There’s a concept in A Course in Miracles called ‘no private thoughts’. As it suggests, it speaks to the idea that instead of trying to hold thoughts in our private brain somewhere and keep them secret (normally for fear of being judged somehow), we learn when, where and how to share them.

Generally, if you’re trying to keep something a secret, a number of things happen:
1. You internalise a feeling of shame, because even if you feel you are ‘right’ about something, the fact that you fear judgement or difficulties in some way from others means you are fearful of attack for your beliefs or actions.
2. It takes energy to hold this conflict within your body. You did the thing, or believe the thing, and so somewhere there is a part of you that did or thought that out of survival or because you thought it was the best option for you at the time. Another part is telling you that you were wrong for that or that you will be hurt somehow if others find out about it. Long term this is exhausting for the body and the mind.
3. You create false boundaries and inauthenticity within your relationships because you are trying to hold part of yourself separate and secret. In these cases, you miss out on true intimacy because you both feel that slight disconnect on some level, even if you are not conscious of it.
4. You live in fear of being ‘found out’ and something bad happening.

Instead, ACIM (and therapy) encourages us to find a safe space and person to share with. In this way, all of you is witnessed and seen and (hopefully) all of you is accepted and loved. When we allow others to see us and we are accepted, we see that it is possible to love this part of ourselves as well, and we welcome it back into the fold. We learn to love and accept all of ourselves instead of abandoning what is a fragile and fearful part of us. We deepen our connection to ourselves, and open the door to authentic and loving connections with others.

We may think it is terrifying to share our secrets, but it is more damaging not to. There is immense freedom that comes from saying, ‘Here I am, whole and loveable. This secret cannot hurt me anymore.’