When my children were little, in an attempt to help them listen to their inner voice I would often counsel, “If you can’t wear it across your forehead, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.” It’s good advice, and I have tried to live my life with this little phrase in mind.
Many of us do things we don’t want others to know about. We get very creative about how we hide what we’ve done, rationalizing that as long as no one finds out, everything is ok… Things like how much we’ve eaten, the money we’ve spent, who we are dating, where we were after work, etc. We justify the secrecy, the evasion and skirting of the truth by saying it’s no one else’s business. We ‘don’t want to hear it’, fearing what others will say.
True, it may not be anyone else’s business, but why does it have to be hidden? What will happen if others find out? If you are justified in what you are doing, why do you care what others will say? After all, it’s your life - don’t you have the right to do what you want?
I believe that in many cases, hiding indicates guilt or shame. Guilt and shame speak of an underlying belief that deep down we don't feel we deserve to have what we want. That we are not good enough, or worse, that we are a bad person for wanting what we want. We fear others reactions will only be further proof that we are bad. If we keep it secret, no one will know. If no one knows, no one can judge us.
Some will disagree, defending that they have a right to privacy. Certainly not everything is appropriate to tell all people, but what if someone did find out, how would you feel? Would you feel confident and secure in your actions regardless of what others think or do, or would you immediately begin to backpedal, lie and manipulate things so that the truth remains hidden?
A fear of being honest about the things we’ve done is a red flag. The next time you feel this, I encourage you to ask yourself why. Why don’t I want to ‘hear it’? Why don’t I want anyone to know? Is it truly because it’s a private matter or is it to allow me to continue to hide? Remember, hiding feels like shame. Shame is not feeling good enough.
You deserve to want what you want. Have the confidence and courage to own your actions. If you can’t, if you simply can’t bear what someone will think, or what your actions say about you, then as I tried to convey to my children, maybe it’s not something you really want to be doing.
Think about it. Can you wear it across your forehead?
As always, it is my goal to uplift, inspire and help others to heal their lives. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this with you. - Kim