarrassing to be shared. Being rejected in love tops the list. Using unfair means to top exams come a close second and taking bribe and other considerations follow nearabouts too. Our fears and ambitions too figure in this list.

Unless one is a spy or a secret agent, who is trained to keep secrets and indoctrinated that secrets are for the larger good of the society or nation, the average person can be sure to suffer some problems that can be directly attributed to holding on to secrets. The most common problem could be insomnia and that could be accompanied by paranoia that our secrets could be found out. Irritation, anger, withdrawal and nervous breakdown could also be symptomatic of the ill effects of stress. The lurking fear of being exposed and humiliated if our secrets are out in the open are a perennial source of tension and stress for people who have secrets kept deep in the recess of their hearts. It is important to note that having secrets and being secretive by nature are two very different things. There are people who are secretive by nature for they deliberately keep the facts and knowledge to themselves. Almost all of them are selfish by nature and their reluctance to share information could also be attributed to them wanting to deny others an advantage or their personal conviction that knowledge is power especially if they are the only ones having it.

There are two techniques to lead a more balanced and relatively less free life, by being out of the clutches of the troubles brought about by having secrets. The first is to live in a manner that does not warrant having any secrets. The second is to share our secrets with someone in whom we have some confidence so that we reduce the pressure of carrying the burden of the secret all alone. The latter option thought is fraught with the risk of having to be hundred percent confident of your confidant. In short, the secret to having no secrets is to be diplomatically straightforward or alternatively being able to confess your secrets.

Remember: “The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep” Edgar Watson Howe

Try this:

  1. Did you know that secrets can be fun too. Do you remember reading the Enid Blyton series of books of The Secret Seven etc. If you haven’t read it, give it a try although it is meant for young children, there is adventure in the secrets.
  2. You can attempt to organize a game called secret friend if you have a team/ group of at least 5-7 people in your workplace. The rules are simple. During the festive season, make as many chits as there are team members. Write the name of one member on one chit and ensure all members are covered. The week preceding the festivities, the chits are distributed to team members so as to ensure each member has one name (not his/ her own). The person holding the chit will be the secret friend of the person whose name is on the chit. The holder of the chit is to get a secret gift not exceeding a prefixed amount and place the gift with the receivers name of the secret friend marked on the gift in a common designated area.  On the last day before holidays, these gifts will be distributed to each one. The most important thing is that no one should reveal in any manner what gift they gave or got nor to whom they gave the gift.

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