This question is marked "community wiki".

This question has a deep meaning for me...and maybe I'll share more as the answers come in.

Secrets have the power to destroy or make a person do crazy things that seem to make no sense to others. Secrets hurt- both the holder of the secret, and the action that caused the secret in the first place.

The intent of this question is to talk about how secrets hurt us- and how to help and even heal someone with a damaging secret.

I do not mean to imply that I have a deep, dark is just that other people's secrets hurt me badly. I want to understand them.



asked 05 Feb '12, 20:27

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 04 Dec '12, 02:35

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

I'm all ears; I would love to hear about your "meaningful" experience. I assume you did share it with someone and by doing so, it helped you. I don't need to know your deepest secret; just what it meant to you & why it was important for you to do so. Your insight is always welcome.

(06 Feb '12, 02:41) ele

@Barry: I would like to understand why you made this a Wiki question...I wanted to bring out a discussion about secrets, and the impact that they have on our lives. I do not agree that this should be a Wiki question. Can you explain? Jai

(06 Feb '12, 23:23) Jaianniah

@Jaianniah, Inward Quest is not a discussion site. It is a questions and answers site. Simon Templeton has explained this to you before: . I suggest you read the FAQ too:

(07 Feb '12, 09:42) Barry Allen ♦♦

I know no-one who could handle the way I would express myself if I let myself loose on honesty.

(05 Mar '13, 05:40) CalonLan

@CalonLan give it a try Cal...

(06 Mar '13, 08:50) ursixx

@ursixx, I mean in real life, where I have strong sense of identity of myself, and I can read off other people's eyes and face the reactions. Where I don't hide behind a computer, but put myself out there. Here nobody really knows me, I'm just a nickname on the site. You couldn't tell who I am if you met me on the street. It sort of loses its power to share here.

(06 Mar '13, 08:58) CalonLan
showing 1 of 6 show 5 more comments

The question has been closed for the following reason "Question is off-topic or not relevant" by IQ Moderator 30 Dec '13, 18:22

I tend to agree with LeeAnn. I feel that there are somethings that we will experience in this lifetime and they are totally meant just for our personality alone. The messages we are receiving would be at a different frequency than those around us making them unable to feel or sense that you were even receiving a message.The darkest secrets hold the most light. love and light.


answered 05 Feb '12, 22:57

Roy's gravatar image



"The darkest secrets hold the most light" I agree.

(05 Feb '12, 23:01) ele

i liked the comment ele. or his it that the secret of light his hidden to the people own darkness and that darkness keep them away from the light?

(06 Feb '12, 22:20) white tiger

@white tiger - I like your comment too and yes, the credit goes to Roy.

(07 Feb '12, 01:00) ele
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

Noooooo. I have more than one, and I never will if I can help it. Why not? Because I wouldn't want to burden others with something I am carrying just fine on my own. I can't think of any better explanation. I well remember several times when others unburdened themselves to me, and although they might have felt better for the moment, the manner in which I thought of them or saw them was changed forever. Plus perhaps they had added worry to me on top of that. Sometimes secrets are best held close or only told to strangers.


answered 05 Feb '12, 21:53

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1


"or only told to strangers" lol! Strangers are best - they have no preconceived ideas about you and tend not to be judgemental. I've divulged secrets to my hygienist and my stylist that I never shared with my friends....

(06 Feb '12, 04:14) ele

Yes Jai, I have. I advise it - The truth will set you free.

There was something that happened to me which I could NOT get over. I kept it private/secret. I thought about it - I dreamt about it and eventually I stopped dwelling on it. Even though I didn't actively think about it; it was always in the back of my mind - just waiting for something (anything) to trigger the memory and even worse - the emotion - the feeling. I kept attracting misfortune; one disaster or hardship after another. Towards the end, everything became so difficult; so hard. The day I let go of my secret was the day, one of the most important people in my life died. He took his last breath as I held his hand. My guard was down; I had to unburden myself. I had to be free. I couldn't take anymore tragedy. I told my story that night to someone who just listened; did not judge or advise. I needed to be heard, the story/ secret needed to be acknowledged/validated and then I was finally able to let it go... Bad luck no longer followed me and the secret no longer haunts me. I finally knew why bad things happen to good people - at least for me, - I was attracting bad luck by holding onto the fear and the feelings it created. Secret means hidden, to conceal, to be "separate" from. A secret is fear driven & concealing a secret creates more secrecy - more fear.

ETA - I hope I didn't imply I "attracted" or caused this persons death; I only mentioned it because it was the day I finally let it go..........

