As we welcome 2020, and all that comes along with embracing another 365 days — should we be so lucky — it has come to my attention that far too many die and leave a legacy of secrets, pain, and unfinished business, judging by the behaviors of the ones who are left to carry on with what I coin “the legacy of lies.”
I will openly admit, that as humans, it is hard to discuss what we decide to take to our graves, and because of the memory or pain it may cause, was too much to bear. I have seen it happen too many times to count, and as I get older, I’ve become more aware of the lasting damage caused over time.
So here is some truth for you — a secret is only a secret if you are the only one aware of what happened. Chances are high that at least ONE other person knows, too.
If I had a dime for every adult who learned the person they thought was their parent had actually been keeping a secret about an ill-advised affair that bore a child, I would be able to fully fund every school in Philadelphia for years to come.
Secrets and lies have been in existence since the beginning of time, but as a direct result of hearing two similar stories in recent days that left a trail of devastation, I am going to challenge us all to find a way to unburden ourselves where possible with the truth, because it may help the young man/woman who always felt “different” from everyone in the family.
Silence and passive-aggressive behavior serves no one, especially when the suffering continues long after the person has died and creates a chasm of distrust that could last generations.
If you find that you are not able to “spill your guts”– for whatever the reasons you have told yourself — can you leave a letter to be opened after you are gone?
There are too many stories of people falling in love, only to realize that they are actually family members. There are too many adult children walking around resentful of the way they were raised and just waiting for the death of the parent to tell the free world how much they despised them and why.
Even worse are the newest spouses who were unaware of the family drama, only to catch the brunt of said pent up resentment.
This is why, when we choose to become coupled with another person, we must be mindful of where our trust issues are, and be as open as possible once we are aware we are going beyond a dalliance into a long term relationship.
I know it isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but we can make lives so much better if we give ourselves the grace to face our mistakes and make right the wrongs we committed, otherwise we will continue to hear of random people showing up at doors with unfathomable news, because we could not bear to deal with disappointment that would be aimed our way.
No one expects you to be perfect, just to simply do your best.
Happy New Year!
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