Is It Okay to Have Secrets?

I was playing a game of Truth with a friend. It’s Truth or Dare without the Dare. We alternated asking questions that both of us had to answer honestly. Some of the questions were silly, some were deep. One of them was philosophical: what do you think about secrets?

This is what I thought:

I have lots of secrets. There are two reasons I keep secrets.

The first reason is because I’ve got shameful things to hide. If I never did anything shameful or had things in my life I was ashamed about, I wouldn’t need to keep secrets.

The second reason is because I’m afraid people will think less of me if they knew my secrets. I keep secrets because I think less of me and reject myself. If we didn’t judge each other and ourselves, I wouldn’t need to keep secrets.

When I think about my relationship with God, though, there are no secrets and he doesn’t reject me.

The question of secrets made me think of Genesis 3. It models what our relationship with God looks like, which models what our relationships with each other should look like.

Adam and Eve had nothing to hide until they did something that brought shame. They wanted to keep it secret from God, and they hid themselves. But God didn’t want them to hide despite their shame. He called them out into the open and covered them. He didn’t reject them; he loved them.

This tells me the shameful things in my life aren’t a reason to keep secrets. It also tells me our relationship with God and with each other can be an open, honest, and secret-less one without rejection.

The reality is, though, people often reject each other and so I have something to fear. It’s taught me to keep secrets to protect myself, and instead of stepping into the open as God calls me to, I hide.

But even without the model of Genesis 3, keeping secrets doesn’t feel right to me because inside I know I feel trapped, locked up, and restricted. I feel like I can’t be myself. But when I share a secret, it feels like freedom. This tells me I’m not meant to keep secrets and I’m not meant to hide.

So what do I think about secrets? I want to have none. Even though it’s scary and rejection might come, I want to live a secret-less life.

What do you think about secrets?

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18 thoughts on “Is It Okay to Have Secrets?

  1. I believe that secrets tend to be things we keep because we do not wish to face them. We find reasons to help us keep them but eventually they become a dishonesty to the self and possibly an avoidance of loving our person.

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    1. I guess there’s more than two reasons why I keep secrets. But I reckon I want to face all of my secrets. Maybe not all at once and maybe not now, but eventually. Sometimes it feels like such a desperation to want to deal with everything and to let everything out.

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  2. I am not so sure, today I think there are no secrets at all in my life. But not everybody knows everything. Sometimes I leave things out cause I think it will hurt others or just cause I think they do nit have to know.
    There are some points in life people just dont talk at all and hide it.. feel ashamed etc. A lot of time u learn when u talk about it, that u dont have to feel ashamed cause most people face the same problem or cause.. and a lot of these things are not spoken about cause we are taught nit to do so.. abd this again is about culture and history…
    For me.. there are no reasons today to hide anything…

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    1. It’s all so messy in reality, but I love that one day there just won’t be any of this complication. There will just be openness and the freedom that comes from that when there is only love and no shame. Until then, I’m navigating what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and who to say it to. But I guess most of all I’m trying to not let shame have a say in the matter. Thanks heaps for sharing your thoughts. I think it’s one of those topics with lots of differing opinions and because I can see where each side is coming from, it makes it hard to navigate. But ideally, no secrets for me.

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  3. This is an interesting topic. Yes, I have secrets, but they’re not complete secrets that nobody knows. My family knows all of my secrets, but not everyday people. I really think some people are very judgmental. Sometimes opening up to tell secrets also opens us up to unkindness. You have to really know someone is genuinely in your corner before you tell a secret to them.

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    1. There are so many facets to this topic. I love how everyone brings out something different. There are so many different ways to approach it and I could only cover one in the post, but I love the comments highlighting different things. Thanks for sharing yours. It also helps me know what I’m trying to say. I think it’s basically: I don’t want to hide.

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  4. If you share a secret and someone rejects you because of it, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. Being vulnerable helps us to grow and to connect with other people, it’s an act of bravery. The best people will understand that you made a mistake, but that you don’t need to be punished or thought less because of that. They will embrace you and share a secret of theirs too.

    Everyone has secrets of course, but we need to learn to get them out: this builds confidence and trust in a relationship. It creates deep bonds. That’s the kind of relations I want to have in my life. 🙂

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    1. Yep, learning not to be ashamed, I think is where I’m at. Learning freedom instead of shame. Thanks heaps for sharing your thoughts. Love all the different viewpoints. I know some people are all for being open books and others are all for not saying anything that isn’t necessary that might hurt or that isn’t safe to tell. And people can get quite adamant about their view. I reckon both views are valid and everything in between, but in all that, I just don’t want to hide.

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      1. I understand both viewpoints, and if it works for them that’s great! I just think we shouldn’t shut up because of the fear of hurting their feelings. I do that a lot, but want to change it. Because when I see someone hurting themselves by the choices they’re having, I don’t want to be the one faking it’s fine. I want to open their eyes, and at the same time, support them. And I always prefer people that are honest to me, if I’m making a mistake I’d like to know about, so I can change.

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  5. I had lived nearly 25 years with a dark secret that once revealed destroyed my family… that was built on lies. While I have had to rebuild my life after revealing my secret, I am so much more at peace knowing I no longer have that shadow following me around, everywhere I go.

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    1. You just inspired a thought: Freedom can be costly. Sometimes it takes pain and destruction, and then rebuilding to be free. The question is: how willing are you to be free? I think some people aren’t that willing, and who can blame them! But I reckon I want to go there. Thanks for the insight!

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  6. Another thought provoking article. So many secrets people have. I feel like people would keep secrets because either they don’t want someone to think less of them or they don’t want to hurt someone. If life were simple I would wish there were no secrets, that people learned from their mistakes and then there would be no need for secrets, but I don’t think everyone would feel strongly enough to continuously do this. People get lazy, let their guard down, are selfish..it takes a lot of work to consciously try not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I think that people should try to be mindful of their actions and do their best to be a good person and spread positive energy.

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      1. Yes, I agree!! It could change the world so much if people just put a bit more effort in being mindful of how their actions may affect others – I think.

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