Creative commentary plus crafty composition


In the early 1990s a movie came out with the seemingly innocuous title of SNEAKERS. In it, a diverse group of professional security hackers are caught up in case involving Russians, organized crime, and ‘too many secrets’.

How many intriguing plot points in movies and television programs trace their roots to the keeping of or revelation of secrets?

An article in the current month edition of Psychology Today discusses the world of inner secrets (or, the inner world of secrets).

There are those we can openly admit to ourselves. If our behaviour deliberately reflects hiding a secret from the outside world, it’s pretty hard to conceal it from ourselves. This may be behaviour which we hide from a particular person, perhaps a spouse, possibly involving a third party (the classic ‘triangle’ situation).

Perhaps most troubling to our inner being are those issues considered deep secrets. These may not even be acknowledged by us, due to traumatic connection, or the result of obsession or compulsion (such as fetishes). Underlying incidents at the cause may be objectively trivial or significant, but in any event are felt as too discreditable to disclose to others.

Deep confidences may not only be the result of external influences. “Hopes and dreams that people don’t dare speak aloud are also secrets. Many times a self-assessment is someone’s deepest secret…”

Such matters also have characteristics of duality. Disclosed or not, they may be harmful to ourselves, and/or to others. “We need to internally acknowledge our secrets to be true to ourselves, but they can make us feel inauthentic if they too deeply challenge our identity.” Thus, to appease inner conflict we may need to keep them from our conscious state.

Shame is often a cause of secrecy. What will others think of us if they know – even though we know they have their own secrets?

In any event, dwelling on such issues gives rise to negative impact. For example, one’s perspective may be weighed down by the burden of the preoccupation.

However, the effect of having undisclosed information is not necessarily ‘toxic’. Sometimes it’s just plain fun to be holding out with a secret. It can serve as a ‘private haven’.

But there are those who are constantly secretive. This can have physical consequences. People likely to continuously hold secrets tend to deal more regularly with health and psychological problems. At the amoral, perhaps immoral, end of the spectrum are those who ‘thrive’ on secrecy, such as those who bask in manipulation; those unaware of the person’s dark traits may find them smart, even charming.

Finding release in sharing a secret is a way to get to the heart of the matter, in the mood of “how you feel about yourself and the world”. Moreover, it’s common to feel “a sense of relief and gratitude, and a lifting of some sadness or anxiety” when opening up to someone trusted. But, this means one has to ‘own’ what now has been owned up. After all, no ‘good deed’ goes unpunished.

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