- Rule #1: Always tell the truth.
- Rule #2: Just be ME. Don’t hide anything.
- Rule #3: Be nice to my sister.
None of those rules work anymore.
Considering Rule # 1, as I wrote in my post, Is Truth Overrated?, we realize telling the truth doesn’t help much anymore. First, not many people believe the truth and two, lots of people don’t want to know the truth. Third, too many of us lost faith in truth and joined the club where lies equal gain.
Rule #2, Don’t hide anything was all about protecting my high school reputation, which actually didn’t exist. Nobody cared that much about me. But in case someday I did get noticed, I figured if I were hiding some big bad secret about myself and somebody found out about it, I could be blackmailed with a few malicious words like, “If you don’t stop talking to Janet Maloney, I’m gonna tell everybody I saw you beating off in the boy’s room.”
If you just winced a bit, you’re not alone. Pleasuring ourselves is something so private we don’t talk about it, and God forbid, we should never be caught doing it. So yeah, we definitely conceal our many just-us climaxes and toilet business which contradicts my don’t hide anything rule. It doesn’t apply lots of times.
But the truth be told, just being YOU and honest cannot protect your integrity. Reputations are attacked and destroyed with lies all the time. There were so many attack ads flying back and forth before the elections, few people knew what to believe. Everywhere we look, whatever we read, there’s more proof that lots of people are really nasty and we have reasons to be scared. Nobody trusts anything.
So where do we find relief from a depressing world? We watch what we’re hiding – masturbation and sex on porn sites. As Google Analytics clearly points out, over 40% of the internet shows brazen people breaking all the privacy rules. I blogged about this in Sexual Privacy – Is that Hip Anymore? We all crave feel-good escapes.
Rule #3 – Be nice to my sister? We don’t talk anymore. Her decision, not mine. Oh well.
Lets go back to Be YOU. Don’t hide anything. This commandment worked well through college because life was simpler back then. Young people were generally honest. Sure, there was party bad-mouthing and gossip, but it didn’t take down lives or cause suicides. There wasn’t an internet. Nothing bad spread too far. Reputations could be reestablished with a move to another city. Now we have revenge porn and hackers looking for cell phone shots. Now things get wildly out-of-control everywhere. Now there’s no place to hide. Now we have to be really, really careful.
Back in the day I just had to be sorta careful. Of course there was lying, stealing and cheating but it felt far away, and it was. Still, watching the wars and political corruption on just three TV channels, I became sadly disillusioned. Who could I totally trust? Just myself in my own private world. I lived there a lot.
Then I met my future wife and Rule #2 euphorically rebooted. That’s because our connection wasn’t only about infatuation and sex. It was about trusting again and a return to comforting honesty. With this new woman, I felt I could be ME. I wasn’t afraid of judgments so I didn’t censor thoughts, fears, cravings and private stuff. With my new found devotion came new found freedom. No more second-guessing about appropriate responses for approval. Simply put, we were in love.
Then the glow dimmed, and although it took some time, after a while we both decided each of us could use some improvement. You all know what I’m talking about. Our Total Acceptance halos warped with the insistence that each other change. Since I wasn’t ready to accept all items on my wife’s to-do list, nor did she want to conform to mine, we retreated six steps back into our private worlds where we could do our thing without the lectures. Sound familiar? Here’s more.
In some cases, doing our own thing relied on little lies. Not big game-changing lies, more like holding back information about those life-habits we didn’t want to give up. And when those conflicting habits turned into periodic fights, we’d call a truce and retreat to our personal sanctuaries for re-thinking. Once cooled off with emotions back under control, we’d bring up the conflicts again and work out the compromises.
We’ve kept this system going for thirty-nine years. It works because lying is kept to a minimum and honesty is a priority. There are certain promises you just can’t break to keep a relationship together.
Cut to: The Present. My wife is not my fan. She doesn’t peruse my blog and I had to push her to read my books. Well yeah, she watches me perform in my band but my current personal domain she rarely sees or feels she needs to. That goes both ways. My wife does things that don’t include me. There’s a good reason. I’d be bored. We meet in the place where there’s mutual interest. It’s a big space and it keeps changing. It keeps changing because we have our lives together and we have our lives apart, so there’s always new stuff to learn from each other.
Do you have a secret life all your own? Do you have a place of retreat where no one tells you what to do or what to believe? Is there a hidden part of you that’s 100% pure and honest, with all your warts, defects, fuck-ups and naughty shit reflected back to you in your personal mirror?
Do you like and respect that exclusive YOU?
I hope so. I hope you’ve made your Secret YOU special and precious because it is. Your invisible YOU hasn’t conformed to expectations. Your disguised YOU is entirely unique – not made to fit in or blend. Your hidden YOU is an entire universe unto itself and you’re IT! You make the rules. You decide who you are without judgments, influences or validations. And if you’ve purged self denial and lying to yourself, it’s the only place you can totally trust.
WAIT! There’s more!
Your secret YOU is the only space where you can make mistakes and no one cares because no one knows about them. You’ve got unlimited time and space to experiment with new thoughts and abilities. Everyone needs a safe Secret Space to grow. Have you built one for yourself?
Now lately I’ve been a list-maker and this post has more of them. I can’t leave this page without mentioning the secret bad stuff, ‘cause obviously there’s plenty of private thoughts and actions that are totally screwed up and end up as shocking headlines in the news.
We all know that secret thoughts about stalking, suicide, gun fights with police, sex with minors, beheading non-believers, raping strangers and shooting into crowds is destructive to say the least. Insane private worlds of tortured souls are dangerous and we try to avoid them. Thankfully there aren’t that many super crazies out there. Thankfully you’re not one of them. So I’m not writing about that.
I’m writing about the negative thoughts I’ve discussed before, like paranoia, suspicion and distrust; fears about authority, matrimony, sexuality, religion, politics, gender differences and that never ending anger about loss of control.
- This is the stuff that makes us unhappy.
- This is the stuff that leads us into warring groups of US and THEM.
- This is the stuff that eats us alive until we throw it out and see it for what it is.
- This is the stuff that kills love, trust and security.
- This is the stuff that’s reinforced by people who want to control us, by those who deceive us as they promise to be our friends and protectors.
- This is the stuff we can no longer have simmering in our private worlds.
Contradictions don’t help!
- We can’t hate on the inside and pretend to love on the outside.
- We can’t pray for safety while denying safety to others.
- We can’t strive for abundance as we protest those less fortunate.
- We can’t demand loyalty when we cheat on our own commitments.
- We can’t expect freedom when we deny others the right to be who they are.
- We can’t insist on the truth when we lie to ourselves.
Double standards break everything apart, inside and out. We all need our private worlds but if they don’t match the rest of us, we’re cleaved in half, scared, depressed and angry about it.
I don’t want to be angry. You don’t either.