Whichever program of recovery you have chosen to live, you have probably heard that secrets keep us sick. There is real life truth to this. A secret is anything we keep to ourselves that has a negative or unhealthy connotation. For example: telling someone you have a secret then proceeding to say that you like broccoli would not result in the same response as telling someone that you slept with your brother's wife. People carry the expectation that secrets are "bad".
So how do secrets keep us sick? When we keep them inside, they fester and cloud our spirits. We do not think or behave in positive, healthy ways. The guilt and shame become powerful and can frequently lead us to relapse.
When we keep secrets, we live in fear. We fear people learning the truth and the myriad of possible consequences that could result. We constantly look over our shoulders and tell more and more lies to keep the secret buried as deeply as possible within us. We become disconnected from others and frequently turn to isolation; believing that if we aren't around people, no one will ever know.
A painful and wasteful way to go through life.
Cleansing is healing and we can't fully understand this until we do it. It is important to find an individual we trust. Trust is crucial. This person can be someone who is also living recovery. Or a spiritual adviser, or clergy person. This person can even be a stranger whom you will never see again. (one man paid a homeless man $20 to hear his secrets) The point being, find a person you trust who is willing to listen. Then take a deep breath, walk through your fears and honestly verbalize all of your secrets to this individual. Do not sugar-coat or exaggerate. Do not leave anything out.
Once you have done this, you may feel a sensation of a warm breeze flowing through your spirit. Your path is unblocked and you no longer have anything to hide. There is tremendous freedom in this. You will feel more able and open to healthy ways of living; physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It is important to remember that privacy and boundaries are essential. Spewing our secrets to anyone and everyone, leaves us vulnerable and them overwhelmed. We are stepping over their boundaries. Also, feeling forced to divulge a secret to someone we do not trust, is stepping over our own boundaries. Once you have shared your secrets with someone you trust, you can honestly and clearly say that information is private. This is a self-respecting behavior.
You will also notice that once you have divulged your secrets to a trusted individual, you will be less and less inclined to engage in behaviors that will result in more secrets. You begin to enjoy living a life of clarity, freedom and self-respect.
A healthy, positive, beautiful way to go through life.