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The Trouble With Secrets

September 3, 2008

By: Carole D. Hicks

“I’ve got a secret! I’ve got a secret!” We have often heard children chant those words as a means of taunting peers that he/she knows something that no one else knows. I’ve never known a secret to come out good for anyone. I suppose there are good secrets, like “Daddy’s bringing home a big surprise. It’s a secret and you’ll just have to wait to find it out.”

Or perhaps, a young couple knows they are expecting a baby and they keep it a secret so they can tell all the relatives at the same time.

But more often than not, secrets become tools used by Satan to cause damage, create bondage and perpetuate shame and guilt. I know this from personal experience and from observing others. I also know that shedding light on a secret takes away its power, or stronghold. (or at least that’s what I’ve found to be true in my life).

For ten years, I carried around a horrible secret that I thought would absolutely destroy me if it ever got out. The TRUTH of the matter was that it was destroying me anyway. I was held captive by guilt, shame and fear. When the SECRET was released … the FREEDOM was phenomenal. It was a miracle for I never thought it possible to survive anyone knowing it.

For forty years, my mother lived with a deeply embedded secret. She was a victim of abuse and was warned to never speak of it to anyone. She could not pretend as if it did not happen. She knew that it did … but she was left to endure, suffer and process it without the counsel or nurture of any one. Thus, she became an alcoholic, drug abuser and manic depressive.

Many a politician has dared to test the idea that “no one will find out” and what people don’t know will not hurt them. Many a leader has operated on the premise that there will be no repercussions or fall-out from a secret decision or concealed deal that has been made. And yet, we can all attest to the fact that even when we are not intimately involved in the “secret” life of another, we are still adversely affected.

Just today, someone said to me, “Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place. It’s simply impossible.” She also commented that secrets are practices of the occult, evil and those who work out of manipulation and intimidation. I recognize that is a matter of opinion based upon the nature of the secret. But then again, if it’s a good secret, who would really want to keep from sharing that anyway.

But even when someone has a “good secret,” it puts them in a position of manipulation over others. “I know something you don’t know!” one child says to another! Think about the child who does not know … doesn’t she feel devalued, dismissed, dejected … all because she was not privy to information that ultimately was going to affect her too? It’s really not fair in any sense of the matter.

And then, we come to the matter of the secret being told and how it got out. We get all mad because someone has found out our secret. Why is that? Especially when we must admit that good or bad, the secret has been more than we could bear anyway and we’ve let it out to a trusted friend.

The worst is when you just get tidbits of the secret. That’s when spin and conjecture come into play. “You won’t tell me? That’s okay, I can put 2 and 2 together and figure it out.” It might not be exactly right, but at least the secret holder no longer has the upper-hand in the situation.

We watch this play out before our very eyes every night on the news and in those panel discussions when they are trying to figure out what’s coming down the political or business pike. Sometimes, you might just wonder if all the conjecture really turns out to change the original secret.

What it boils down to is this. Secrets are bad news. Oh, we can say that we have to have them to protect the best interest of others … but human nature will lead us to seek theTruth. So why not just tell the truth to begin with. If what you know or what you are doing is so ultra-sensitive that it requires secrecy … then perhaps you might want to contemplate the nature of your actions.

Think of all the things that are usually kept secret: adultery, abuse, theft, pornography, blackmail, terrorism, stalking, kidnapping, drug trafficking, bootlegging, piracy, spying … the list could go on and on.

Who would want their actions to be associated with such as this?

Good secrets are: birthday surprises, blessings of gifts or money; visits from a friend or relative; raises, promotions, proposals. Those are the kinds of secrets that I can tolerate. Not the other.

Just a little food for thought!

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