The secrets we keep locked away–buried deep beneath the comings and goings of our everyday lives–are eating us alive.
Okay, so that sounds a little dramatic now that I see it in print. I’m not suggesting they are bacteria-like but you know what I mean, right? Keeping secrets takes a significant toll on our mind, body, spirit, and perhaps worst of all, our secrets keep us stuck in behavior and thought patterns that suck the life out of our lives.
As an organizer and life coach, and now through the Sick of Being Stuck Program (SOBS), I’ve worked with lots of people who came into my world because they were not, for many different reasons, living the lives they desired. Some of them–particularly when their challenges include clutter, weight, money, or addiction–were paralyzed by their shame.
Even when they know the actions that need to be taken, they just can’t. No energy. No time. No whatever it takes to make different choices than the ones they made yesterday.
The beginning of the story usually goes way back, either to ineffective patterns we learned in childhood or a trauma that stunted our personal evolution. We adopt coping mechanisms to help with the sadness or fear or whatever else we don’t know how to heal on our own. It works for a while but eventually the coping mechanism starts to backfire. It becomes more of an obstacle than a solution, and we begin to slide back into the darkness or fear. (Or maybe those are the same thing.)
What starts as a broken heart soon shows up in our homes as clutter, our bodies as illness, etc. Our work may suffer, and our relationships with people, food, and money become distorted. Especially creativity, it seems like it’s the first thing taken hostage.
There are many, many ways out of the darkness. Whether you’re working with me or one of the other 2.7 billion other options (only a slight exaggeration), the critical first step is admitting your need for support. This action is often the hardest part but it is also takes less energy than anything else in this process. It is sharing the unspeakable with others, a coming out process of sorts.
People share their secrets and it allows them to begin to heal, to shift, to move forward in the recovery process. In fact, just this morning, several people in my classes told hard-to-tell things and we could immediately feel the energy shift.
I didn’t do anything for SOBS that I’d promised I would do this week.
I got sick right after I signed up and even though the month is halfway over, I’m just getting started.
I’m scared to dig into the stacks to find the tax papers because… I’m afraid of how bad it will feel when I find the other things I’ve neglected–checks I haven’t deposited–and now it’s too late.
Next: My confession… and a light bulb moment.