This journal has been exploring the idea of intimacy and inner truths. When we venture into intimacy with others, we reveal inner truths about ourselves to them. In intimacy with God, our inner truths are revealed to us. Hence, intimacy with God involves some honest introspection.
We all have secrets, and they take energy to conceal. The worst secrets are the ones we try to hide from ourselves. They can have power over us. Keeping them hidden, one way or another, inevitably impairs our freedom to make some choices. On the other hand, exposing secrets steals their power and can give us a new energy and freedom to move on.
Several traditions make a spiritual practice of speaking aloud one’s faults in order to make a break with the past and to set a new direction in life. This includes ancient religious practices of confession as well as the modern spiritual but not religious practice of the Fifth Step in Twelve Step addiction recovery programs. In either case, searching ourselves is sure to unearth some secrets. If I am carrying a secret with an especially vicious hold over me, speaking it aloud and claiming responsibility for letting it impair my choices can be the most powerful way to break its hold. Knowing that we intend to speak aloud what we find in introspection, however, can present its own unique obstacles. I might discover something was worse than remembered, and I might feel embarrassed to say it aloud.
If you feel drawn to make a break with your past and to enter into new intimacy with God through one of the practices of confession, but feel the tight grip of secrets holding you back from honest introspection, I hope these verses and breathing prayer will give you courage to move on.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’, and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah (Psalm 34:3-5)
Join the conversation. How would you encourage someone trapped in the jaws of a secret he’s afraid to expose?
Copyright 2012 Stephanie Walker All rights reserved. Visit www.AcrossTraditions.com.