As a child, I learned an important lesson: secrets keep me safe.
I found this to be especially true if the secret involved a weakness. For example, there have been many times in my life when I was with a group of people who were having a conversation about a topic of which I know practically nothing. The most stark example is sports. I have never been one to enjoy watching sports or following players. In situations in which I was expected to know something about the sport of the day, I have kept my ignorance hidden. Nodding and borrowing key words or names from the discussion, I pretended that I knew the subject matter.
Overall however, I have found this skill not to be helpful. The artificial masks I learned to wear began to cut off my ability to breathe. At times, I struggled to determine which mask I should be wearing and exhausted myself trying to appease several audiences at once. The multiple facades that promised me protection became my prisons. My duplicity generated unbearable levels of hypocrisy and self-hatred. How could I ever be free of these shackles?!
The solution to my woes is so simple yet so difficult to implement. Through vulnerability I would find the way out of my misery. By allowing myself to be authentic and real, I began to expose my inner struggles and fears to others. With each step of honesty, the weight of shame was lifted.
Transparency became the key to my freedom and a gateway to true intimacy with those around me.
But how could I show my weaknesses without the crushing fear of being hurt tearing me apart? I could not travel the road alone. Under the Love and Protection of God, I am safe to brave the dangerous admissions of failure. In His Sanctum, I have no cause for concern or grief. If He loves me and accepts me as I am, all other opinions become irrelevant. I can bear my soul for the world to see, and my spirit can bask in Divine Light.