Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Secrets by Ruth Smith Meyer
A small solid wooden box stood before me. It was made of a dark wood and had a lovely patina. It even had a lock and key. My mind went back to my childhood. How I wished for just such a box. My four-year older sister had a card box in which she held her secret treasures. I was told to never look inside that box. To be fair, she allowed me to have one too for my treasures. We agreed the contents would be off limits to each other, but I didn’t entirely trust that she would disregard the temptation to explore when I wasn’t there. I wished I had a key!
Did it work the other way? Would I have sneaked a peek into hers if the opportunity presented itself? Not on your life! She was used to ruling the roost. If she thought I may stray from what she wanted, her threat “You’d better (not) or you’ll be sorry!” quickly made any such desire vanish like a cloud of dust driven in a strong wind.
I did wonder what was so secret that she had to hide it in a box. Yes, I did have my box too, but mainly because she had one. My embarrassment, should she look into mine, wasn’t because of the treasure I had in it, but because I didn’t think I had anything important enough to hide—and I didn’t want her to know that.
Those ‘secret boxes’ have come to mind often in my life, for it seems that secrets that need to be boxed up are detrimental to being an honest and open person. In my case they represented my feelings of inadequacy.
Many years later, when I realized I was still hoarding my secret stash of inferior feelings, I made a conscious effort to open the box and allow others to see me as I am. Having nothing to hide was so freeing.
If I was presented now with a beautiful box, I no longer would require a lock. It would probably be set somewhere with the lid open to display some interesting stones, shells or some other items I have collected and love.
I’d rather not be in a box anyway!
Ruth Smith Meyer is an author and inspirational speaker who enjoys people wherever she goes.
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