ETA - for me - letting go means forgiving .......


answered 05 Feb '12, 22:54

ele's gravatar image


edited 06 Feb '12, 03:58

I don't really have any secrets that I consider that deep. Then again, that could be because I'm generally an open person with close friends, and I have been blessed with many close friends to confide in over the years, including my cousin and best friend, who knows literally everything there is to know about me.

For me, the telling of secrets and personal things is a way of bonding with my friends, and it has been this way since I was a little girl at slumber parties where we'd tell each other which boys we liked. I see it as a gift, you are entrusting someone with something that makes you vulnerable. The more secrets that can be told, the deeper the friendship is. I can't imagine anything that I wouldn't be able to tell my cousin, even if I had done something as horrible as killing someone (which is very unlike me, so don't worry!) I would tell her, and she would do the same with me. It would be very hard for me to live without those kind of relationships.


answered 06 Feb '12, 14:10

cassiopeia's gravatar image



You are blessed...

(06 Feb '12, 14:20) ele

Hello Jai, if i wanted to share my deepest secret, for me anyway it's difficult to describe the intensity and color of an experience ... and even in our everyday lives everyone has their specific way of interpreting things ... image one hundred people seeing the same event, the chances are that they all would describe it in a different way ... and during the describing the person "listening" is constantly making a personal interpretation ... so it's not so easy to really communicate with profound exactitude huh ? :)


answered 06 Feb '12, 14:12

blubird%20two's gravatar image

blubird two


Exactly, blubird - what we interpret as huge; may not be significant to others at all. In Jai's case - all could already be forgotten and or forgiven....

(06 Feb '12, 14:19) ele

There are certain facts about my life that I do not readily share with just anybody. There are certain things in my life that I have done that I am not proud of and that have caused me shame but these I have forgiven myself for and see no reason to re-live/retell them they are in the past and they are not who I am now.
I do share some things that you might consider deep with individuals if I feel it will give them a sense of trust that "if he has been through that then I should be able to do it as well"


answered 06 Feb '12, 03:32

ursixx's gravatar image


edited 04 Mar '13, 19:08

Are our deepest secrets always are darkest? She said only deepest; yet, it seems many of us are thinking darkest - maybe because they are hidden and not in the light.

(06 Feb '12, 03:38) ele

@ele if you go deep enough it is quite dark.

(06 Feb '12, 03:43) ursixx

For some there is NO escape from the asylum... You mentioned forgiveing yourself & to me, forgiveness is synonymous with letting go...

(06 Feb '12, 04:04) ele

there is a difference between escaping and being released

(06 Feb '12, 04:27) ursixx

Yes, there is. Escaping may sometimes hurt other people; releasing sometimes is actually not the wisest course (see my answer).

(06 Feb '12, 04:50) Jaianniah

ursixx - I meant being both the prisoner as well as the jailer ....

(06 Feb '12, 14:02) ele
showing 2 of 6 show 4 more comments

I will now tell you of AA's 8th and 9th steps: Step 8: "Made a list of all persons we have harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." Step 9: "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." You can read about this in the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous" online here. I refer to pp. 76-81.

Here is the problem with secrets: If we tell some secrets, we may directly harm other people, and that includes ourselves, just to gain our own peace of mind. For example, say I had an affair. If I tell my husband, it may break up my marriage, and thus hurt both him and my children. In this case, it would be better not to tell the husband of the affair. (This is merely a hypothetical situation that I am using as an example.)

There is release when we tell secrets, but there is also the consideration of whether telling the secret will actually do more harm to others or myself, in this case, than if I just forgive myself and move on.

In my case, telling the secret would directly harm me and others, thus my dilemma. Who is safe to tell? It depends on the secret, and on the listener.

So I am caught between a rock and a hard place, in my case. What is right may actually be wrong.

Do you see my point?




answered 06 Feb '12, 04:47

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 06 Feb '12, 05:04

okay from an AA perspective I can see where coming clean with ones past is part of the rehab. and if you are going to make amends to someone about something you did as an alcoholic. Then that person is not the person your are now.True.? and on the other hand if the situation is about something not AA related it might be best "not to poke a sleeping bear" And just forgive yourself,learn and move on

(06 Feb '12, 07:56) ursixx

What are you MOST afraid of Jai? The consequences to YOU; due to your prior actions? Do you fear retribution? OR is it the harm the secret will do to your reputation? Here's the ? you should ask yourself? Will any good come to the person you harmed by confessing? Will it make their life better? Does this person still suffer from your "secret"? Is it still harming him/her? If your answer is yes, short of confessing - you need to make amends & there are many ways to make amends.

(06 Feb '12, 13:52) ele

Will the "truth" set the other person free? If it ONLY sets you free; than no, give it up to God. Stop judging yourself - it's NOT your job. Goodness/abundance will follow you; when you stop "feeling" guilt & shame & forgive yourself as you do others.

