What Price Are You Paying for Your Secrets?

Thoughtful person with long curly hair rests head on hand on bench in the parkSecrets are a part of everyone’s life. Each of us has a darker part of our lives or past that we carry each day. These events or memories become secrets we bottle up inside us for various reasons.

Some secrets are harmless, while others can be quite harmful. How is the pain of your secrets speaking to you?

Anyone can develop a habit of avoiding negative feelings at all costs, making it difficult to ever confront the secrets that are harmful to our well-being. For some, this can become a way of life due to the pain associated with certain memories, especially traumatic events in the past.

If you are someone who generally holds everything inside, your emotional pain may flow out or manifest in destructive ways without your awareness. The damaging effects may include numbing through too much drinking or drug use, over-working, self-loathing, loneliness, physical problems, reduced self-esteem, deep sadness, or destructive relationship patterns, among others. When you begin noticing these signs, your emotional pain may be communicating to you it is time to release the secret nature of certain memories. The price you pay may become steeper the longer these secrets remain pushed down within you, unable to be seen, acknowledged, and released.

Knowing the potential costs, why do we conceal from ourselves and others? We tend to hold onto harmful secrets primarily because of the embarrassment or shame we feel from what has occurred. We may fear how others would perceive us if they knew the flawed, scarred, or imperfect aspects of our being. Some secrets are so deep we may even put them out of our own awareness, allowing us to continue living a life where painful memories or parts of us are cut off from ourselves and others.

Over time, this increase in authenticity may lead to a more balanced state of existence through increased self-acceptance, self-worth, and self-love. When you begin to form compassion for all parts of yourself and your past, you can start the journey to healing and becoming whole again.

The hardest part of addressing secrets can be the process of accepting your past, thus accepting your whole self. When you are no longer ashamed, others can also begin to embrace all parts of you. Once you have started this journey, whether on your own or through therapy, it can be liberating to share these hidden aspects of your identity with those you love and care about. No longer will the secrets hold the power over you that once existed. This, in turn, can lead to feeling more connected to the world and those around you.

Taking some time and reflecting on which secrets or memories feel heaviest within you can help you begin uncovering your true self. When you begin to tackle the pain associated with your past that may be holding you back, you are likely to rediscover authentic parts of yourself that were pushed away with your secrets. You may begin to learn to be vulnerable and develop emotional intimacy with others.

Over time, this increase in authenticity may lead to a more balanced state of existence through increased self-acceptance, self-worth, and self-love. When you begin to form compassion for all parts of yourself and your past, you can start the journey to healing and becoming whole again.

If secrets are weighing on you and you need some help letting them go, consider working with a licensed therapist. Therapists offer a safe and nonjudgmental space where you can let all parts of yourself be seen, including (and especially) the ones you’ve long kept in the dark or out of your awareness.

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  • Lynda

    Lynda

    April 27th, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    I will admit that I feel very ashamed of some of the things that I have said or done in the past. There are things that no one knows about other than the people who were in my life at that time because I don’t want to dredge up the past and be left to feel bad about it all over again. I give myself forgiveness in knowing that most of those choices were made when I was young and very dumb obviously, but that forgiveness does not at all extend to feeling comfortable enough to sharing those actions with other people. I am best just allowing the past to stay in the past.

  • Trevor

    Trevor

    April 27th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Very informative . Where can I find more information on this topic ?

  • Urvi Natha

    Urvi Natha

    May 10th, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Thanks Trevor. I am a topic expert on good therapy. I write on topics related to addiction and trauma. This specific article was intended for people who have struggled through traumatic events and how learning to share parts of these experiences can lead to relief. You can also find more articles on my blog at oceansideclinic.com/blog.

  • trice

    trice

    April 28th, 2017 at 6:53 AM

    There are some things that I have only ever shared with my therapist and it makes me feel very fortunate that I have someone in my life like her with whom I can share the past and never feel judged for it.

  • Juliette

    Juliette

    April 28th, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    I happen to think that keeping some things secret is actually a good thing. Why do I have to share everything about me when most of what I would have to tell wouldn’t be relevant to anything at all going on in my life right now? I don’t wish to dig up the past when I don’t have to, and I think that’s fair.

  • bev

    bev

    April 29th, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    I don’t know that I would necessarily say that keeping secrets can be a good thing, but on the other hand, why do I have to show my hand all at once?
    Some things are not only better left just for me, but I kind of like it that way.
    OK so maybe you let things come out as a slow drip versus a swoosh of information, and that would be ok but I like to think that having a little bit of secrecy adds to the intrigue.

  • Price

    Price

    May 6th, 2017 at 7:43 AM

    Secrets that you are trying hard to hide from others can bring you down and fast. There are of course those things which you can keep hidden, things that might embarrass you a little, those are fine. But if there are those things that are a part of your make up and have created the person that you are, don’t you think that a significant other in your life deserves to know all about that?

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