Secret person of the heart

By Rebecca C.
St. Stephen High School
St. Stephen, New Brunswick

Secrets can be a beautiful thing, little memories shared between friends or lovers. Sometimes they can be deadly harmful, and sometimes they can be a way to escape reality, to create a new identity.

There are times in everyone's life that they would rather forget, or wish they could have done differently, and become ashamed of, tucking them away to become their very own skeleton in the closet. Secrets, however essential they seem to be, can be the cause of division in a relationship. If one discovers another's withheld past experiences, they might walk away feeling hurt that they kept this from them. On the other hand, if abuse or trauma has been kept secret for years, and issues develop that the cause of is unknown, digging up the past, despite the undoubted pain resulting, can be the lightbulb clicking on to the solution.


The difference between keeping something bottled up inside and facing, addressing, the issue and living with the realization that there's no alternative but to deal with it and grow from it, can be life-altering. The difference is, no matter how fast you run from them, they're always a step or two behind. Some people are so afraid of being 'revealed' to the world they tend to crawl inside a cocoon, wrapping themselves in tighter and tighter with choking lies, or simply hiding the real 'them'. Of course, everyone has their little "mask" they wear when they want to impress someone, or when they don't want to appear to be afraid. But those are more often easier to peel off. The ones that tend to mould to the person's existing persona, the ones that are put on to hide entire emotions, are the ones that are a lot more difficult to remove.

We all feel at times the fear of being discovered for who we really are. We can see it right in high schools, where conformity is essential to social 'survival'. If any diversion from the accepted 'norm' is detected, the person is either chastised, looked down upon, or completely made an outcast if the little 'rebellion' continues. Whoever creates these 'norms' is really an unknown, but they cause a lot of teenagers to be afraid to act themselves, afraid to show any individuality. There are always those brave enough to 'face the elements'. Unfortunately they're usually looked at as 'eccentric', 'freaks', or just plain weird.

The problem lies at the "secret person of the heart". Fear of man creates the urge to assume the identity of someone we feel sure will be accepted instead of being ourselves, where we risk the chance of being 'rejected'.

It's a sad statement that self-preservation is necessary in our age of modern technology, but no matter how many 'e-whatever's' there are and how advanced scientists discover our potential actually is, self-doubt will always be there. Always, unless we attempt to change the ingrained opinion society somehow got from their six-year-olds singing innocently, "I'm better than you are.." Changing this would be an extremely long, difficult process, taking generations upon generations to alter. However demanding the task, the idea that children could grow up in a world where they could sing their hearts out without being afraid, voice their opinions without being chastised, show their feelings without being made fun of, is certainly worth the effort. There should be no reason to be anyone else than the persons we have become, the only secrets worthwhile keeping are those that create a mystique, an aura of fun mystery around you.

Charlotte Bronte said it well, "The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed;-The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed."