A rather wonderful new family 'tradition' was instigated a few months ago among the women in my family. In fact, we stumbled upon it during a birthday conversation. It began when I shared a personal story, a story that unleashed similar stories from my sisters and nieces, and we found ourselves sharing some of the 'skeletons in our closets'...
Listening to each other's secrets is a very bonding process but I feel its power goes beyond that. Our secrets often carry shame and guilt, and by sharing them we invariably discover that others have experienced something similar, and some of the shame and guilt is dissolved. We discover that we are all human beings facing challenges, feeling confused, making choices, sometimes regretting them... By revealing our inner selves, we validate each other's journeys in ways that can't happen when we hold those secrets close to our chests.
I've always been a bit of a loud mouth and somewhat prone to foot-and-mouth disease... Perhaps it has something to do with being a storyteller – I am less attached to privacy than others because I believe that stories, and the sharing of stories, is healing. I know that I always experience a sense of relief when I hear that someone else did something similar to something I have nourished guilt over: "So I'm not alone... So it's part of the human journey..."
Our conversation about 'Skeletons' gave way to a conversation about 'Circles', specifically things we have judged and then found ourselves doing. An example for me was disapproving of mothers who were castigating their children or being neglectful of them; once I became a mother I found myself doing some of the things I had judged, and was humbled.
This was also a very stimulating and healing exchange, as we each shared some of those judgements and how they had eventually returned home to roost, often in surprising ways. The precision of that match between our judgements and our later experience was quite uncanny. I invite you to have a look at yours - before they get you!
And if you're interested in exploring yourself through writing, consider doing my e-course, Writing (& Life) Mastery, which weaves writing exercises with self-awareness exercises. You'll come out the other end with either a new set of skills or a refined set of skills, and a grand bunch of insights. (To say nothing of a whole lot more knowledge about me, as I share my journey pretty openly!)