SECRETS

                Everyone has secrets - Be it things that you just leave unsaid or the darkest secrets imaginable. You might think that you have no secrets, and you might really not have any that you are aware of. That's fine, but I would think that you may not be being completely honest with yourself. Maybe you have some that you are unaware of, or maybe you don’t spend enough time with your own thoughts to have any. If you don’t have any and don’t want to have any then you are probably in the wrong place.

                Secrets are a necessity of life. If everyone said everything that crossed their mind then we wouldn’t have a functioning society. This can be described as discretion. We have to take other people into account when planning our actions. The fact that we can do this is amazingly beneficial for us as a race. Sometimes though, we may feel that we have to repress so much that we begin to lose our true selves.

                There are a lot of people on this planet. The fact that we can live together and work together has infinite benefits. There is always a cost though. The cost of living with others is of course, having to live with rules - either explicit or implied. This is a tiny cost for the benefits of society. However sometimes we would like a vacation from society or our social circle. I believe secrets are healthy because I think having secrets gives you a reason to spend time in your own mind. If you have no secrets and live completely in the open, you probably don't spend as much time thinking privately or maybe making your own decisions. This isn't true of everyone, some people are comfortable being completely open all the time and can still be self aware and focused at the same time. However, I believe the more open you leave your life, the more vulnerable you may become to losing control of your life. If everything you do or think is shared, you may become more concerned with others' perceptions of you than your own satisfaction with your life and goals. Also if you really think that you never hold anything back ever - you're mistaken or you have no respect for other people.

                Secrets give you a sense of control in your life. If you can discipline yourself to hold back, then you can control your life in other ways too. Sometimes people tell me things and I don't know what to say in response except "Why would you tell me that?" If you can learn to filter your thoughts and expressions to appropriate circumstances, you will feel in control and project a sense of control over yourself and others. If someone already knows everything you think then there is no reason for them to inquire any further with you. However if you leave some things unexpressed then someone may become more interested in what you didn't say rather than what others did say.

                When you begin to take control of the secrets you keep and things you allow others to know, you begin on a path of self determination where what you expose to others is only the beginning. If you take control of one part of your life, other things will become easier for you. The first step in change is taking responsibility of the power to determine change.

                Keeping a secret is often the first step towards change. Maybe you want to lose weight but even the thought of admitting that seems too embarrassing to you. You are afraid of failure and if you tell the world you are starting a weight loss program and then fail or even lose slower than anticipated you feel like a failure, and because of that feeling you do fail completely. Where if you keep your plans and goals a secret, you may be more successful. When you make the right choices for yourself without the pressure of social failure you get the reward and satisfaction all to yourself. If you do have setbacks along the way, you don't have others to answer to - only yourself. As you do become successful, the accomplishment is pure and true. You know you did it by yourself and for yourself. It becomes a step towards self reliance and empowerment. Further down the road you begin to realize that the goals and desires you have for yourself are the truest and only things that really matter in life.

                Keeping secrets allow you to change your mind. If you don't hold back, people will judge you on the first significant thing they learn about you. If they learn you have a very devoted religious life, they may jump to other conclusions about you before really learning anything else about you. Maybe your religion is a very important part of your life, but I'm sure there are other important things as well. Your love of a sport or your effectiveness at your job. If your 1st concern is letting others know of your love of God and how they can know him too, you may not be as effective at your goal as you would be if you held back a little to begin with and let your relationships flourish around common interests such as playing on a team or letting your boss see you as a good employee. Then people may want to know more about you because they see something of value inside a colleague rather than them tuning you out from the beginning because you were too direct in the beginning.

                Keeping secrets is more important now than ever. These days for most people, there is very little of life that is private. Everyone seems to always be sharing - online, on the phone, whatever. I say “sharing” because I don't believe that people are really "connected" just because they tell everyone what they had for dinner. The other person often doesn't care. Even though you expose yourself, it doesn't follow that anyone will care. It's like getting naked on the side of an interstate. No one will stop to take an interest, but the fact remains that you were naked in public. What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't expose certain things just because it's possible to do so. Just because you can tell all your friends what you are doing all the time doesn't mean that you should or that you should want to.

10.05.12

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