Have you ever told a stranger something that no one else knows about you? I often think that's the main purpose of sitting on long airplane flights: Confiding in strangers makes secret burdens emotionally lighter.
Frank Warren obviously understands that point and provides a needed outlet for those who can't even tell a stranger . . . but feel comfortable sending in a postcard with their secret on it. I'm sure thousands of people are walking a little lighter.
Much like watching a film of a disaster, you'll be counting your blessings as you review these often deeply painful admissions. In that way, your own secrets won't seem so heavy. I suspect that those with unshared secrets can benefit from both sharing and reading what others have shared. Many thanks to Frank Warren for coming up with this unique form of self-therapy.
It would be fascinating to ask people in a few years to send in another postcard to describe how sending the original one affected their lives. One of the last postcards in the book explores that point: "i used to write my secrets on postcards that were never posted now i tell them to real people that know and care about me thanks, postsecret and goodbye"
My main caution is that I'm not sure how someone who is severely depressed and suicidal might react to this book. Some of the postcards reflect that condition, and someone inclined that way might find encouragement in reading what others have said.
From the point of view of wanting to understand others better, I was glad to learn about some secrets people hide that I wasn't aware of. I'll be more careful in the future about what I say on those subjects.
As I read the postcards, I was reminded of a seminar I attended two years ago where I met a man who told me his family had never celebrated his birthday and no one had hugged him in almost 20 years. Naturally, everyone took turns hugging him, and we held an impromptu birthday celebration. He looked like a new man.
I pray that those who sent in these postcards will enjoy years of unexpected hugs.
It's not all sadness. Some of the secrets are meant to be humorous. Others aren't all that serious . . . but will touch your heart nevertheless.
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