Writing prompt #6: Secret

This is a good one. Secret. We all keep secrets. I’m not sure whether to tell you one or talk about the concept.

I guess if I told you one it wouldn’t be much of a secret, would it?

I hear the word secret and I think of the movie “The Secret Garden”. I don’t know why, but I always do. I loved that movie. Something about the hidden passages and the hidden meanings in things. The family secrets, the secret friends, the gentle secretive way the young boy teaches the girl about the garden, the quiet love triangle between the three young protagonists. Fabulous movie.

The thing with secrets is we always know about them deep in our hearts. Even if no one else does. We always remember. Do you believe that you have told that one person, or persons, absolutely every secret of your life? I believe my best friends know my secrets. I wonder if they know all of them. I wonder if I know all of theirs. And if I don’t, does that make our friendship any less special or meaningful? (The answer to this rhetorical question, in my eyes, is no.)

Why do we keep secrets? Because we are ashamed of what people may think of us if they knew? We are guilty for things we have done? We may lose jobs, friends, family, social status, power? Many secrets are things we have done in the past, but we keep them hidden incase people in our lives now don’t understand, or judge because of them.

Secrets can be very different. In many ways. We often refer to secrets as being a size, as if we can quantifiably measure them. Grab your ruler and protractor people, we’ve got a live one! Measure that bad boy up! Oh, I’d say he’s a big one!

Who decides on the size of a secret? Who gauges the morale implications of one? Or the real world impacts? Is a secret the same as a lie, or different. All these things I guess depend on whether the eye of the beholder is the lier or the lie-ee. I guess that is why the common thing is society is to frown upon secrets, because they imply a certain amount of deceptiveness.

I think keeping secrets is apart of who we are. I think that every thought unspoken is a secret, and if we spoke everything we ever thought…well firstly, we’d be talking a lot more than we already do, and secondly, we’d probably get into trouble a lot. Some things in our heads are not meant to be shared.

Some things are allowed to stay within us. They are us. And when someone wakes me up really early by opening the blinds wide with bright, bloody sunshiny light, they don’t want to know what I’m thinking. Or when someone takes a really long time to get my coffee and it’s crap. Or when my bestie rings me and tells me HER secret. These things probably shouldn’t be shared with the wider community.

Secrets are a subject of trust. It’s how you find people in your life worth trusting. From a young age it is something we do, trust people with our secrets when we deem them worthy. Are they loyal? Can they keep my secrey? Will they? These develop into relationships of love and respect. Well, sometimes, when the secrets are kept anyway.

As adults we don’t tend to use the word secrets very much, we usually say something like “well you didn’t hear it from me…but…” and “I shouldn’t be telling you this.” These, and phrases like these are adult code speak for “I am about to trust you with a secret, can you pinkie swear on it?”

I could go on about this but I won’t. I will leave you with some final questions. What does the word “secret” mean to you? Do you think secrets are something nasty? Or do you think they are important? Have you been burned by a secret? Do you have one? (no need to confess). Do you believe that telling people secrets is how we begin to learn about trust and loyalty? Give me your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

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