PostSecret.com – where he shares many of these secrets and is also “the busiest ad-free blog in the world.” He’s had hundreds of millions of views. Insane number right?!?Let me share with you a story about a “community art project” where one man has become a curator of over half a million anonymously shared confessions, all via postcard. This once “crazy idea” started in 2004 by Frank Warren and has since gone viral birthing The PostSecret Project, which includes six books, a brand new app and the ever popular
I first learned of PostSecret.com, in January, while listening to Guy Raz on the TED Radio Hour. His conversation with curator, Frank Warren, had me so fascinated with the very real human condition of shame, keeping secrets and the fear of showing others who we really are.
Hidden under anonymity, people creatively reveal their darkest secrets on a postcard. Then mail them off to what I would guess is one of the most famous mailboxes in Germantown, Maryland. Random people drive by & stop to take a selfie with this inanimate object tagged with sentimental greetings. If you were to peek inside, you may find a few a postcards that would read like….
“Everyone who knew me before 911 – believes I’m dead.”
“This was supposed to be my last sunset.”
“I hate being a teenager.”
A great deal of the delivered postcards are heartbreaking, and The PostSecret community has seen a need and reached out to help those hurting to raise over $1,000,000 for suicide prevention programs.
We all wake in the morning and unconsciously decide what we’ll reveal or conceal about ourselves in any given day. I get it, sometimes authenticity is cumbersome to carry, (at the moment). We either let people see the person they think we are OR intentionally show them the person we really are. That human need to be known and heard is a vital component to feeling valued and part of a community. This weekend, I was so taken by something my pastor said, “you are only as secure as the focus of your trust.” For me, my security and trust must lie in something far greater than myself. My strength – my security – my trust, all come from above. The one true God that comforts me, without judgement, is the same one who never left in those times I felt hopeless. I’m sure the next question you have is – well then, have you really felt extreme hopelessness? My experiences are mine, I could never begin to compare what I consider painful to what others would consider painful in their own lives. My experiences have come and gone various times over many years, but what I felt while in a ball – shaking with fear – bruised – no money – wasted away to physical nothingness – asking will my child survive – feeling totally abandoned….losing hope was never an option. DOUBT??? Yes – tons of it. But only in my circumstances, never in my God and never in the kindness of those that would listen through my tears.
It’s evident we desire to share/purge parts of ourselves without fear of condemnation. This is what The PostSecret community does for so many hurting people who need to share, but with anonymity. It gives them a voice. Just ask the half a million secrets stacked in the basement at the end of a road in Germantown, Maryland.
Sit back & enjoy this eleven minute video. I think you will have a fond appreciation for Frank Warren when you are finished watching. Share below and tell me what you think.
“Secrets can be walls or bridges.” – Frank Warren