We all hide aspects of our lives from those around us. Through shielding these secrets, the people we come in contact with gain a false impression of the type of individual we are. For instance, I once heard someone refer to my life as being “perfect.” Naturally, just as every other person on the planet, my life is a far cry from perfect. To an outside observer, we all can seem so “normal” or even unrealistically “perfect.” But if we were to truly know each other’s secrets, we would realize that person ‘X’ does not have it better than us as they have their own assortment of problems and person ‘Y’ is not so different from us because they too struggle with the same type of secret.
We all are guilty of looking at someone and wishing we could switch places with them. Also, we all have a particular side to our lives we keep buried, under lock and key, and continually pray will never find a speck of sunlight for fear of being harshly judged by those in the outside world. What would happen if we stopped guarding these secrets but revealed them? The mere contemplation of such a thing is both liberating and terrifying. Would we finally breathe a sigh of relief upon learning the person we thought was “perfect” has an addiction problem? Or that they had an affair with a married individual? Or that they have terrible relationships with family members? Or that their last relationship resulted in their heart being ripped from their chest? Would that make us breathe easier?
Sadly, I believe it would allow us to experience a level of relaxation that few, if any, of us have previously had. Because in learning the secrets of those around us, we, too, would be able to relinquish the reins on our own. We would realize that our own problems or secrets are not uncommon within the rest of society. We could stop feeling as though we are alone on a heavily populated planet. We could find peace in ourselves. We could find comfort.