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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 pith wrenching description of his impoverished life in Limerick, Ireland titled "Angela’s Ashes".
I had received the novel 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 continue the closeness I always felt with her. Due to my love of reading, my grandfather suggested I carry 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 carry with me.
My grandmother’s parents were immigrants from Ireland and she had passed her love of her heritage onto me.
What a fitting welcome to peruse a narrative about Ireland that was sitting successive to her bed the day of her funeral. I devoured the novel in a few days and, although the memoir was sad, shocking and inspirational all at the alike time, I felt an even deeper connection to my grandmother and our Irish roots.
I epigram my grandmother’s sister a few weeks latter and told her how touched I was to scrutinize the book; how it felt like my grandmother had left it specifically for me.
She smiled, patted my worker and in a sweet voice she oral “Honey she HATED that book”. She explained that the Irish do NOT prattle about their secrets and the root had bared his descendants secrets for the absolute world to read.
After the presentation about his experience writing his memoir, I waited in succession for my transpire to keep my story signed.
When I was finally in prompt of him I oral “Mr. McCourt, I loved your book. My grandmother however hated it”. He looked up at me and uttered “She was Irish?” I nodded and he told me that that was the routine 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 compensation program to protocol with my ex-husband’s alcohol addiction.
In that program I witnessed kinsfolk baring their souls to absolute strangers week after week and I watched them leave each meeting lighter. I listened in awe but further with an uncomfortable feeling; a dogma of nakedness and exposure.
Then I heard the adage that changed how I approached my situation:
“You’re only as sick as your secrets”
If I wanted to earn better, I needed to be receptive to allocation and unburden myself from the people, places and things that I instinctively wanted to examine unbefitting the rug of my mind.
Once I began to bright up and measure 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 irony that, it took someone else’s alcohol addiction to offices me become healthier. I also understand that my grandmother smiles from elysium every juncture she reads what I’ve written and she’s proud that I am momentary along my openness to the later generation; my progeny leave notice what it practice to be Irish AND talk about their deepest, darkest thoughts without judgment.
Hopefully they in turn leave canyon along a passion of their heritage and a willingness to delay the sickness of secrets.
• How alert and virtuous was your descendants 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 assistance you and allow you to ration your secrets?
• How trustworthy are you for someone to portion their secrets? How can you assistance another person to unburden themselves?