Singing My Secret, Sailing My Truth

singing my secret

The crying unlocks the secret then the secret must be sung.

In the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by Charissa Pinkola Estes, she writes that there are often stories in our lives that become secrets.  Most of them evoke shame usually through no fault  of our own, but the shame keeps us from telling our story.  She writes that the secrets  “revolve around having violated some social or moral code in our culture, religion, or personal value system”.   Often the people around us want us to keep what we know to ourselves, because it might reflect poorly on them somehow.  And they don’t want to have to deal with the truth.

But repressing the shame deadens the soul and numbs the psyche.   Telling the story and having it heard and understood by someone who can empathize, as painful as that may be, is the way to heal.

The secret can be one big traumatic event, but it can also be something more vague and harder to understand.  I’ve carried many secrets shrouded in shame that began to shake loose as I entered my forties.  Some of them were particular wounding incidents or lies I told myself,  but the low-lying secret that threaded its way throughout my life is about self worth.  It’s  always been my belief that there was something wrong with me. I thought that because  I was different and didn’t want or believe in the same things as the other people in my family, that I was bad.   In some ways I broke away from the family myth, but in others I was trapped by fear and guilt and the belief that my choices would be harmful to them and me.

So I kept my secret to protect the myth and slowly started to die inside.   I did the same thing in my first marriage.  I had learned to hide who I really was early in life, and be who I thought people wanted me to be.  I was compromising my life to the point where it was no longer mine.

I think it was my saying “yes” to the studio barn Jon offered me that started my crying and wore down the barriers I had built around my secret self.  It’s  then I started singing my secrets. I sang through my art, in words on my blog and  in conversations with friends and the people I needed most to tell my truth to.   And in some ways it was harmful.  Once I started speaking my truth  I got divorced, most of my friendships dissolved and  my relationship with my family changed dramatically.   So it was damaging to the myths in my life, but gave me the strength and sense of self worth to live a more authentic, fulfilled and happier life.

Estes writes “no matter what the secret is, it is now a part of our work for life.”   We can heal, but there will be a scar that will ache from time to time.  We can live with the secret inside of us, slowly and painfully eating away at who we are.  Or we can sing it to the world and live the pain from time to time.   Be able to evolve and grow and not be ashamed of ourselves.  Know we’ve escaped the physic prisons and battlefields not as victims but as people who have fought for their lives and won.

I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop being transported by my tears and singing my secrets.   It’s become a part of who I am and how I live in the world.

My Wall Hanging , Singing My Secrets, Sailing My Truth” is for Sold sale.  It’s 19″ x 181/2″ and is $150.  If you’re interested in it or have any questions, you can email me here at [email protected]. I take checks and Paypal.

7 thoughts on “Singing My Secret, Sailing My Truth

  1. This is so soul searching and so soul revealing. Thank You, Maria! You are teaching me how to sing my song, also!! And I love the wall hanging. Annie

  2. Maria, I have never read the book and will now get it out of the library to read. When reading your comments, I thought of my daughter, now in her forties, who has experienced abuse as a child, something I was unaware of but which has rested now like an immovable rock between us. She chooses now not to see me or my family, not unusual in a situation like this. But one day I hope she will be able to look at her anger with the only thing that is left, love. I believe love is the only answer to not responding to the anger of others. Hard to do, at times, though. Your wallhanging is one of the nicest I’ve seen you make. Your comments, helpful in ways you may not imagine for those reading them.
    SandyP, in S.Ontario.Canada

    1. I think it’s so important that you’re open to talking to your daughter and keeping the love there Sandy. It’s all we can really do I think. This book has been amazing for me. I keep seeing my life in it and it opens up parts of me I didn’t even know were closed.

  3. Maria, I don’t think we consciously choose our path when we awaken, but we cannot avoid it. It is our path and it is our song. And we sing in the only language we know. It is a hard work but there is no alternative when thought rises.

  4. What a beautiful post, and exquisite artwork filled with powerful symbolism!

    “Women Who Run with the Wolves” was one of the most powerful books I ever read. Although it’s been years since I first read Estes’ book, your post reminded me that whatever insights we discover as we travel our path, it’s still an ongoing process and we often revisit our challenges, but on different levels.

    I love how you will “keep singing your secrets”, keep doing your art, because it not only heals, but it inspires others to do the same.

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