This week I attended a presentation given by Frank Warren, the creative mind behind PostSecret. If this is something you’re not familiar with, I definitely recommend checking out the site (www.postsecret.com – updated every Sunday) or any of the 5 compilation books. Throughout the evening he shared many of the secrets he’s received as well as some of the reasons that he believes people feel so comfortable sharing these things with him, the most trusted stranger in the world.
This all really got me thinking…about what secrets I keep, not only from friends, family, strangers, but also from myself. And why… As the age old saying goes, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So why then do I hold onto so many thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions, experiences, life lessons, or failures so tightly – not allowing myself to heal or recover. It almost sounds like a different breed of self-mutilation – truly setting oneself up for continual failure by refusing to admit or accept certain truths. We all know the definition of insanity; trying the same thing again & again, expecting differing results – meaning that it could be our own obsession with secrecy that’s driving our culture towards insanity – so often resulting in frustration, depression & in the worst situations, suicide.
I think one of the biggest reasons that I keep the secrets I do, at least from others, is due to the innate human desire to be liked & accepted – hell, the need to be loved, wanted, & needed! The real me is a girl who’s afraid of being alone but at the same time thrives in silence – hesitant to lean on anyone for support, but yearning for someone willing to provide it – anxious with emotional bonds for fear of having her heart broken, yet ready to jump at the chance to give herself fully to someone whose soul compliments her own. I’m a book worm who would often times prefer to curl up in an overstuffed chair, escaping into a fictitious world than go out & interact in this one. Sadly, none of these things portray the image of a strong, independent woman – taking the world by storm. So, instead of putting my true face forward, I participate in the day to day rat race as the person I’m expected to be – not the real me.
At the end of his presentation, Frank opened the floor to anyone willing/wanting/needing to share a secret of their own with the world. The amount of courage it took for those individuals to bare their souls in a room filled with strangers – it was inspirational, moving, & truly a humbling experience. For the time being I’m giving a bit more thought to my own secrets, and making a conscious effort to release them – maybe not in an open forum, instead via the security of an anonymous postcard – addressed to the worlds most trusted stranger. A man, who for whatever reason was blessed with a gift of collecting the worlds secrets.