When do you think that it’s OK to keep a secret, and why?
Secrets secrets are no fun
Secrets secrets hurt someone
For twenty-six years, I’ve grown up on this motto. My parents, my teachers, every ‘adult’ in my life has tried to reinforce it over the years. In a perfectly ideal world (one I’d very much like to live in), this would be the way things were. Everything was conversational, transparent,
In society today, I think secrets are kept for a variety of reasons. They’re kept out of embarrassment, out of fear, out of protection for ones self or another. They’re kept by accident, by omission, by careful consideration.
Knowing what I do about life, about love, about health, about the things that make our brains tick and our hearts beat – I don’t think I can say when exactly it is okay to keep a secret. I think that comes down to who you are, your motives, who it will effect, what’s important to you, if it will hurt someone, etc.
My personal philosophy has grown, evolved and changed over the past many years. Mostly, this quote from Grey’s Anatomy sums up my values on keeping secrets:
The thing people forget is how good it can feel when you finally set secrets free. Whether good or bad, at least they’re out in the open. And once your secrets are out in the open, you don’t have to hide behind them anymore.
Setting your secrets free, or not allowing things to become secrets in the first place is yes, very liberating. But let’s be honest, it’s also terrifying. It requires a huge amount of trust, confidence, and the willingness to feel vulnerable. It requires strength, maturity, and possibly more courage than you were ready to find.
It’s not for everyone. It’s not for everything. Some things are supposed to stay quiet, intimate. Whether inside of you or in your family or in a relationship or with a friend. Sometimes things aren’t meant for the world.
But when they are, you’ll recognize it. And I trust that you’ll make the right choice when you hold the truth in your hands.
Amanda Kasper is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer, seeking space as a lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513 and blogs over at “& this I believe”