(06 Feb '12, 13:53) ele

Your deepest secret is a confession - I didn't interpret your ? this way. My secret didn't harm anyone but myself. What about the Catholic ritual of Confession? Confess to a priest. You can & do recite the rosary; which is already an act of contrition. He, through God, will absolve you of your "sin" if you ask for forgiveness and are repentant - then you can let it go. I'm sure you have already talked to God about this & he forgives you; why can't you forgive yourself?

(06 Feb '12, 13:54) ele

As for your hypothetical example, I don't agree at all; it could be just the opposite & when more than 1 person is involved; secrets don't always stay hidden & when they come out, the outcome/harm tends to be worse.

Yay, I posted ALL my comments under the wrong post.... duh!

(06 Feb '12, 13:55) ele

and there is a huge difference if you do something under the influence of alcohol or drugs.... or in your youth - when you know better - you will do better....

(06 Feb '12, 14:00) ele

Thank you, ele! My secret only involves myself, so I will think about what you have said...Blessings! <3

(06 Feb '12, 14:38) Jaianniah

Jai, for some reason I don't have an option to edit MOST of my comments. When I copied and pasted from above - I lost part of it. When I first wrote it - I said "I would make amends" - not "you should"... I didn't mean to tell you what to do. I see so much of myself in you. You mentioned you are getting counseling - if you trust him/her - tell them - they do NOT take detailed notes and your secret will be safe and I think it will make you feel better..

(06 Feb '12, 15:05) ele

"Do you see my point?" NO, I'm confused, I'm NOT "getting" your point - you said " telling the secret would directly harm me and others , thus my dilemma"; then you said " My secret only involves myself". What exactly is your dilemma if your secret doesn't involve anyone else? If you want to unburden yourself by telling a love one - I wouldn't - it's NOT their burden to carry and you're right, it could cause irreparable harm to the relationship.

(06 Feb '12, 16:24) ele

well ele god know so the confession to the priest would help in this has a world agent between men to re-balence them on the proper course if they did not cope with it.

(06 Feb '12, 22:34) white tiger

@white tiger - I think "rituals" help - whether it is confession & penance or the act of contrition OR simply writing down the secret, reading it, setting the paper on fire & then burying it...

(07 Feb '12, 01:04) ele

@white tiger - I think we are both thinking about "absolution" - the word escaped me yesterday...

(07 Feb '12, 14:35) ele
showing 2 of 12 show 10 more comments

This highly depends on is the secret a past thing long gone or a present on-going thing. In other words if it is a present on-going thing that would be something which is trying to be kept from being found out then no that is not good and would need corrected before everyone gets hurt.

Now if this is a fear of people finding out about something from your past then this fear is over something that only is now in your mind but in your mind from your memory. Others may know from your past but it is long forgotten and besides as we accept Jesus as our own personal savior we are washed clean and the old self dies to the world and we are reborn a new creation in Christ. In other words anything past has died to us we are not that person anymore and so that does not apply to who we are now thus it is not worth our time worrying over but better off left behind like the old self we left behind.

It is the attachment to the secrets that harm us as we fear being found out this can pull us deeper and deeper into fear and worry until we trust no-one. This all needs to be recognized as the a part of the old self that died away when you accepted Jesus, it does not play any part in the new you risen in Christ.


answered 06 Feb '12, 23:39

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 06 Feb '12, 23:42

Lovely perspective from the Christian point of view, Wade. Thank you! It will help so many, including me! Love you <3!

(06 Feb '12, 23:45) Jaianniah

I think Clarissa Pinkola - Estes discussed this in her book "Women Who Run with the Wolves" that we tend to guard and hide the unbeautiful aspects of ourselves out of shame and fear of being perceived as unworthy. Recently I had a dream in which I confided to someone, and even in the dreamstate I couldnt believe I could stand to reveal whats been bothering me for so long. Just like in real life, there wasnt any response. There isnt much empathy in the world. Which is why we havent found any real solutions to age old problems of hunger or poverty. We're so independent, and live such short lives, its really a wonder that anybody makes a difference at all. Generation after generation people continue to suffer with no end in sight, and nobody really gives a damn. Your secrets dont matter to anyone, if your entire life is inconsequential.


answered 07 Feb '12, 01:53

helenread25%201's gravatar image

helenread25 1

I have been taught by my religion (Christianity) that NO person is "inconsequential". NOBODY!!! "What is the price of two sparrows--one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it! But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Matthew 29-31) We ALL matter, no matter how humble our status. I believe this with all my heart. Love <3 Jai

(07 Feb '12, 03:27) Jaianniah

Ive been taught that your religeon is full of liars and hypocrites, or in other words, Faith without works is dead.

