Friday, May 15, 2009

Do you have a secret?

I picked up The Secrets Women Keep, by Dr. Jill Hubbard, the other day, because - duh- we all keep secrets. I was curious how someone managed to write a book about it. I mean, the weight on my driver's license hasn't been true in years. I'm keeping that secret from the DMV and the teenage boy at the grocery store who demands to see my ID, and my husband. There are just some things other people don't need to know.

Women sometimes have secrets that pertain to bad behavior or poor choices. But plenty of women have secrets about their perfectly good, average life. I've had those kinds of secrets.

"I'm so disappointed in how my life has turned out. This wasn't what I had planned."

"I don't really like my husband right now and don't feel like sticking it out in this marriage"

"The bottom of the pond seems like a better place to be than my life".

Wow, Cari. Heavy stuff for a sunny Friday! I don't mean for it to be heavy. I'm just pointing out that we all keep secrets. Anyone who knows me well knows that "Transparency" is my personal mantra. Sometimes we even keep these secrets from ourselves, pretending that everything is lovely, when it just doesn't feel lovely. There are all kinds of reasons for these feelings. They often are seasonal and pass as life goes on. By seasonal I don't mean hay fever season, because in Oklahoma that season never seems to pass. I mean seasons in a woman's life. Or seasons in any marriage, good or bad. It's not possible to always like each other every day, day after day. I often tell Mark I couldn't imagine having lived with anyone else for these 28 years. But that doesn't mean he's not on my sh__ list sometimes. Of course. I'm NEVER on his list.

The point of all this self disclosure is that I'm happy to say I'm learning to identify those secrets, acknowledge them to the appropriate people, and make the changes necessary to get my life back into balance. Here's what the author says...

"It requires an enormous reservoir of energy to maintain two distinct
selves--the external front we show the world, and the internal, true self.
This pretense drains us and robs us of the energy we could be using in
countless other ways, from improving our relationships to deepening our
spiritual lives to putting the laundry away or making dinner. Getting our
insides and outsides to more closely match is an important goal in
psychotherapy. The more aligned we are, internally and externally, the more real we can be. 'What you see is what you get' is a trusted motto. We simply can't live full, passionate lives of integrity if we are not being
authentic. Having secrets is a sure way to avoid authenticity."
I feel the need to add a disclaimer. We as women do NOT need to air everything to everyone. But we do need to be honest with ourselves and a few trusted folks.

Have a happy, transparent weekend. And tell somebody a secret. Just make sure it's your secret to tell!

4 comments: said...

Awesome post, Cari. I really enjoyed it! Now, I'm going to have to buy that book. :)

Have a happy weekend!

Stephen said...

"The Secrets Men Keep" would be a pretty short book, huh? Though sometimes you wish they would. :-)

tessa said...

I like your shirt in that picture ;)

Shari said...

Somehow I missed this post when you wrote it. My secret for the day is that I consider you my best friend. Just to be clear.