This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
Keeping secrets is something we all do for various reasons. It usually starts with fretting about negative blowback we might experience if others knew the truth. This can be worry about being judged and found wanting, fear of being pitied, concern about reprisals, and on and on. The reality is that whatever our oh-so-important secret, others usually spend only moments on our situation and then revert back to focusing on their own lives.
There’s a saying: “A secret is something you tell one person at a time.” Most of us have a need to unburden by sharing our secret with someone whom we think we can trust with it. Although we swear our trusted agents to secrecy, we ruminate that they might deliberately or by accident tell another. Sometimes, we instruct our agent not to share our secret only with select persons.
That puts an additional burden on our designee not only to live his/her own life with all its attendant stresses and yes, even secrets, but to remember not to share our secret and with whom not to share it. That’s called “dumping,” people.
It’s not easy being the dumpee. The one placed in that role now has a new stressor: keeping your secret. It’s hard enough keeping their own, but now they have the worry of yours they might accidentally spill, potentially incurring your wrath and/or damaging the relationship. Sometimes, the dumpee may deliberately spill your secret for their own gain—remember Linda Tripp? Google her if you don’t.
Secrets range from tiny ones to great big ones. The degree of weight of the secret is usually decided by the owner. However, it’s often not given the same level of importance by those learning it.
The keeping and managing of secrets is a wearisome process. We must remember who we told and didn’t tell, why it was so important to keep the secret, what to do if others learn about it, and what we must do if we want to divulge it to the world and finally get on with our lives.
Will we ever reach the time where the matter kept secret loses it power over us? How about now? In my memoir, I shared my secret of feeling self-conscious and inadequate in my younger years and of having crippling stage-fright for so much of my life. When I had the nerve to tell the world, those bonds lost their power over me. Revealing our secrets can be so liberating.
Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: email@example.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, contact me at the aforementioned email address, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.
Photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA