I think I'm good at keeping secrets. I mean, I think, I'm pretty good. But I can promise you that 5 years ago, I was waaaaaay better at keeping secrets. Now, to my friends and family that are scared that I'm about to put all they business in the streetz, don't worry, now is not the time.
I'm just simply saying, we have to garner much more self control these days than in years past to not blast every little precious thing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email. There's this urge to draw people in, to share, to have some sort of team on our side--a family so to speak.
There's this line from the Gospel of Matthew that says, "Don't cast your pearls before swine." And I fear, that we as a culture have put some of our most sacred and valuable secrets on display for just about anyone and everyone. With that, I mean on display for a particular sect of the general public that is simply walking by you casually in life, and not necessarily committed to you in any sort of way. Nor are they at all invested or able to contribute to the discussion that you are initiating through sharing your soul.
But in our quest for attention and affirmation we give away our prizes, our secrets, the secrets of others and the rules of discretion are thrown to the way side.
Now all this coming from the girl that shares about her virgin ways, singleness vow, and lack of french kisses.
True, I'm comfortable with a certain level of openness, but honestly I've been pretty forthright my whole life. My parents can attest to this. And getting older has just made me a bit more adventurous and bold. But I still abide by the rule of discretion, believe or not. There are things that I keep close to my heart. Things that I only share in detail with God, things I only verbalise with my mother. And things that I only repeat with close friends.
And when it comes to the stories of others, I make sure that I am aware that this is not just an okey-doke sort of thing, it's a precious thing, when someone shares their truth with you. The movements of their hearts, the questions in their minds, the sins they've committed, the pain they've caused.
I listen intently.
We lock eyes.
And I want them to never feel as though they have to tell me, "Please don't tell anyone else." I want them to automatically feel safe, and know their secrets are safe with me.
While, I may be full of raw openness at times, I've learned through trial and error that I cannot force that mindset and lifestyle on other people. I don't want to steal away people's opportunity to share their stories and their secrets on their terms. I also don't want to steal away their opportunity to be brave and to grow.
Discretion is described as:
"The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information."
credit: Google dictionary
Yes. Discretion is for grownups, for lovers, for friends, for kids, for families, for co-workers, for teachers, for me, for you.
Understand, I'm not advocating being politically correct in all manner of speech, but rather, wise and loving in the things you say out there in the streets (Internet, social media, emails, etc.).
So the next time you feel the urge to share all the details of your last break-up, your last crush online, or how Joe got fired, be aware of all parties involved. Although it is difficult, exercise love. Honor those involved, including yourself, and I admonish you to use discretion in the sharing of those impactful stories.
“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”
― Henry Green