Monday, September 2, 2013

Thank you for being honest

It’s funny that we feel the need to thank someone for being honest, but I understand why. It’s hard to be honest—with our friends, family, strangers, ourselves. I never really understood the power of truth until I saw how much damage one simple lie can cause.

It’s no secret I’ve had some rough patches in my life. I also think women tend to carry more guilt than men when it comes to life. And I tend to carry more guilt than most women—as least I feel that way sometimes.

I know there are things about my life that some people will never understand. I also know that most people understand more about my life than I give them credit. I never knew how common the problems that caused my divorce were until I started being honest. 

We all have our secrets. Some are bigger than others. Some have the power to destroy not just one life but many lives.

I had the chance to interview former reality show star RubyGettinger last week. She made me realize the important of honesty and how much power just one secret can have on our lives.

If you’re familiar with Ruby’s story, you know that she cannot remember her childhood. That’s the power of a secret. It can make you suppress memories, it can make you hurt yourself, it can make you hurt others.

Some of you know that I’ve been working on a memoir. I’ve been back and forth on it. I decided a few months ago to finish writing the memoir but publishing it as a novel.

Why? Because I worry about my children.  I worry about how they will handle the truth. I worry what the truth will do to others, too. What about my parents? What about other family members? What will people think about me as a person? The guilt and shame I still carry is almost disabling at times.

But then I see how much damage a secret can cause and realize that the truth may be painful for a little bit, but it won’t destroy anybody’s life. It cannot even hurt anyone unless they want to hide behind their secrets forever.

So, to everyone who has always been honest with me, “thank you for being honest.” And I hope you will say the same to me one day, too.

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