What If…You Need a Gatepost

My grandmother had an expression that I still use today. When I tell something in confidence, I’ll say, “Between you, me, and the gatepost…” Have you ever heard that one? 🤔Some people substitute the words bedpost, fencepost, or lamppost for gatepost, but the meaning is the same. Please don’t tell the secret that you’re about to hear. Get it? The gatepost definitely isn’t going to share, and neither should you! ✅The phrase dates back as early as 1832.

I like that phrase for a couple of reasons. First, I like the fact that I learned it from my grandmother. Momama- as well called her- was a key figure in shaping the person I am today. 😍She taught me to value knowledge and independence, as well as how to enjoy burnt foods and 🍫dark chocolate. Her influence on my life was immeasurable, and I am grateful for that every day. 🥰Second, I like words and phrases that are interesting. You don’t hear it often, but you can easily figure out what it means. If I preface information with that phrase, you know that I trust you enough to share it with you. I’m not using that phrase with someone I think will take it beyond the gatepost. I know my gateposts.👍🏻

I have a friend who says ❌not to tell her any secrets. She worries about a simple slip of the tongue. She doesn’t like the pressure and responsibility of holding onto secrets. I love that she’s honest about it. She’s absolutely right, too. It’s a huge obligation to be the keeper of the secrets, the gatepost. 🙊She’s upfront by saying, “Don’t tell me because I might accidentally share.”

That friend is more honorable than someone who promises to zip the 👄lips but broadcasts the news at the first opportunity. I wish more people knew themselves that well. On the other hand, maybe folks know that they can’t keep secrets but feel awkward admitting it. 🤷🏻‍♀️No shame! Loose lips sink ships, right? If it’s not easy for you to keep a secret, just say so. Some people aren’t made for keeping secrets. Every single one of us has trouble with that from time to time. 😬Slips can and do happen.

Secrets can be tricky. If it’s privileged information, please make sure we know that! 🚦There are those secrets that we don’t understand as secrets. Maybe you didn’t really have a prior commitment that made another event impossible- you just didn’t want to go. How about the times we have to tell because it contains critical information that someone else must know? Many of us are mandated reporters in our jobs, so certain secrets must be shared with officials. What about the secrets that are just tempting to tell? 🤭It’s tough to keep that surprise party a secret, right?🥳

I think there are levels to secrets, too. Silly little things 🤪that are more embarrassing than detrimental. Information that can have serious consequences, which has to be told to someone who can help. ❗️Happy secrets that are waiting for the perfect moment to be revealed. 🤗It’s important to be able to discern the differences. When in doubt, assume it’s a secret and wait for the appropriate moment to discuss.💯

I have a couple of questions for you to consider this week. What if…you’re asked to be the gatepost? And, what if…you need a gatepost? Maybe you already know. If not, take a moment to unearth your answers. 💖

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