THE BLOG

Redefining Secrets in Our Global Village

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

"The secrets I receive reflect the full spectrum of complicated issues that many of us struggle with every day: Intimacy, trust, meaning, humor, and desire." So says Frank Warren, the creator of the PostSecret Project, a blog full of secrets anonymously shared via postcard.

We long to express ourselves and our humanness, fatalities and all. I think if we can understand these as universal experiences, then perhaps we will be better able to respect the diverse ways in which these shared themes are expressed by all people. There is an old saying in the psychotherapy world: "You are only as sick as your secrets". But, I would revise that saying, as the result of seeing Frank Warren's "Half a Million Secrets": "You are only as healthy as your secrets expressed." Secrets are something we all have and hold. We must seek to find the safety to practice secret telling. Secrets, as demonstrated in the video, reflect the full spectrum of human nature. We must also learn to care and safely hold the secrets of others.

The phenomenon that Frank Warren demonstrates is the longing we all have -- the longing for connection -- connection to others and connection to ourselves -- as a whole -- including both the darkness and light. -- Jonathan Appel

It has become commonplace, or even a cliché to refer to people today as living in a global society or global village. Globalization is the increasing interconnectedness of the economies, peoples, as well as the politics of various countries of the world. It is ironic as we have become more "globalized -- connected almost 24/7 via technology and social media -- many people have become more disconnected. We have become more disconnected from each other. We have also become more disconnected from oneself. The phenomenon that Frank Warren demonstrates is the longing we all have -- the longing for connection -- connection to others and connection to ourselves -- as a whole -- including both the darkness and light. There is always a price for divorcing ourselves from each other and ourselves. We seek release and to come out of hiding -- but this requires safe shelter. How many of us feel the luxury of care and acceptance in this hyper-competitive and hyper-critical cyber-based world in which we live? Are we able to be at home in the world or with at least one human being? Do we hold back -- and deny our own selves and emotions? It can be out that this emotional holding or "binding", which takes us out of the total present (fundamental) contact with life. The results are that we are out of sync with ourselves and the true experience of living. But, when we releases old trapped energies by sharing our secrets -- our sense of identity shifts from the physical stress of holding back -- towards the cathartic expression of a unified connection that is inherently possible within the human experience.

In telling our secrets to others (even anonymously), we are holding up a mirror to see the simple but profound truth of what "is." Is this perhaps the secret to life?

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