“I was banging on the door, then I realized I was knocking from inside.” — Rumi
The Post Secret Project is not just an eye-opener, it can open minds and hearts as well.
Initiated in 2004 by Frank Warren, it started out as a “creative prank” that invited strangers to “artistically share their deepest secret on a postcard and mail it to (Mr. Warren) anonymously.” One of the key rules to the project is that submissions must be genuine secrets, things that the writer has never shared with anyone else before.
Everyone has secrets. We may not call them by that name, but even small children do things or have thoughts that they don’t share with others. I suspect that if you think you don’t have any secrets, you might have several from yourself. It’s not a bad thing, and it’s not a good thing. It is just part of the insecurities, fears, passions, and devotions of being human.
This past week I participated in a spirited conversation about God, the Christian Bible, and divine inspiration. It all began with a CNN Opinion piece entitled, “The Bible Has Some Shocking Family Values.” It was a very respectful exchange, and yet I was left feeling that a lot of it was posturing and representative of what some people felt they were supposed to say versus what they may really believe. I remembered the latest Post Secret book on my nightstand, Post Secret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God. I flipped through the book, and it was not a minute before I remembered why it came to mind. Consider these confessions from page ix of the Foreword:
“I am a Southern Baptist Pastor’s Wife. No one knows that I do not believe in God.”
“I am an editor for a large online atheist newsletter and I believe in GOD!!!”
These secrets are obviously extreme examples of the things people keep hidden from the world, in large measure because they are trying to live up to what — they think — everyone else expects of them. This book in particular but the entire project overall illustrates a pattern of connecting and disconnecting elements of spirituality and sexuality in human experience, and how people strive to be and do what they think is right but how often that perception is not part of an honest reality.
In fairness to all of us, sometimes “honest reality” is a mess. I still don’t know that I believe everything needs to be out there. It may, I just don’t know. Still, I wonder what the world would be like if we were more willing to put down the script and say, “I have no idea. I’m working on that, how about you?”
Oh, and P.S…….don’t miss the project’s website, with new secrets posted each Sunday. My favorite from October 31, 2010, due to it’s Halloween holiday appropriateness: “I like going on the M&M’s website and writing dirty words on chocolate.” After all, some secrets are just funny!
Image credit: ABC News