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This week’s DungeonPrompt is SECRETS.
My first reaction to this prompt was to not do it. The word secrets brings up shame from my past. But I have a commitment to blog and so I turned toward my fear and let go my anxiety about it. After releasing my anxiety I realized I hadn’t updated my perception of myself. You see…
In my childhood there were all kinds of secrets. Secrets I kept from my grandmother about the things I did at my house during the week. Secrets I kept from my mom so I wouldn't get in trouble. Secrets I kept from everyone because I was scared that they would be angry at me. But the darkest were the secrets I kept from myself. The secret that I wasn't really safe in the world. The secret that even God didn't love me unless I did what he wanted.
I believed in that young age that all of these secrets kept me safe. I determined that to be sneaky was to be in control.
Sometimes even today that older version of me still stored in my subconscious leaks into my conscious mind. He told me to not write this article. He told me to keep this part of myself a secret.
I love him but he no longer drives the boat.
In the intervening years I have, of course, gained further refinements to my understanding of secrets. I learned that having secrets was more complex than I first thought.
In some cases keeping secrets had a positive result:
- Demonstrating integrity
- Being trustworthy
- Respecting boundaries
- Avoiding gossip
In other cases keeping a secret was less impeccable:
- Playing it close
- Not telling all of the story
- Acting ignorant or playing it dumb
And at the times when I was most out of integrity secrets allowed me to:
- Hide things
- Lie outright
- Spread a rumor
- Gain control
Let’s just say I developed a complex relationship with secrets. :)
In 2003 I made an agreement to not be sneaky and lie. Around this same time I obtained a copy of the book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz. In the book the agreement to be Impeccable with my word seemed right but when I looked at the descriptions in the book that younger version of me started to look for loopholes. I was up against a lifetime of using secrets to make myself feel safer.
From then I worked on holding myself accountable for being sneaky and worked to determine what was driving me underneath anytime I was not impeccable with my word.
As I worked on this I found several themes:
- When I was afraid I was more willing to forgo my integrity and lie
- When I was angry I was more willing to tell a story that made me look good
- When I was sad I was more willing to be disappointed and to act hurt by others
- Shame and guilt from my lack of integrity only led to cycles of deceit
So today I've learned that for me the challenge of being impeccable with my word has more to do with my internal state than any issue of self control, morality, or discipline. I am able to live in my integrity when I am not being driven by my emotional reactions.
Patience with myself, self-forgiveness for my wrongs, and humility about who I am instead of shame and guilt are the path to living in my integrity. Through the blessing of God and the healing of love I can stay in my integrity, for love is the source of my patience, forgiveness, and humility.
As I increase my self-esteem and unveil my true potential and capabilities, I am less and less reactionary. When I’m more comfortable in my skin, I listen to that scared internal kid less and less. Those old memories come back from time to time like a long lost friend. I can treat them with love but not let them get a hold of me.
However, the road of life has potholes. So the secrets I keep and the lack of integrity I might show from inside a pothole are not a reflection of my highest self. They are instead reflections of my fear and frustration born from the rut in the road. With sincere kindness for self I will slow down for the potholes so I can pass through them without so much chaos, fear, or anger.
Thanks to Sreejit for another great Prompt. Thanks to you for reading and sharing in my blog. I wish love, joy, and serenity to you.