Humans are social beings by nature. At some point in our lives, we seek acceptance, intimacy and a sense of belonging.
Little children are happier when they are accepted into a group and are included in group play. Adolescents feel good about themselves when they have two or more friends they can share their secrets and problems with and adults find fulfillment in intimate relationship with another adult who love them and accept them for who they truly are.
Sometimes what gets in the way of our developing a strong and meaningful relationship with another human being is fear — fear of not being good enough to be liked by them or accepted by them because of our stories.
Sadly, our childhood stories are not as charming as we would’ve liked them to be, but this does not stop us from taking the risk of opening ourselves up to another human being and see if they’d like to be ‘friends’ with us. After all, if we truly see them as our friends, then they deserve to know who we truly are.
But, do they?
Before you share your secrets…
Being honest about who you really are is the most liberating thing to do; no doubt about it. In fact, there is nothing more liberating than staying true to your self. But does being true to ourselves require us to share our deepest secrets to those we consider our friends?
Not long ago, a group of adolescents came to my office seeking help on how to handle cyberbullies. Like I said, not everyone has a pleasant childhood. In fact, many of us have not-so-pleasant ones, and it so happened that one of the girls in the group had just that.
In her desire to be accepted, she shared her deepest secrets to a few she considered her true friends, but alas! Not all of them were very true at all. They shared her secrets and now she has become the favorite subject of their malicious banters — in person or in social media.
So, does everyone we consider friends actually deserve the right to hear our story? the answer is a big fat NO! there is a thin line between being honest about ourselves and sharing our precious secrets to friends. As it was said in the Bible, we should not cast our pearls before pigs.
“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”
You are precious and so is your story — no matter how dark they may seem. You share your story only to those who earn your trust and deserve the right to hear it.
To All Pilgrim Parents…