A surprise is different than a secret. Secrets are not meant to be shared. Secrets can create danger for the secret-keepers. Surprises on the other hand are uncovered for and with others in order to celebrate a person or an occasion. Surprises should be safe and joyful.
The reason it is important to distinguish between a secret and a surprise is that most often (with the exception of “Secret Santa” in which people eventually find out who their gift-giver is) a secret becomes a source of pressure for the secret-keeper. Sadly, kids and adults wanting secrets to be kept say things like “If you tell, I’ll….(do something bad to someone or something you care about).” This manipulation causes emotional and potentially physical harm.
A surprise on the other hand is meant to be uplifting and to create joy for the person being surprised. Just back from a friend’s surprise 60th birthday party, the joy of a genuine surprise on someone’s face and in her heart is freshly impressed on my soul. Upon entering the room that she thought was a business meeting for her husband, she discovered dozens of people from her immediately communities as well as people who had traveled from Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee to celebrate her. Joyful tears and happy hugs filled the evening.
Surprises come in many forms. A party. A flower arrangement. An unasked-for gift that delights the receiver. A proposal. A phone call for no reason and out of the blue. An unexpected gift that someone needed to get by, or to make a special meal. Raking a neighbor’s leaves or shoveling the drive without being asked for help when you know the neighbor can use a hand. Your two dogs looking expectantly at you in such a way that your heart smiles and you snap a picture to remember the moment.
Do you create pleasant and playful surprises? Or are you keeping secrets while asking others to do the same? Focus on healthy surprises please.
Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without ho me, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for and creation of a deep sense of home. –Jana