While looking through quotes and inspirational affirmations I’m struck by the use of the phrase, “The SECRET to…”
The SECRET to being happy
The secret to being content
The secret to being successful
The secret to losing weight
The secret to gaining weight
The SECRET TO LIFE
SECRET? As if each one of these things really fall under the meaning of the word SECRET.
In the dictionary, the very definition of SECRET has nothing to do with how to gain the things, feelings, experiences we desire because SECRET means something meant to be kept unknown, or something meant to be unknown, such as where you hid the cookie jar from the children who happen to love the Oreos. Or “Hey Marge, what’s your secret to such shiny floors?!” “Oh Ella, it’s vinegar! I use it for EVERYTHING! But don’t tell, it will be our little secret.”
I think it’s rather smug of those who write books, give lectures, or advice citing they’re going to tell you their secret to happiness. That is the one that really gets to me.
How people choose to feel, or what they strive for in their lives is not secrets. It’s available to us all.
Below is the Merriam-Webster dictionary meaning of SECRET.
The use of the word, SECRET or phrase, “The Secret to…” sets us up to thinking what we desire or aspire to is so unattainable that it’s kept under lock and key, available only to scholars, the righteous, the enlightened.
No, these things we seek aren’t secret at all. They are for the taking, free, meant not to be kept “unknown” or hidden. Every human being has access to it, and once some of us realize this it’s easier to attain and for some may just lose its importance to us. As in, if there’s a secret to happiness, well maybe it will require covert activities and great difficulty in finding it and I’ve got dinner to cook, kids to bathe, groceries to buy, a house to clean, a job to do. I say No again, it’s not a secret. It’s attainable and may require work on ourselves. No one holds the key to these things we want, it’s a matter of what we aspire and then looking to ourselves for its priority in our life. If it’s very important to us, we live long enough, we’ll figure it out. Maybe what we want doesn’t even exist in its total, perceived form, so it’s a secret, that’s only for conspiracy theorist to figure out. Good luck with that.