Are you holding on to a family secret? Guilt and shame become infectious. Be honest with yourself. What is your secret? Write it down here:
What does it feel like to hide the truth from someone you love? How is the energy of keeping this secret affecting you in other ways? Do you feel that somebody's going to take something away from you at any moment? How does it impact your everyday life?
Why have you kept this secret? What are you afraid of? Losing your family? Your friend? Your reputation? Fill in the blanks here: If ______ knew this about me, then _____.
Can you actually handle what you've written in the blanks? Whom will you need to speak to first? Second? Make your list.
Prepare yourself for the hard the conversation(s) by reviewing Iyanla's "How to Have a Hard Conversation in 7 Steps." Look at your answer to no. 4. Keep that person(s) in mind and list the reasons you think he or she may not "hear" what you are saying.
When you're ready to speak your truth, keep Iyanla's words in mind: "Please forgive me for withholding this truth and creating this pain in your life. It wasn't that I was trying to hurt you. It was just that I didn't know how to heal my own hurt."
How did your initial conversations go? How do you feel?
Revisit this in the weeks and months to come and keep track of what unfolds. How do you feel now?
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 12, 2013