Estremera: Nurturing in a secret life

Spider’s web

IN MY encounters with young professionals seeking advice, there is often the dilemma of wanting to do things they feel is more purposeful but are tied to a job because they have to earn or because they are obliged to by circumstances.

This is where a secret life fits in. It’s a life I’ve been enjoying as well, the not so public life that very few are allowed to see and where we do nothing but good for humanity.

Why keep it a secret?

First, it’s biblical. Since it’s a life where you do good for humanity, then it’s best not to let your left hand know about it, right?

Second, many elders, especially the overbearing ones, still think that a purpose-filled life is a lot of hogwash and that real life is your work. And being your superiors, then they would do everything to ensure that you have your full attention on your daily work. That would be a sad life.

There are unpalatable things we have to deal with in life, but that does not mean that these unpalatable things will be all we live with everyday. Even in an office setting, there are days off, leaves, weekends, holidays, and off-duty time. We can nurture a life there.

“The problem is,” a young professional I am mentoring said, “I feel more fulfilled in this secret life and I’ve become very happy there, while this life I have is an agony. Now I feel that I have two selves and it can be confusing.”

“No, this is not about two selves,” I replied. “The secret life is there to draw strength from, to draw affirmation from, and to get the gumption to face the drudgery of the everyday life. It is your fuel.”

The secret life is where you grow, and in growing, the secret life moves out of the shadows and takes over the main life. By then, the person is ready to face the world as himself, negative views and pressures from other people are now rendered insignificant.

This is best for young people who have overbearing superiors and parents. But there needs to be a constant reminder that this is being nurtured in secret only because the world outside is all set to cut it down.


A friend who is studying a science that goes beyond what we perceive is worried about the forces she had to contend with as she explores.

Don’t, I said. Take it slow. This is the time to build up muscles. This is not yet the time to go out wielding your sword and challenging forces that have been in existence long before you even decided to explore. Choose your battles, but prepare for war. And when you prepare for wars, you do not let the enemy know your arsenal nor your strengths. Do everything in secret.

Isn’t that procrastinating? The friend asked.

How can it be procrastinating when you are preparing? Who knows, as you mature on the path, you might even come to realize that there’s no need to wage a war and what you thought was very important when you were just a snotty-nosed trigger-happy newbie warrior doesn’t really matter in the greater scheme of things.

There are a lot of good things we can percolate in secret, away from naysayers, away from fears of rejection or failure. saestremera@gmail.com


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