|Sunrise from my front porch|
One thing I have been mulling for a while now is the subject of Shame. One of my blogging friends wrote about her ability to keep a secret, and it reminded me of how I cannot. If you ever share something with me that you don't want other people to know, you are in trouble. I don't know why that is, but this has caused me to lose friends and even make a few enemies over the years. A secret, something that other people don't or shouldn't know, just burns inside me until I let it out by telling someone.
Now, having said that, I realize this was true about me many years ago, and I'm not sure that I'm still like that, since I don't actually have people tell me secrets any more. Plus, twenty years ago I married a very private person, someone who has taught me lessons over the years about how to keep things to myself. We have had numerous conversations about this topic, and I now actually feel a source of pride that I don't have to spill the beans, so to speak, every time I open my mouth.
Some people, like me, often speak without thinking. Just like this post, I often don't know for sure what I'm going to say when I begin to talk, and there are times when the subject surprises even me. It's almost as if I sometimes channel thoughts that come from a place I cannot access if I attempt to find it, but that come out unbidden, if I'm not careful.
Years ago, I read the entire Urantia Book, which is over 2,000 pages long and purports to have been written over many years by a man in a trance. He apparently knew nothing about the pages that came from him during the night, but all of these papers were gathered together in the early part of the twentieth century, published in book form, and now those ideas have quite a following. There is now a Urantia Foundation, I guess, and for many years while I lived in Boulder I attended gatherings of people who follow the tenets of the book. The book and its teachings were of great comfort to me at that time in my life.
But it does make me wonder if it's possible for something that huge, that involved, to actually come forth from the same place in that anonymous man's mind that I sometimes access in my own brain. It's really almost as if someone else said those things, although they come out of my own mouth. Or is this just a way for me to feel better about having shared secrets that were not mine to share? It's something I wonder about now and then. The human brain is definitely a mystery in many ways. I've always been fascinated by the unknown.
When I was young, I devoured every science fiction book I could get my hands on. There are themes from those books that I realize are now part of my own thought processes. They are familiar and no longer strange, and it's not possible for me to separate out the ideas that I took on from those books, ideas that someone dreamed up and have no basis in real life. But they seemed real to me at the time and now reside somewhere in the corridors of my mind. I may even have turned the fantasy into reality and have no awareness of it.
I guess where I'm going with this is to wonder whether it's possible for me to have changed enough that I can let go of the shame I associate with the long-ago telling of secrets. At first I tried to wiggle out of it by thinking to myself that I didn't actually have the ability to censor what came out of my mouth, but that's not true. I found a secret to be a burden that I wanted to unload, to get out from under, and telling another person released me from that burden.
There is one secret in particular that I especially regret. I didn't even realize that the person I told used the information to injure the other until much later. It was someone who saw me as a friend, who later told me why she wouldn't talk to me any more, why she hated me so much. I was terribly chagrined, sorry for the pain I had caused, and for many years I suffered when I thought of her. I have tried, in recent years, to find her again, but it's impossible, since women change their last names, to follow the trail of where she is now. I just want to tell her again that I'm sorry.
Perhaps admitting it here will give me some further release from that transgression. In any case, I now think that if someone were to tell me a secret, I would not immediately look for someone to share it with. In fact, now that I think of it, I harbor quite a few secrets that people have told me over the years, and they don't seem to be a burden at all. I'm different now.
And when I started to write this post, I didn't know that. I didn't realize how much I have changed. In fact, I think I can forgive that younger version of myself without any help at all. Perhaps the only thing I needed to do was to write it down and give her a voice, a chance to ask for forgiveness.
When I started this post, I had no idea, really not the slightest, where it would go. Now I actually feel a bit lighter, a bit cleaner, than I did when I began. I hope that this post finds my readers enjoying what is left of the weekend and perhaps a little bit lighter, too.