Secrets. Share or Keep?
by Camden Hoch, Life Coach & Inspirational Speaker
We sat in her bedroom a few days after she died. Even though we knew she was dying for the past year, it was a feeling of loss and sadness we couldn’t put words to in that moment. There was relief and then there was the unspoken word “why?”
Her bedroom hadn’t changed since the last time we were all there yet the air was palpable with a sense that she was watching and wanted us to know. Shivers rolled through my body. All that was hidden before was now there for us to see. We began to open drawers and box clothes no longer to be worn. We opened letters and papers hidden from the moments of her life but not hidden forever. Secrets buried from the daily living but not from the deepest living of relationships.
You see when you die you are freed from these secrets yet when you are living your secrets are your suffering and your torturer.
I knew when she was living she knew the secrets of her lover and partner. When you love and live with someone you have to know, right? It’s a knowing that is a feeling that something just feels out of alignment. It feels funny as in not honest. Who knows how they got there but we were able to trace the footsteps over a span of 51 years.
Secrets trap us and it is our choice whether we share them or not. Why is it so hard to share secrets? Is it our feelings of unworthiness? Is it fear of abandonment? Is it fear of being seen for our truth in the moment? Instead we shield our secrets with veils and in some cases mortar for this sense of false protection. Holding on to secrets causes suffering. I have lived it and I have witnessed it. It’s unnecessary. Have we forgotten that love transforms all and forgiveness is a form of love?
Our shadows in the secrets are invitations to go to the deepest parts of us to heal the roots of our lineages to liberate us and the generations to follow. It’s only through our choice to this deeper connection to ourselves that we find the truth of who we are and stand courageously for this truth to live in the present moment.
I relate to her suffering and I wonder if we will be able to heal the lineages shown to us in these secrets. Yes, we’re aware of them but the work has invited us deeper to sharing and letting go of our own secrets. Grace is present and humility is requested. It’s not about being right – it’s about the choice to surrender.
Death informs us of the sweetness of life which is here right now. Why must we wait until we have more money to tell someone we love them or to write a love letter? Why must we wait for the kitchen to be painted before we make love? Why must we wait for the carpet to be laid before we take off for a hike in the woods? Life will not be put on hold. It will go on with or without us. We are the ones who put a stake in the moment and decide to be stuck in our secrets.
These secrets will be revealed when you die.
When I was 11 years old and a girl scout – green uniform, sash with badges and all, our scout leader told us we were going to visit a nursing home at Thanksgiving. We made turkeys out of apples, raisins and carrots to give to each person at the home. I worked so hard on making my turkey especially beautiful. I was nervous about going to the home. Our leader said “don’t be nervous. The people in the home don’t have many visitors and they’ll be so happy to see you.” When we walked in to the home, it was dark and smelled funny. I saw a woman in a wheelchair and took my turkey to her. She looked at me, took the turkey then threw it on the ground and started to yell at me. I was scared and so sad. I held back tears. Our scout leader explained that “she didn’t realize what she was doing.”
I felt rejected and like I had done something bad. I carried this for the longest time. Now I see a greater truth here. In order to fully experience life, we must surrender in each moment. We must trust and hold our faith close. If we hold secrets, it will only cause suffering. It will cause suffering and fear until the day we die. It will be so hard to let go.
I understand it now. She held on to her secrets in her journals and her secrets held on to her like she was a prisoner. No one in her family thought she knew but I knew she did. They never talked to her about what they knew and asked me not to either. I honored their wishes but then it became my secret too. That changed my relationship with her for the rest of her life.
Seeing her physical body manifest the secrets hidden was painful to watch. The sadness in her journals was overwhelming as I read them aloud to my husband.
True change comes from our own heart. True change comes from our willingness to share our deepest fears, hurts, loves and all the feelings to ourselves and those close to us. True change comes from embracing our shadow and our light. Herein lies the healing of our lineages as we experience our inner transformation, we bring healing to all.
Forgiveness opens our hearts to greater compassion. Acceptance invites new perspectives. And love, well, simply put – love transforms all.