I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between privacy and secrecy recently… In the past I have often been open to a fault about things that are going on in my life, whenever I’ve been asked. People have inquired about my private matters in social situations and I have often felt obligated to answer, truthfully to boot, which has frequently left me feeling violated. It is only now that I have understood that I have a right to privacy about things that I choose to be private about. I am the only one who decides what business of mine I share with people around me.
1. the action of keeping something secret or the state of being kept secret.
I have very few secrets. Most of my fumbles and foibles, likes, loves and hates are known by somebody close to me. My troubles and my traumas have too become a lighter load to carry, after I’ve shared them with a friend or a loved one. What I’m learning now is privacy–to not automatically think that I’m being dishonest if I don’t share everything with people close to me. It is still somewhat of an adjustment to understand that I am not lying when I choose not to discuss something that is significant in my life with someone near and dear to me.
1. the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.
I love the idea of boundaries versus walls. I’m not interested in walls. Instead, I love that there is an invisible structure in place now in my life, which keeps me increasingly safe from unwanted intruders. People have the nerve (and a right) to ask all kinds of questions, and as a public persona, this is even more common. My responsibility is to know what I feel comfortable sharing and what I don’t, and to know how to say no, kindly. My chosen boundaries may be surprising to some, as I have decided to be open about certain things that many others don’t discuss as freely. It is a personal choice for us all; a part of the vision we have for ourselves. I chose to share this with you today.
“Friends don’t spy; true friendship is about privacy, too.”
― Stephen King, Hearts In Atlantis