(07 Feb '12, 07:33) helenread25 1

@Helenread25 your sad comment of Christians is unfortunately true for many believe that they can do as they like and just claim to be Christian. Jesus said he will say to them judgement day "I do not know you." When you see the football player cross himself then kick an opponent in the head he pulls down everyone that believes, "That is what a Christian is like!" When you see the people that go to church on Sunday then on Monday rip someone off, these are not real Christians.

(07 Feb '12, 10:16) Wade Casaldi

We have a soup kitchen every Monday all the volenteres of the church come to this kitchen and feed people free and have fellowship with them. We are taught how to be true Christians in church if we are willing to listen. Our mission is to help God's kingdom to grow on earth, this means helping people, caring about people for no reason or reward other than as Jesus said "Here is my family." Humanity is our family when we help humanity we help God.

(07 Feb '12, 10:23) Wade Casaldi

Christians must remember they represent Christ and thus emulate Christlike qualities toward all always. Because if they fake it they do not believe what they read and worse yet they study but refuse to learn as if going to church is enough they just want to get through the gates when they die. That is not what a true Christian is it is a conscious choice we must always make "Would this be something pleasing to God or not?" A true Christian is in the heart not in the appearance.

(07 Feb '12, 10:29) Wade Casaldi

Most Christians need to learn how to be Christian, so most are what is called baby Christians. They are trying to learn and change, they do not yet have their eyes and hearts open as they are stuck in the ego world of what's in this for me.

(07 Feb '12, 10:37) Wade Casaldi

Unfortunately with Christianity being the biggest and most diverse religion of the world, as Jesus has said, "The workers are very few." Heidi Baker, look her up. She is in Mozambique for the Children there because she cares. She lives with them, feeds them and takes care of them, not because she "has to" but she wants to. That is the heart of Christ.

(07 Feb '12, 11:20) Wade Casaldi

Helen, what concerns me is if YOU feel inconsequential....This makes me hurt inside to think you may feel this way. Love, Jai

(07 Feb '12, 11:27) Jaianniah

@Jai - IMO, I didn't interpret Helen's comment the way you did. I think she is saying our secrets don't matter in the long run unless we are well know. For example - no one other than your loved ones would care if you, Jai had an affair, unlike the intern who just wrote a book declaring she had an affair with JFK a couple days ago. Then, a certain % of the population will want to know all your secrets.

(07 Feb '12, 12:32) ele

continued ... Years from now, when you're gone - how many people are even going to remember you; let alone care about your secrets unless of course you were famous? I think she was also trying to say secrets really only matter to the person keeping them and what we think is so awful is NOT so appalling to others

(07 Feb '12, 12:32) ele

Oh Ele yes like the old, "People are too worried what everyone thinks of them to be worried what they think of you saying." :-)

(07 Feb '12, 16:11) Wade Casaldi

@helenread25 1 "solutions to age old problems of hunger or poverty"" - true enough, compared to hunger or poverty; a question about secrets seems trivial; but we ALL empathized with Jai, as we would you if you shared your dream. "Empathy" - I have empathy, as do most of the souls here on IQ. I'm confident saying most everyone here on IQ is helping someone; if only to become more conscience - which will be the answer to these age old problems of war, hunger & poverty.

(08 Feb '12, 01:12) ele

continued....I do my best to feed the hungry, right here in this country & I've done so most of my life as generations of my family before me have. No, I'm no Mother Teresa & granted, it's on a much, much smaller scale; but I try to do what I can, whenever I can. I "get" your frustration; but a bitter attitude helps no one

(08 Feb '12, 01:14) ele

@helenread25 1 "live such short lives, its really a wonder that anybody makes a difference at all. Generation after generation people continue to suffer" - It will take more than one lifetime to eradicate hunger & poverty and for some, many lifetimes. Mother Teresa died before her work was done. I'm thinkin' she will be back; her work wasn't finished & I doubt if her past life was the first time she was here feeding the hungry & helping the poor

(08 Feb '12, 01:15) ele

@helenread25 1 " Ive been taught that your religeon is full of liars and hypocrites" -- taught??? I've read many of your responses to other ?'s. You are compassionate, intelligent, insightful & well read. Perhaps, the solution to "taught" is to educate yourself; then make an informed decision instead of making such a harsh blanket statement & pass judgment on large percentage of the world's population.

(08 Feb '12, 01:16) ele

continued... BTW, I don't like labels & I've never referred to myself as a Christian or ever claimed to be one - but I respect all faiths. Perhaps you should change the format of both your answer and your comment into a question or two, Helen. "Faith with out works is dead" has many interpretations....

(08 Feb '12, 01:19) ele
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Asked: 05 Feb '12, 20:27

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Last updated: 06 Mar '13, 08:58

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