Secrets and Lies

I wrote the majority of this ages ago, and it somehow got lost in the shuffle. During the past few weeks, the concepts of secrets and lies have come up again and again in my life, and then I rediscovered this post. Perhaps it's time to post it.

We all have secrets. And we all lie.

There are the "usual" secrets. The things we don't tell because it would damage our image. The things wee keep to ourselves to make us seem more normal, or acceptable, or ok. Then there are the insidious secrets. The secrets that cause our teeth to clench and chest to tighten at the thought that someone might find us out.

There are the lies. The lies we tell others, and worse yet, the lies we tell ourselves. We lie about how we're feeling, how our lives are going, how happy we are, who we are. We lie about big things, but more often little things. We lie to make ourselves look better to others, and to ourselves.

Years ago, when I was being abused and was scared for my life and the lives of those I held most dear, I saw secrets and lies as a necessity for survival. They soon became a way of life, and eventually lies became my truth. I believed them. Reality - my secrets - became someone else's life, someone else's truth.

Occasionally I'll find myself slipping back into my old ways - usually when depression is speaking louder than joy in my life. I find lies - small ones - escaping my lips for no apparent reason. They flow naturally, easily. And they're insignificant - about nothing that matters. But they fester in my mind, eat at my conscience. They scream of my need to take care of myself.

Why do these lies weigh on me so? Because I strive to be as authentic as I can in every aspect of my life. I want to be me. Just me. Not who someone else wants me to be. Nor what society thinks I should be. I wasted too much of my life not being me, and have discovered that being me is actually pretty awesome, even with the pain and the exhaustion and especially with a house full of rannygahoots.

Why lie? Does it matter that my house is usually a wreck, that I haven't dusted in I have no idea how long, that I've been letting my kids watch waaaaaay too much Wiiflix (Netflix on Wii) lately, or that I have bribed my kids to give me ten minutes of silence? (Yes, yes I have!) Would it kill me if everyone knew I live with mental illness, chronic physical illness, or am a rape survivor? Or that I see love has something that happens between two human beings, regardless of gender? Or that sometimes I have such a difficult time accessing my own emotions that I read sad/happy stories or watch sappy dramas just to be able to cry. 

When we read blogs like Postsecret and Dan Pearce's Truth Box posts, we discover that we aren't alone in our secrets. If we're not alone in our secrets, wouldn't we feel better - and others feel better - if we just shared these deep, dark parts of our lives? Would we find they aren't as deep or dark or scary as we thought?

What if we all shared our authentic selves? Would we need secrets and lies any longer? Or would we instead feel closer to each other in our brokenness? Be more apt to seek help when we need it and offer help when someone else needs it? Would we like ourselves and each other more? Would the world be a better place?

Secrets and lies conspire against love. Secrets and lies build barriers between people and rob us of the ability to love ourselves. Let truth speak louder than fear. Let love speak loudest of all. 


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