Monthly Archives: July 2012

Secrets kill.

I spent part of my day today in Washington, DC, traveling there with my daughter to see the AIDS quilt. It is a powerful expression of love and loss, in general for sure, however, our journey there was to see the panel that my siblings and I had created for our brother, Jeff, who died of AIDS related complications twenty years ago this March.

As I anticipated going there today, knowing it would be a long drive, and an emotional experience, I thought about secrets. Secrets that he had and kept, ones that I had and kept for much of my life, and that many of the members of my family had learned to keep about themselves throughout there lives. How so many people that I know keep so many secrets, so many parts of who they are hidden from others.

Secrets kill. They kill the body, mind, soul, and being of a person. Secrets are those thoughts that are kept in the darkness of our thoughts and that we make out as the truth, until we bring them into the light and get them sorted. Secrets do no good to anyone, and can create so much damage to the human soul.

My brother had secrets, secrets that no doubt pushed him along on a path of self destruction. Secrets that if he had told earlier in his life, may have made the difference for him. Secrets that caused great pain to others around him, and to himself.

Secrets kill.

When we believe that we have to keep ourselves hidden, we die inside. We let a part of ourselves float away. We come to believe that to tell something about ourselves will harm others or bring judgment to us. I have thought that those were great reasons to keep secrets over the years. Now, I view it differently. I believe that to hold those thoughts, like I can never tell, kills my spirit, and it does more damage to my relationships by not telling, because it means I am living a lie, rather than coming clean and being my true self.

So, as I stood in the rain today, seeing just an image of the panel that we had created for our brother, I knew that his secrets had been part of what killed him, and I remembered again with resolve, why I won’t keep them anymore, and will teach my daughter the same.

I want to live.

My big sister.

Two months ago, I got to spend the day with my big sister, Cindy. It had been a long time since we had been able to have real one on one time together like that. It was the first time that I was at her house. It was the first time that I got to see how she created her space that she has for herself. Although it was really short, it was so special.

I remember as I grew up, watching her do her teenaged routine, that I envied and thought was so cool. Her hair was really long and dark, and she would use a clothes iron to flatten it on the ironing board. She would wash her hair with mayonaise to keep it shiny, and would roll it with orange juice cans. She smoked cigarettes, burned incense, listened to great music, and dressed really cool. I was in total awe.

Over the years, with families, distance, and me not caring enough to stay more connected, we didn’t have much communication at times. Lately, I understand more than ever how important it is to stay connected on a regular schedule with those that we love the most. To keep the connections open, and growing deeper as time goes on. I am more aware than ever of the brevity of the time that we have on this earth, and how I don’t want to waste any chance to keep diving deeper and knowing those around me as much as I can.

My big sister may live far from me, but she is always deeply in my heart, and my mind, and am so grateful to have her in my life.

The power of sharing.

I have embarked on some pretty significant changes in my life, starting this week. Tomorrow, I begin part time status from my day job, and stepping more definitively into my journey as a life coach with the Handel Group. I will be working from home more, and getting ready to make my big break before the end of 2012. I am ready for it, so ready.

Yet, all last week, I wanted to bail. I wanted to run the other way, away from the change. I wanted, and I tried, to postpone it, to stop the wheels that I had already put into motion. However, it had already been decided, and my decision had to go forward.

I spent much of last week scared, hiding, and pretending that I was great with it all. I was great, with most of it all, and most of the time. And, I also felt filled with fear about how it was going to turn out at other times.

So, yesterday morning, I went to one of my favorite AA meetings, that I haven’t been to in awhile. It is in a new location, and as it turned out, we actually held it inside of the actual church, sitting in pews, the leader of the meeting sitting near the pulpit. Fascinating.

The topic of the meeting, was change. And, although I have shared before in meetings, I had a lump in my throat before I started to share what I knew that I had to. That change can be difficult, and unwanted, even when we want it. The funny part of this change, is that I was wanting it, wishing for it to happen. I laid the ground work; I put it into motion. And then, I wanted to stop it.

I shared my changes with the group, felt emotional, yet connected, and I felt so much better. Every person in that room that shared, has trouble with change, just like me. The difference with this change, for me, is that, if I get stuck, overwhelmed, or feel like I need to do something different, I don’t have to drink over it. I have lots of support around me to take another path and still feel great about where I am going.

There is tremendous power in not living in my head, and using the resources around me to get support, and to know that I am not alone. It is one more example of why I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be, learning the lessons I most need to learn.