I found a blog the other day about secrets. We all have them.
One of the most freeing things I have ever done is a step 4 and step 5 in AA. The first time I wrote for 7 hours straight to get every skeleton out of my closet and onto paper. I left nothing out. I figured if I left one or two things out the rest would be pointless to expose.
Sharing it with another human being was freeing. After I got over the cringe factor. Part of me wanted to hold the confession out at arm's length, shut my eyes tight and say "Here, take it." and then run far, far away. Sometimes I wonder how the minister(she was a stranger to me, picked at random from the phone book) reconciled what was on the page with the person in front of her. I made this step 5 at a point in my life when I had adopted the dress of ultra conservative Mennnonites. There I was in my modest calf length dress and head covering confessing things that must have seemed very confusing to the minister. That's okay. It was confusing for me too. Please don't misunderstand me as if I am saying someone who dresses a certain way is beyond certain behaviours. I am not. Lord knows my mode of dress made not one iota of difference to my heart issues. Jesus' thoughts of cleansing the inside of the cup come to me here.
That day ended up being one of the most peace filled days of my whole life. My friend Ron came over later that day and we had the greatest talk. There was something about having laid my heart bare to another human being that made human beings in general not such a threat.
Secrets have been on my mind lately as I prepare to go to confession during this Lenten season. I've been mulling over my sins. I still have ones of course that carry a sigificant cringe factor but I know to God they are no surprise. His mercy knows no bounds.
There are a few thoughts in a publication(sorry I don't know the name of it) given to me by my priest about the Sacrament of Reconciliation that have comforted me:
Confession "allows us to experience the mercy of God". and
The priest "is simply the human instrument for the action of Christ the Priest."
"God already knows the sins, and does not need the confession."
I need the confession. It's like taking a breath of fresh air. Cleansed. From the inside out.