Saturday, May 31, 2008

How does it hit you when you get bad news?

According to the Twelve Step programs, we are as sick as our secrets. But if we can find a safe place to share our secrets we can begin to work toward healing. For centuries, Christian churches recognized the healing power of sharing our inmost struggles through the Rite of Confession. So, what do you do, if you are not a Christian, but you still feel the need to confess?

We can hide our secrets in tear-stained night for as long as we want to, but it is only when we chose to bring them out into the light that we can begin to heal.

I feel like I will be dead within a year.
There’s no time for tears.

There is nothing more powerful than finding someone safe to tell "the secret" to. No one knows how hard it is, unless they've been there. Your heart pounds, your body is rock rigid, you grind your teeth, your mouth is dry. You think of all the excuses to keep your mouth shut. They'll get mad. They'll laugh. They'll reject you. They'll treat it like it was nothing and tell you to forget about it. Or worse: they'll be polite, nod their head like they understand, leave and not ever have anything to do with you again. But you have to tell someone, and oh God, please let it be the right one! Finding someone to tell, who's also been through it, is the most incredible healing thing, and the most rare.

I trusted someone with my writings and they read them and read things into them and used them against me.

Like so many of us, the relief of telling the secret was followed by a feeling of "I'm O.K. now that I talked, so it's over." So I told my friend to talk, and keep talking, talk to ME, I understand, and talk anytime you need to for as long as it takes. Don't bury it. You just scratched the surface. Open the wound and let it begin to heal.

I have finally opened the wound...Will it now begin to heal? Or will I just keep scratching at it, never letting the wound disappear?

You'll feel scared, embarrassed, angry and unsure when you first tell the secret to someone. But do it anyway. Those who've walked in your shoes understand the need to keep talking and that there's no shame for things you were too young, too scared, too vulnerable to understand, or to even stop.

Telling the secret is the only way to break the shame that binds your heart.

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