P1 Privacy is a legitimate need of the soul. You need time alone in which you can delve into your depths and find new levels of inner reality, undisturbed by even the most favorable influences from others. At times you even need periods when something you essentially desire to share with all your loved ones needs to be kept to yourself until it ripens sufficiently.
Such periods of privacy do not indicate isolation or separateness. However, every divine reality also has a distorted counterpart, and if privacy is being sought in order to avoid contact, a distortion is at hand. If you avoid privacy because the true meaning of the anxiety it may at first produce is not explored and understood, again, a distortion is at work.
P2 Those who keep predominantly to themselves may have created their aloneness precisely because of their fear of contact, which is primarily fear of contact with the self, and only secondarily fear of contact with others. Now what about secrecy? Secrecy is never positive and always hide something negative. The person who has a stake in keeping something secret is perfectly aware of hiding something negative.
But what usually happens is that privacy is used to camouflage the intent to keep secrets. Only dishonesty, lies, negative intentionality, destructiveness of one sort or another, need to be hidden from others. Sometimes an excuse is used to rationalize keeping secrets: “If I reveal myself, I will not be understood,” or “I will be unjustly criticized.” They are dishonest because they know that others may react to what is hidden, and they wish to avoid this.
They wish the respect and love that they might not be able to earn if the secret were disclosed. Keeping secrets is therefore always, in the final analysis, a theft. It is cheating to secure a result that cannot or will not come about if the secret is disclosed. Keeping secrets also avoids the effort and responsibility of finding an equitable, honest solution in which others can participate.
Secrets are always antithetical to relationship, to intimacy, to real and fulfilling contact. Secretive people are never fulfilled emotionally. They often even blame others for this state. Often an important reason for secretiveness is the fear of self-exposure. The fear says, “If I show myself as I really am, they will not love me.” If you have negative thoughts about others, suspicious opinions or accusations, instead of nurturing them secretly for yourself or sharing them with a third person as a mutually kept secret, you will bring it all out in the open. Doing so indicates that your will to be in truth is greater than your negative opinion, your accusations, your suspicions.
P4 Secrets cannot be carried in the newly emerging consciousness. They are experienced as an unbearable burden, which they actually are. It applies to all relationships: to man/woman partnerships, to every kind of friendship, and finally to the relationship between countries. Keeping your negative aspects secret makes it impossible to reveal your best self. These aspects are often far from shameful or bad. They become negative because they are enveloped in a veil of secrecy.
The clarity, the lightness, and the freedom of no longer pretending in any way, are the direct doorway to the self-esteem you so desperately try to create and preserve by hiding. If your self-revealing seems to elicit more criticism and censure than love and understanding, you must surely have revealed yourself in a distorted way. The real way is the absolute willingness to follow the will of God; to let go of every cherished attitude, action, or goal that proves damaging and contrary to divine law; to use those to whom you reveal yourself as mirrors that help you see and reconsider some of your previous patterns.
However, you also need to know clearly whether a real violation of your privacy exists. These are times when others try to pry because of their own negative motives; they may wish to uncover something they can use against you to make themselves feel better, in a desperate attempt to enhance their deteriorated self-esteem. If you sense such motives, you should indeed close your doors to them. As long as you have a stake in keeping yourself hidden, your assessment of others’ motives will be very shaky.
Transparency is a new way of being, a habit that needs to be cultivated with patience, devotion, and perseverance. By opening yourself up, you can reach others who may have quite similar inner experiences and thus can emotionally connect with you sooner and better than you may ever have suspected. Effort is needed, but this effort will be highly rewarded. Your initial inability to express yourself adequately is totally due to your unwillingness to do so and to let God inspire you. If you sincerely wish to reveal yourself, the Holy Spirit will inspire you with the appropriate words, and the walls you have built around you will dissolve.
If the risk is not taken to bring all aspects of the self into play, the expected bliss can never materialize. (between a couple) The false belief that the self in its entirety is not acceptable must be challenged again and again. For the soul is not static or fixed. It constantly moves and changes, forever producing new inner experiences, feelings, thoughts, new dreams, new aims. Once you have emptied yourself, the dynamic process of soul development can be shared much more easily.
P6 A state of mind grows in you which has nothing to hide, and being totally transparent is the greatest joy. The word “friendship” becomes a farce if you feel there is anything that has to be hidden. You will never really know whether you are loved and accepted.
P7 To whatever degree you do not trust the process of a secretless life, you encourage a false self-projection. Your secrets mean exactly this: “I want you to see me not as I am, but as I pretend to be.” You will see how it affects your entire outer and inner life, as well as those with whom you seek to establish a desirable relationship. Try to visualize what life is like when you know that there is nothing to hide, ever.
Perhaps what you believe should be kept hidden is really a beautiful aspect of yourself that should be shared. Your limitless potentials for greatness, for creativity, for still-hidden talents, for your universality, uniqueness, for your essence and your beauty can stream forth only when the confinement of hiding is removed. Of course, the process often overlaps. How can the Christ in you truly manifest if you have a hidden agenda?
P8 There are three fundamental reasons for resistance to giving up secrets: (1) The fear that your Lower Self makes you all bad and, together with this fear, your unwillingness to risk the possibility that this may not be so; that others will not reject you, and that you will not to reject yourself. (2) The ignorance that indeed there is a way of communicating all that now seems incommunicable. (3) The fear of being too vulnerable when all the hard shells fall off.
The common denominator of these three factors is the resistance to going to God with all of yourself and to trusting His will. As you become more open, more accessible, new capacities of perception grow in you. This newly-evolved vulnerability has another effect that is not immediately experienced as desirable. It is a grieving pain about the destruction caused by evil. It is healthy and good to allow this state to grow in you, to experience it fully.
Take for example the suffering of animals who become the prey of other animals in order to sustain the greater life cycle and to fulfill their function. But that animals have to go through this phase of their own evolution is painful, even though there is an intrinsic rightness about it. These animals are incarnated aspects of consciousness that need these experiences, but they are nevertheless, on the level of manifestation, much more innocent than man, who has a consciousness that gives him much more responsibility.
Compassion and love, gratitude for the beauty of creation, appreciation of and joy about it must also create a deep pain when something is destroyed, a pain that needs to be suffered. This living, healthy, loving pain is also the threshold to joy and ecstasy.
P9 Another aspect of this pain is the recognition that untrue thoughts about your fellow human beings are damaging to yourself as well as others. You fear and avoid your own pain about causing pain to others. This then grows into debilitating guilt and indirect self-punishment. You also need to feel the pain that is independent of you, but can help you move to compassion, the pain you simply see existing in this earth-sphere.
—The Pathwork® Guide