Trust No One

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

If someone told you a secret, would you really be able to keep it? Think about it and be honest with yourself.

Would you pause before speaking to avoid accidentally spilling it or a piece of it? Do you think before you speak?

Would you say to your close friend, “I’m not supposed to say this but, …. Don’t tell anyone.”

If someone said they had a secret and they’ll explain later, would you accept it or keep digging for answers?

If given the choice, I would’ve only confided in one person. I told others out of necessity to ask for permission and explain my absence. I asked them not to mention where I was or what I was doing, especially in the presence of visitors while I was still at the Center. They promised, but couldn’t help themselves. In front of visitors, they’d say things like, “When you’re gone, who’ll make (insert food dish)?” (Thanks…) It wasn’t nefarious and I half expected this to happen. If a visitor wondered about my absence, I asked people to say I was working on a project and would return next semester.

I wanted to keep this secret for many reasons.

  1. Commitment. Training at the Retreat Center is my dream and something I’ve worked hard for with the help and encouragement of others. I wasn’t ready for people to know about my 11 week absence. I didn’t want to explain just yet or let anyone down. It’s hard starting over and feeling like everything I do is pure crap. Dr. Yang gave me his blessing and when I raised my concerns, he said I can still train afterwards. It’s not as if my training career is over. In the big picture, it’s a short period for a once in a lifetime opportunity. I plan to continue training at the Center after the 5 year program is up.
  1. Contractual obligations.
  1. Experiment. Can people keep secrets and not dig for answers? I already knew first hand that most can’t. Even the people close to you who make promises have difficulty staying quiet. I think curiosity is human nature and it trumps respect for the person with the secret, unfortunately. Fortunately, the few people who knew where I was were generally respectful and didn’t pry for details.
  1. Lone Dog. Although I enjoy exchanging training progress, struggles, and stories with others, this is something I had to do mostly alone and I wanted it to be my own journey.
  1. I don’t want to reveal the reason for my absence yet. Don’t worry, it was a good experience and I’ve learned a lot. (By the way, I’m not pregnant.)

I was feeling a little bad when I realized some friends might be hurt that I didn’t tell them sooner. But why should anyone feel guilty about keeping a secret? We all have them. I’d rather they be upset with me than me be disappointed in them. Also, anyone who knew was burdened with keeping someone else’s secret. Some felt like they were lying, although I wouldn’t consider withholding information to be lying in this case. I never lied about this, I just didn’t correct people’s assumptions that I was still in California. Then again, I wasn’t faced with questions each day so maybe I would’ve felt like a liar had I been around people I knew.

I’ve been away for too long and getting back into training will be a long and painful process. To all the students busy with family, work, and life in general, I know your frustration, guilt, sadness, etc… The biggest obstacle is me and the first step is Humility. No matter what level I was at before, I am where I am right now. It doesn’t matter if other students see how bad I am. I am responsible for where I am and where I go.

2 thoughts on “Trust No One

  1. Patiently waiting to hear about your experience😊. At first I did think Michelle is pregnant! But you made clear that you’re not. So I’ve reread your post dozens of times searching for clues..to no avail.
    Now curiosity is beginning to get the best of me. What could it be?
    Do tell. I’ll keep your secret locked away..

    • See #2 “Contractual Obligations” – I’m assuming an NDA is involved. Pretty common for many business projects before they’re officially published/launched.

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