I have a lot of dirty little secrets that I've admitting to myself lately. When I do, they really aren't that dirty, it's only in the muck of submerged darkness that they are sullied. The light – as is its tendency – unshrouds, demystifies and shows truth, which often these mysterious nuggets are not.
But buried and unexamined, they rule me in a not-so-gracious way. Exposing them means owning them, looking at them head on and examining them. Further exploration usually brings truth as if the secret were the irritation that creates the pearl within the oyster.
I had not realized how well I have been sleeping until I had a five-night jag of very-interrupted slumber. A 4 a.m. on one such night/morning, I picked up the book, The Fifth Agreement, and read a sliver that spoke to the anxiety and stress I had been feeling – even when I was resting. In the chapter on not taking anything personally, the authors ask you to suppose you're in a multiplex cinema and as you enter one, you are stunned that it is the story of your life. Even more stunned when you walk into the next theater to sit next to a woman you know as your mother and watch her movie. You do not recognize your portrayal nor that of anyone else although the faces are familiar. You eventually progress to the movies of your spouse, children and siblings to realize that no one sees you or anyone else as you do.
That illustration loops through my mind, reminding me of the elaborate and intricate web of stories and perceptions I have created about myself and others ... and that no one shares them. Almost like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, does it mean these are fictional? Constructions of my mind to feed something. What? My ego? My sense of myself?
I am also understanding just how warped and far from reality they are.
Lest you think this all sounds awful and hopeless, I find it the reverse. I have let too much settle into my being as truth about who I am that my soul has rebelled against because it is false. Yet, I've held onto these notions and patterns for so long, they become rote. They cripple me. I found that passage in an old journal entry and it startled me, but it was factual.
I am hopeful with this awareness to remember who I am again. To feel and be free again. How I was as a child, in college or the time before I took on what is not me.
Sometimes I am me, sometimes I am not. Mostly, I just want to be me.
• What in internal secrets can I expose?
• What is the truth behind those secrets?
• What source of conflict do those secrets, when kept that way, cause in me?
• How to they warp my perceptions or perspective?
• When exposed to the light, how can they be freeing?