One evening after I had given a lecture a parent approached, weeping. It was her son who, in the middle of my talk, asked about my thoughts on death. She shared that her brother recently died. “He opened up his heart to us and it helped him.” She wiped her tears behind her eyeglasses. “If we could just learn to open up our hearts to others,” she continued, “it might just buy us a little more time because we’d be feeling the love of all the people who want us to live.”
So much of our lives are wrapped up in the secrets we hide away. When I tell you mine, you tell me yours. Somehow this brings comfort. The stories we tell will become the scripture we read and wish for others to read. They will be written upon the pages that form the Book of our Lives. Our histories are holy.
Often I think our pocketful of secrets is more like a moving tabernacle. We carry it with us on our evolutionary exodus, our journey through life. Other times I think of it as transportable closet. Some of the most interesting things about us are actually hidden in our closets, stashed away on a shelf. A box of photographs. A wedding dress. The blanket in which we were wrapped as an infant. So too are the hidden things in our figurative closets. Our unmanifested potential. Our talent. Our greatness.
In order to find ourselves we must first sometimes lose ourselves. In order to move forward in life we must learn to build a lasting peace with our losses, with the changes in our lives. What if we lingered awhile with acceptance and a sense of belonging? What if we were to empty our pockets, open our closets and actually dance with our secrets?
In the words of that mother, “it might just buy us a little more time.”