Everyone loves a secret

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

Do you have a secret?

I’m sure you do. We all have something we keep locked up-hidden from all but ourselves. It’s natural. We keep secrets because we’re ashamed, embarrassed, hurt, insecure-or to protect ourselves emotionally or physically. Whatever the reasons, wouldn’t it be nice to tell it to the world, anonymously, so that your secret wouldn’t be yours alone anymore?

On the blog “Post Secret,” located at postsecret.blogspot.com, individuals are given the opportunity to do just that. Every Sunday, new secrets are posted for the world to see via the Internet.

Every week I am amazed by what I read. The secrets that are posted have made me grin, broken my heart and shaken me to my core. The thoughts and experiences that people have kept silent will always surprise you. You may see hundreds of people a day, but you are rarely afforded the opportunity “Post Secret” provides of seeing what people keep from the world.

This thought from the The Secret Lives of Men and Women, compiled by Frank Warren, articulated the power of disclosing a secret to me: “Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world.”

The issues addressed on the postcards sent in aren’t isolated. The secrets offered up could come from anyone, anywhere. As unique and personal as each secret is, they are secrets that could be any of ours. With that said, how can we ignore the secret, “I pray to get anorexia”? Was this secret sent in by your brother, neighbor or girlfriend? Who knows, but at least now we know that someone is walking with that burden.

Secrets are a dangerous thing. We protect ourselves by keeping them, but at the same time are hurt because we can’t share them. By having a forum where people can share themselves with the world, anonymously, we see a truer side of life. It’s nice to pretend we could be open enough with one another to share experiences and feelings like those on “Post Secret” with those around us, but that is, at times, inconceivable.

Maybe you don’t have anything that you need to get off your chest. Maybe you aren’t ready. Take a break from your regular Internet routine of checking your e-mail, Googling yourself, posting comments on MySpace and buying things from Amazon. Check out “Post Secret” and see what everyone is keeping from each other. That’s the information that really matters.

If you have something to share, submitting a secret is easy. Create a 4-by-6-inch postcard out of mailable material, reveal your secret and send it in. Check the Web site for the address and legal notices.

All that’s asked is that your secret is true, and that it has never been shared with anyone before. Secrets can be anything: your hopes, fears, confessions, desires, regrets or experiences.

What matters is the stuff that defines you more than what music you like or the clothes you wear-the stuff we shouldn’t be so afraid to share with each other.