ARE YOU LIVING WITH A SHAMEFUL SECRET?

DISCOVER HEALING FROM THE PAIN

T.D. Jakes, on his TV talk show, discussed how people spend many years of their lives managing their hurtful secrets.  Furthermore, author and pastor, Rick Warren stated, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.”

Do you live with an embarrassing secret? If so, read on to discover how you can experience healing from its emotional devastation.

IS THIS SECRET HURTING YOU?

Whose secret is it? (Ecclesiastes 12:14)  Does this secret belong to you or someone else?  No matter what, you can get rid of its emotional grip on you.

How is this secret affecting you? (Ephesians 5:12-15)  Life coach, Martha Beck, advises,“First ask yourself, and possibly an impartial adviser, whether the secret is harmless or destructive.”

Why are you carrying this secret? (Luke 12:2-3)  Your answers could include: “I’m afraid.” “I have to protect someone.” “I am ashamed.”   However, keeping any secret that harms you mentally and spiritually is never advisable.

HEALING THE PAIN

Pray about your secret God wants you to be healed from the secret’s devastating grip on your emotions.

  • Talk to God about your secret. Do this if you do nothing else.
  • Believe in God’s power to heal you from the hurt you are feeling.

Confide in someone else. Martha Beck also suggests confiding to whoever can be an honest, open, and positive source: A professional counselor, minister, or a trusted friend.

  • Share how the secret is making you feel.You do not have to betray someone’s confidence by sharing the details of her secret.
  • You should certainly tell someone your secret if you or someone else is in immediate danger or is the victim of a criminal act.

Have a meeting with the person whose secret you share. Here are some suggestions for how to release your hurt from the harmful secret that you share with another person.

  • Meet with the person face-to-face if it is safe to do so.
  • Speak to the person using only “I” statements such as “I feel…”
  • Avoid using “you” statements such as, “You made me feel…”
  • Let the person know you are now releasing the secret’s power over you.
  • The person may not be sympathetic to you or understand your feelings.  Expect it. This is ok.

Have a solitary meeting.  You may not feel comfortable having a face-to-face meeting with a person. The person may have moved out of your life or died. In these cases, you can try the following exercise alone.  If it becomes too painful for you, stop immediately. Seek professional counseling to help resolve this issue.

  • Sit while facing a vacant chair. In the vacant chair is the person whose secret is hurting you.
  • Talk to the person as if he or she was there. Again, using “I” statements, tell them how this secret has harmed you.
  • Let the person know you are now releasing the secret’s power over you.
  • Literally say, “Goodbye” to the secret.
  • Pray each day for help to let the pain go until you no longer feel victimized by it.

Forgive. Whatever method of release you use, the final step is forgiveness.

  • Keep in mind, forgiving someone does not let the offender off the hook.
  • Forgiving is God’s remarkable way of healing your hurt.
  • You must make a decision to forgive. You cannot base forgiveness on how you feel.
  • If needed, be sure to forgive yourself also.

FINALLY…

If your secret involves abuse with someone who may physically hurt you or another person, do not try these interventions. You need professional help. Please dial 911 for help as soon as it is safe to do so.

Help is available. We are praying for you.

 

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