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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 story 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 transact with me to preserve the closeness I always felt with her.
Due to my heart 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 transact with me.
My grandmother’s parents were immigrants from Ireland and she had passed her affection of her heritage onto me.
What a fitting testimonial to construe a book about Ireland that was sitting succeeding 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 twin time, I felt an even deeper connection to my grandmother and our Irish roots.
I aphorism my grandmother’s sister a few weeks closing and told her how touched I was to construe 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 natter about their secrets and the origin had bared his spawn secrets for the absolute universe to read.
After the presentation about his experience writing his memoir, I waited in column for my arise to keep my book signed.
When I was finally in govern of him I oral “Mr.
McCourt, I loved your book.
My grandmother however hated it”.
He looked up at me and said “She was Irish?” I nodded and he told me that that was the practice 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 under the carpet and left there.
However years latter I attended a compensation program to protocol with my ex-husband’s alcohol addiction.
In that program I witnessed connections baring their souls to absolute strangers week after week and I watched them drop each meeting lighter.
I listened in awe but also with an uncomfortable feeling; a impression of nakedness and exposure.
Then I heard the epigram that changed how I approached my situation:
“You’re only as sick as your secrets”
If I wanted to earn better, I vital to be bright to part and disburden myself from the people, places and things that I instinctively wanted to sweep underneath the rug of my mind.
Once I began to flexible up and allocation 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 help me become healthier.
I further comprehend that my grandmother smiles from elysium every juncture she reads what I’ve written and she’s proud that I am ephemeral along my openness to the subsequent generation; my progeny consign perceive what it means to be Irish AND gossip about their deepest, darkest thoughts without judgment.
Hopefully they in turn leave gulf along a heart of their heritage and a willingness to cease the sickness of secrets.
• How alert and righteous was your heirs of origin? What did you learn from how certain situations were handled?
• What secrets are you keeping correct now? Who do you posses in your life that you trust to aid you and allow you to part your secrets?
• How trustworthy are you for someone to part their secrets? How can you support another companion to disburden themselves?