Blog 1714 – 06.01.2020
We all have something that quickly pushes our buttons more than other things. Some early dramatic sometimes traumatic experiences leave their mark on our psyches and make us more easy to excite and manipulate. We are often reluctant to confess these obsessions even to ourselves.
How very seldom is any story the whole story without certain crucial details being withheld. Indeed we all tend to guard a few “dark secrets.” It is a silly self deception with often more disastrous results than outting the secret ever would cause. Like a painful splinter we are loath to pull out hard kept secrets and so they become even more debilitatingly painful if left to fester.
The full meaning of Jesus words, “The truth shall set you free” have been interpreted to speak to more than a few different issues. But I think they go hand in hand with some other more specific words that he offered on secret keeping. He said, we are told, that no secrets ever remain hidden but shall be shouted from the house tops. That being so perhaps it would be better if we whispered our obsession confessions before someone else shouted them out on a roof top or on social media.
The Roman Catholics have long made confession a part of their religious rituals and though few can defend some priests more secret rituals the seal of the confessional has the certain appeal of allowing the unburdening of one’s self of heavy secrets held.
Though never myself Roman Catholic as a Protestant in my youth after a certain “sin” found me out I was confessing the details of it to an at the time trusted pastor. I recall, if not his exact words, him saying to me words that surprised me a bit, something like, “Relax son, I have heard it all, and I assure you much worse.” Isn’t that really at the heart of our greatest fear regarding confession of a particular obsession, that we will explode to the top of charts?
I apologize if you are disappointed that I have not reveals some new dirt on yours truly. I am at my age quite run out of secrets on myself and am neither all that interested in those of others except to fear for them what the additional hurt keeping them will do them. I am like that pastor I mentioned above not at all surprised anymore at what people are capable of doing or what obsessive behavior they think themselves guilty of. The only way to unburden one’s self and overcome any obsession is to confess it and remove its power and stigma. You need not shout it from the house top, just whisper it to a trusted friend with whom you think your secrets are safe. We all need one who in our most trouble moments will take the time to listen to us and calm us down with, “Relax, I have heard it all, your secret obsession confession is safe with me.”
I am reminded of Crocodile Dundee’s remark at a New York City Party in his first movie after he told someone he had just met teasingly, “You’re crazy” then found out that they had been in expensive therapy with a psychiatrist. He was surprised that people actually had to pay someone to listen to their troubles. Dundee went on to say, “In Walk About Creek anyone with a a secret problem just tells Wally and then Wally tells everybody, problem solved.” It was meant to be funny but actually I think it illustrates at least one aspect of what Jesus was talking about when he said, “The truth will set you free.”
Confession is good for the soul as is a little practice makes perfect obsession for the heart, mind, and body.
Your friend and fellow traveler,