Everything is not for everyone, and we rightly have a private side to our life and story. But keeping matters private is not the same as keeping them secret. And secrets have a way of causing more damage as they fester in the dark.
Generally, we prefer some degree of privacy when we go to the bathroom. We’re not doing anything secret per se, but we just prefer to do it away from the open interactions of others.
And a similar desire for privacy likely plays out throughout our life and relationships.
For instance, we might have many private thoughts and feelings that we prefer to keep between us and God alone. Or we might have quirky interests that we enjoy in private as well.
Privacy simply acknowledges our freedom to keep some things to ourselves.
On the other hand, secrets are a more intentional withholding of information from others. Certainly, this can be a professional requirement or when we’re otherwise charged with protecting the sensitive information of others.
But, on a personal level, secrets are often kept from those who have the right or privilege to know certain parts of our story. And it’s generally fear and shame that keeps us in hiding. It’s not that we simply prefer to keep the matter private, we fear how others might respond to us if they knew our dark secrets.
And this is where the power of secrets can take us out. It has less to do with the actual content of our secret, and more about the energy it takes to keep others from finding out. The fear and shame of exposure forces us to keep others at a distance and not get too close.
In the end, while there’s a place for privacy even in your close and intimate relationships, don’t let the fear and shame of keeping secrets destroy you. Honor your private space while still living your life in the light with your trusted others.