Remember back in high school when you and your best friend both liked the same guy and then the guy started liking you back and you didn’t know what to do about your friend so you didn’t tell her? How did that work out?
We all have secrets. Secrets that may or may not affect the lives of other people. And we may or may not choose to share those secrets because we just don’t know if doing so is the right thing. For everyone.
I am here to tell you that holding on to secrets is not a good thing. For anyone.
#1 – You are not protecting your loved one, even if you think you are.
This is the reason that most people hold onto a secret. They believe that not telling someone the truth will somehow help them. And this does seems logical because you trying to take care of someone who is important to you and sharing the secret might cause them pain.
But why do you think that you know what is best for someone? Yes, you think you really know that person, and you probably do, but by not giving them information that could possibly change their life you are doing them a disservice.
Everyone deserves the right to be in charge of his or her own destiny. You not telling them the truth takes away their power.
#2 – Telling the truth will allow the healing process to begin.
Think about when someone told you something that caused you some hurt. Yes, in the moment, and for many moments afterwards, life was a very difficult place. Perhaps even unbearable.
But it’s the natural process that the body pushes through trauma, big or small, and starts healing. This is how we survive as a species. And we can only start healing when we know what we are dealing with.
Awareness is key.
#3 – Telling the truth will keep your head from exploding.
Holding onto a secret is terribly hard on one’s psyche. Your brain and your heart are in constant conflict, one arguing for revealing the truth, one pushing against it. And the result? Your stomach hurts all the time. And your head threatens to explode.
When your body is telling you that what you are doing is not good it is important that you listen to it. Holding on to a secret can have long-term effects both on the body and the brain.
Imagine what it would feel like to not have this secret in your body. Pretty amazing, right?
#4 – Telling the truth will keep your loved one’s head from exploding.
People always know when you are hiding something, especially people who are close to you. We think we are so good at hiding things but those who know us know our tells. They know when we are stressed, or preoccupied, or being distant.
If they see these behaviors then your loved one might start to question themselves. Have they done something that has caused you to behave this way? Have they hurt you in some way? They might even ask you about it and when you aren’t honest in return they are left hurt and wondering still.
Their brain and their heart will start arguing and their stomach will start to hurt and their head will threaten to explode. How is hiding this secret protecting them? How is not telling them the truth allowing them to start to heal?
It’s just not.
#5 – You will help change the world.
Secrets are insidious. They can cause damage that seems in the moment and personal but which can be far reaching.
My mother had an affair with a married man for 10 years. He would call and mom would tell me that it was her lawyer (which he was, in fact, a lawyer, but not hers). Soon enough I realized what was going on and also knew that he wasn’t leaving his wife and that my mom was miserable. I suffered from massive guilt that she was home alone and I would come home from college on weekends just to be with her. I was distracted from my life worrying about her. I started drinking and not doing well in school.
Repercussions carried forward into my adult life. I didn’t believe that I should be cared for and therefore cared for everyone else at the expense of myself. My mother ultimately married her man and how I resented him for the years that he left my mother so unhappy. I didn’t trust men and this will forever affect my relationship with them.
And then, at my mother’s funeral, her friends told me stories about my mom and her husband that blew my mind. While he hadn’t left his wife, my mom and her lover were together more often than not. They traveled together extensively, trips I never knew about. They had weekend parties at our house where her husband and his friends would travel from Virginia. They even got married without including us.
All the guilt that I suffered was for naught. My mother was doing just fine. Not perfect, I know, but not as bad as she led me to believe by not telling me the truth.
How different might my life had been, and as a result, perhaps, the life of my ex-husband, my children and their children, if I had known the truth?
Many of us are scared of telling the truth, of the ramifications of our words and our fear that we will be blamed for anything that happens because of our actions.
But really, the best thing, for everyone, is to release those secrets out into the world, let happen what is going to happen, and then let the healing process begin.
So just do it. Stop keeping those secrets bottled up inside. You, and your loved ones, will be better for it.
Are you really struggling with telling the truth?
Let me help you cope with it, NOW, before it causes more damage.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.