I can remember, quite vividly, my grandmother, Jean, saying just that. "Secrets are lies." That phrase came out of her mouth often during her time on earth.
My grandma has been gone, from this earth, for 14 years now and those wise words still ring in my ears and mind nearly every day.
I've spent a lot of time recently thinking through secrets and what they mean/don't mean. I've contemplated where they've played a role in my life and where I've let them run my life. I've explored the idea of keeping secrets as a safety mechanism and a way of avoiding the reality of it. I've wrestled with whether secrets are kept out of fear of the truth or fear of having to own the issue.
And in all of this thinking, it also hit me that we all have secrets. Even if they're small, we all have them, at some level in our lives.
At some point, it's important to find someone you can share the secrets with. Someone you can trust and you know will hold that secret like their own. So, what do you do when that person pulls away, after they've learned so many secrets?
You have to believe in them and believe that they are honest, trustworthy people. You must have faith that what they've been told is just as sacred to them as it is to you.
And then you must also ask yourself, after you've told someone your secret, how will they look at me? Will they still accept me? Will they laugh and walk away?
I have been very blessed that as my secrets have come out, I have been loved, accepted and honored. I've been given so many gifts of forgiveness I've lost count.
If I've learned anything over the years, it's that, in time, secrets come out. The hard, gross secrets become reality.
And then you must be willing to look at that secret. Straight in the eyes. And tell it it no longer has power over you.
That is exactly what I've spent some time doing these past few weeks. God brought me to a point of being willing to confront some secrets and bring them out into the light. I've felt so much lighter since they came out. (In fact I was told by a group of dear friends, just this past Friday night, that they could see the weight had gone.)
But it also hasn't been easy. My family has been there to support me and for that I could never say thank you enough. But I also didn't realize that when things were brought out that they would create this deep crevice of darkness. I didn't realize that the spaces that secret used to fill would become holes that hurt and burned.
Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club talked about how it's important to clean out the infection. I am now an official believer that secrets create deep, dark, gross, smelly, yucky infections that hurt to clean out.
But I'm also here to tell you that it is possible to clean them out. I'm not at the end of the road, by any means. But I am willing to stay on the path and keep cleaning it out. I can only pray that at some point the hydrogen peroxide that has to be poured into the infection won't burn quite as bad.