Only by opening one's heart in self-disclosure can one achieve transparency and peace and so free himself of the secrecy which damns.

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Letting down your guard: no secret is forever hid
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vitae postscenia celant

Gotta keep the real you hid away
alitur vitium vivitque tegendo

Sammy Davis, Jr used to sing: I gotta be me ... Who else can I be, but who I am .....

Letting down your guard

Sidney Jourard:

Sidney Jourard site
as of August 2010

"man can attain to health and fuller functioning only insofar as he gains in courage to be himself among others and when he finds goals and objectives that have value and meaning for him."

"self disclosure follows an attitude of love and trust."
"If I love someone ... I display my love by letting him know me.
But loving is scary business because when you permit yourself to be known you expose yourself, not only to a lover's balm, but also to a hater's bombs."

"Disclosure of the truth, the truth of one's being, is often penalized."

"it seems to be an empirical fact that no man can come to know himself except as an outcome of disclosing himself to another person."

p 24
I venture to say that there is probably no experience more horrifying and terrifying than that of self-disclosure to 'significant others' whose probable reactions are assumed, but not known. Hence, the phenomenon of ?resistance.? This is what makes psychotherapy so difficult to take, and so difficult to administer. If there is any skill to be learned in the art of counseling and psychotherapy, it is the art of coping with the terrors which attend self-disclosure, and the art of decoding the language, verbal and non-verbal, in which a person speaks about his inner experience.

p34 [presented at conference on pastoral counseling]
People who can acknowledge and accept their own sexuality in its breadth and depth can usually acknowledge and accept the sexuality of their spouses in its potential diversity.

? a lusty joyous, yet holy and sometimes awe-inspiring sex life grows out of a relationship between two persons who can be themselves with one another without fear of being deeply hurt when they are so unguarded.

If a man is reluctant to make himself known to another person, even to his spouse - because it is not manly thus to be psychologically naked - then it follows that men will be difficult to love. That is ... it will be difficult for a woman or another man to know the immediate state of the man?s self, and his needs will thereby go unmet. Some men are so skilled at dissembling, at ?seeming,? that even their wives will not know when they are lonely, bored, anxious, in pain, thwarted, hungering for affection, etc. And the men, blocked by pride, dare not disclose their despair or need.

See Invitations to Dialogue: The Legacy of Sidney Jourard
Anyone who speaks to us in such a way that we feel more aware and alive is someone we would do well to seek out. Anyone who encounters us in such a way that we feel more understood, confirmed and excited about our own possiblilties as a person is understandably someone we want to remember, celebrate and honor. Without question, Sidney M. Jourard was, and remains, that kind of person. Because his impact was such a meaningful and memorable one and because in so many ways his contributions continue to inspire our professional and personal lives, we would like you to know him better. This, in large part, is why we have worked so hard to bring this book into being.

following is quoted in George O'Neill and Nena O'Neill
Full disclosure of the self to at least one other significant human being appears to be one means by which a person
discovers not only the breadth and depth of his needs and feelings, but also the nature of his own self-affirmed values.

Through my self-disclosure, I let others know my soul. They can know it, really know it, only as I make it known.
[Sid Jourard, quoted in George O'Neill and Nena O'Neill, Open Marriage]

confess your own sins ~ not someone else's

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
[Virginia Woolf]

The gift of listening with an understanding heart is a divine gift which so few have developed. Listening not with the ears only, but with the heart.

[Annalee Skarin]

Douglas L. Steer says that to listen another's soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service any human being ever performs for another. [in Marabel Morgan's Total Woman, p172]

See Daniel Goleman's book on the effects of emotion on health [something Paracelsus proclaimed long ago]

Phillips Brooks said: "Keep clear of concealment. It is an awful hour when the first necessity of hiding anything comes. When there are eyes to be avoided and subjects which must not be touched, then the whole bloom of life is gone." [quoted by Charles L. Allen, God's Psychiatry]

It is better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you are not.

Confess. Nothing secret that shall not be made known. Come out of the closet.

[last save 4/18/2005 6:25 AM]

dc Talk


Ready to let our life become
an open book?
A hymn by Elisha Hoffman goes:

"you cannot have rest
or be perfectly blest
Until all on the altar is laid."

"Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart, does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest
and have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul."

Malcolm X writes that he could only receive transforming truth when he reached a point of personal confession and self-honesty and responsibility for his own past. He states: "the truth can be quickly received, or received at all, only by the sinner who knows and admits that he is guilty of having sinned much. Stated another way: only guilt admitted accepts truth. The Bible again: the one people whom Jesus could not help were the Pharisees; they didn't feel like they needed any help."

"The very enormity of my previous life's guilt prepared me to accept the truth."
[p 189. The Autobiography of Malcolm X]

The art of self-disclosure
Another Sidney Jourard site

From Beck on Call (Martha Beck)

Theodor Reik uses a term called "the compulsion to confess." This urge is part of every normal person (and some abnormal people as well?ever notice how many criminals get caught because they blab about their crimes?). The confession compulsion makes sense when you consider that our secrets are simply parts of our life stories, our selves, that have been forced into hiding. We all have a deep psychological need to be accepted as we really are, but that can never happen as long as there are parts of us that no one sees or knows. We conceal aspects of ourselves that we think invite rejection, but ironically, the very act of secrecy makes us inaccessible to love. We think we're hiding our secrets, but really, our secrets are hiding us.

Perhaps that's why when we lie or hide the truth, our very physiology rebels: Stress indicators like blood pressure, perspiration, blinking rates and breathing all increase, while immune function declines. Our subconscious mind joins the battle against secrecy; we find ourselves telling the truth in dreams, Freudian slips and the occasional drunken blurt. The more secretive we are, the more separate we feel from our own bodies, our own lives.

When I did research on addiction, I found that most of the addicts I interviewed were trying to ease the pain of psychological isolation caused by dark secrets, and that telling their secrets was the single most powerful step that allowed them to connect with others, experience loving acceptance, and ultimately heal.

Comfort ye my people

Frederick Weiss says,
To "defrost," to open up, to experience and to accept himself becomes possible for the patient only in a warm, mutually trusting relationship in which, often for the first time in his life, he feels fully accepted with those aspects of himself which early in life he had felt compelled to reject or repress. Only this enables the patient gradually to drop his defenses. He will test the reliability of this acceptance again and again before he risks emotional involvement, He will need this basic trust especially when he begins to experience the "dizziness of freedom" (Kierkegaard)

The self-truth we find uncomfortable - may help set us free


'Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.' [C.G. Jung]


Eventually truth will out. Perhaps after great suffering and great waiting, but truth will eventually out. [Ralph Martin]


There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

[Maya Angelou]

A Few Links

Men hate those to whom they have to lie. [Victor Hugo]

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.
[Peter Drucker - Claremont]

If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.
[Virginia Woolf]

Candor is a compliment; it implies equality. It's how true friends talk. [Peggy Noonan]

The genius of communication is the ability to be totally honest and totally kind at the same time.
[John Powell]

There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth. [Agnes Repplier]

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. [Jim Davis]

The truth is "hate speech" only to those who have something to hide. [Michael Rivero]

I am a Rock

A winter's day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don't talk of love,
But I've heard the words before;
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
and an island never cries.

[Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel, 1966]

vae qui profundi estis corde ut a domino abscondatis consilium quorum
sunt in tenebris opera et dicunt quis videt nos et quis novit nos
[ liber isaiae 29:15 ]

-- Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their
works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
Isaiah 29:15 --

The day of judgment will be a day when the skeletons come out of the closets!
And each of us will be standing there to face the record. -- Adrian Rogers

Bob Shepherd
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