Wendi Andriano (AZ)
Sentenced to Death

ASPC-Perryville Lumley Unit
2014 North Citrus Road
Goodyear, AZ 85395

Ajax Loader Gif

by Wendi Andriano

Shame. Guilt. These are damaging burdens which secrets force us to bear. They sabotage the progress and growth needed to live a positive, productive life. Carrying a secret diverts positive energy and destroys self-image, rendering us unable to feel loved by ourselves or by others.

A little girl burrows deep into a pile of blankets behind a closet door. She yearns for a place of safety and warmth, free from the painful love adults shower upon her. Cloaked in darkness, the silence magnifies the confusion. She desperately wants to be loved but, why does it feel so dirty? Instinctively she knows the secrets must be kept, or love and approval will be denied. Just sleep. No more thoughts. No more fear. Sleep, my little one. Sleep.

She awakens to shame and guilt. These will later become life-long companions. Guilt-because she must be loved, painful or not; shame- because she feels deserving of this secret-laden love. This makes her feel like a bad girl. She crawls out of the closet, the secrets buried deep. The need for love was never a choice.

Many years later, a young woman burrows under covers wondering why life is in such shambles. How did everything go so wrong? Again, she feels the familiar shackles of shame and guilt. Does she deserve anything better? No more thoughts. No more fear. Sleep. Just sleep.

Secrets, by nature, are ugly things hidden from the scrutiny of others. We take on personal responsibility for these secrets, when, even as children, they are not our own. Woven into the fabric of our being, they take a continual price, pouring energy into a dark abyss. We don't believe we are lovable. We feel deserving of the pain and abuse inflicted by wounded people. Worst of all, the love we give never measures up. Shame and guilt fracture our souls, keeping us in bondage, never allowing us to love or be loved. We miss out on healthy love because we remain shackled by our secrets.

If only the little girl knew she could break free from the bondage of secrets. If only she knew she could step out of the closet, and shine the lights of knowledge and awareness upon those secrets. She could the the love so desperately wanted.

Once a secret is exposed, it is overcome by the power of love. We become able to to love ourselves, and then to receive love from others. Letting go of guilt, and letting go of shame, we find that we are lovable, and deserving of love.

This precious gift of self-love requires forgiveness, both of ourselves and the wounded minds who hurt us. After forgiveness, we must accept ourselves as perfectly lovable souls. We are all deserving of love. We are worthy of all. Say goodbye to guilt. Goodbye to shame. Look in the mirror and say, "I love you."

A woman, older and wiser, picks up the pieces of a broken life. She examines each one through the eyes of love. Shame and guilt can victimize her no longer. She has been set free. Love is the best gift we can give ourselves.


Got a secret to share? A comment on this piece? I'd love to hear from you

Wendi Andriano
ASPC-Perryville Lumley Unit
2014 North Citrus Road
Goodyear, AZ 85395