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You're Only As Sick As Your Secrets
I was attending a presentation by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Frank McCourt, discussing the ins and outs of writing a memoir. Frank McCourt won the prestigious award for his kernel wrenching description of his impoverished life in Limerick, Ireland titled "Angela’s Ashes".
I had received the narrative from my grandfather on the day of my grandmother’s funeral. I was wandering around their house, trying to find a memento of my grandmother that I could bring with me to keep the closeness I always felt with her. Due to my emotions of reading, my grandfather suggested I move one of her many books.
Next to her bedside was "Angela’s Ashes" and I knew in an instant that that was what I was meant to manage with me.
My grandmother’s parents were immigrants from Ireland and she had passed her love of her heritage onto me.
What a fitting tribute to peruse a romance about Ireland that was sitting subsequent to her bed the day of her funeral. I devoured the book in a few days and, although the memoir was sad, shocking and inspirational all at the duplicate time, I felt an even deeper connection to my grandmother and our Irish roots.
I saw my grandmother’s sister a few weeks hindmost and told her how touched I was to read the book; how it felt like my grandmother had left it specifically for me.
She smiled, patted my menial and in a sweet voice she spoken “Honey she HATED that book”. She explained that the Irish do NOT chatter about their secrets and the author had bared his children secrets for the flawless world to read.
After the presentation about his experience writing his memoir, I waited in string for my happen to hold my story signed.
When I was finally in sway of him I said “Mr. McCourt, I loved your book. My grandmother however hated it”. He looked up at me and verbal “She was Irish?” I nodded and he told me that that was the way of it; the Irish did not like him sharing his secrets.
It was in that moment that I realized the undertone of my heritage; I started to see things from a clearer perspective.
Until then I never noticed how “undesirable” things were not discussed or how certain stories and rumors were neither confirmed nor denied.
Things were often swept underneath the carpet and left there.
However years second I attended a atonement program to pact with my ex-husband’s alcohol addiction.
In that program I witnessed people baring their souls to whole strangers week after week and I watched them abandon each meeting lighter. I listened in awe but besides with an uncomfortable feeling; a feeling of nakedness and exposure.
Then I heard the saw that changed how I approached my situation:
“You’re only as sick as your secrets”
If I wanted to procure better, I vital to be bright to measure and jettison myself from the people, places and things that I instinctively wanted to study beneath the rug of my mind.
Once I began to willing up and quota my story, I began to see why Frank McCourt was compelled to write his memoir; he was tired of being sick from his secrets.
As I write this blog I am aware of the scoffing that, it took someone else’s alcohol addiction to help me become healthier. I besides understand that my grandmother smiles from paradise every juncture she reads what I’ve written and she’s proud that I am transient along my openness to the subsequent generation; my children bequeath perceive what it system to be Irish AND talk about their deepest, darkest thoughts without judgment.
Hopefully they in turn will gap along a affection of their heritage and a willingness to delay the ailment of secrets.
• How perceptive and moral was your successors of origin? What did you learn from how certain situations were handled?
• What secrets are you keeping rectify now? Who do you own in your life that you trust to aegis you and allow you to portion your secrets?
• How trustworthy are you for someone to quota their secrets? How can you offices another friend to discharge themselves?