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Best of Steve Goodier: Confession is Good for the Body?

December 15, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Best Of Blog, Empowerment

This article first appeared in our blog here.

A hot, new business capitalizes on people’s need to ‘fess up, as well as their interest in eavesdropping on the confessions of others.

A fee-based phone service called “The Confession Line” allows callers to record their confessions anonymously — anything from admissions of petty theft to adultery and even murder. Or, those who are inclined can listen to the edited sordid tales of others. (This is where the real money is made, by the way, but that is a topic for another article.)

After the first year of business, The Confession Line reportedly made 17 million dollars. Plans were implemented to expand from 25 telephone lines to 100. The need to confess is pandemic!

But if confession is “good for the soul,” it is also good for the body. Why? What we hide inside eats us up.

Joan Borysenko writes in her book GUILT IS THE TEACHER, LOVE IS THE LESSON (Warner Books, Inc., 1990), that researcher James Pennebaker studied health benefits of confession. He discovered that criminals who confessed to lie detector technicians were often so grateful for the relief they felt after “getting it all out,” that they sent birthday, holiday and thank you cards to the polygraph personnel who heard their stories.

Pennebaker recounted the story of one miserable man who embezzled money from the bank where he worked. He was tormented by guilt for six months, during which time he suffered from a steady stream of colds, flus, and other illnesses. When he was finally called in for a lie detector test, he confessed to the crime. For the first time in months he felt relaxed and at peace, even though, because of his confession, he would likely go to prison. His secret literally made him sick.

Perhaps the bigger problem is that our secret IS our sickness. What we hide is what hurts us. Whether it is big or small, past or present, that which we carefully conceal from the rest of the world is our sickness. And we won’t begin to recover until what is concealed is revealed.

The prescription? Bring it up and get it out. You can’t get out what you don’t bring up. Do it for your body’s sake; for your mind’s sake; for your soul’s sake.

Bring it up and get it out. You may be surprised that others are quicker to understand your misdeed than you are even to admit it! And at least when you get it off your chest, you’ll have one less burden to carry as you make amends!

Steve Goodier’s books & newsletter: http://LifeSupportSystem.com.
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