Secret Keeper – How Healing and Forgiveness Transformed My Life

I wrote Secret Keeper three years ago. This song came through me as I finally reached the endpoint of learning some really important life-shaping healing lessons that were years in the making. Having transformed from the wisdom gained, I knew I’d never repeat the pattern of allowing anyone to control or manipulate me.

Prior to going into the recording studio two years ago to bring this song and many others to life, I went to my parents’ house and asked for their blessing to share my Secret Keeper lyrical story with others. I actually had written two songs with similar messages and at the time had not yet decided if I was going to record Secret Keeper or Only Four, so I shared both with them.

We had a fabulous healing conversation that day, healing for my parents especially. A few years prior, as I dove into therapy and looked at the trauma of being molested by a teenage boy who lived with us for a short period of time, I went through the stages of grief in moving from wounded to healed. I experienced anger and floodgates of tears. I was angry with my parents and let them know it.

But after healing myself over the span of seven years, I was able to compassionately look at the entire situation and my understanding bloomed into forgiveness.

I was able to understand my parents had no idea anything like that could ever happen. It was not even in their scope of awareness. I forgave my parents.

I was also able to understand that the teenage boy was troubled and wounded, and was basically playing out with me some of the things that were done to him. I actually found myself feeling empathy for him. I forgave him.

I was able to understand that I was used to having a manipulative and controlling relationship in my life, and while my inner knowing always repelled those energies, I somehow kept welcoming them into my life (even my most inner circle). I kept getting hurt and finding myself in deceptive circumstances with untrustworthy people, which would make me rear up with aggressive energy in defense. I was tired of that pattern. I chose to forgive everyone who ever manipulated, controlled or deceived me.

And then, I forgave myself. Finally! I forgave myself for all of the times I was out of integrity, and for the times I was manipulative, controlling or deceptive. I also sought forgiveness and compassionate understanding from others.

I had been yearning for contentment, simplicity and peace. Through forgiveness I gifted myself with those things and so much more.

Through full circle forgiveness I released the self-induced shame. There was no more anger. There was no more sadness. I no longer felt like a victim to any circumstance in my life. I no longer had blinders on, so I was able to see things from a higher vantage point.

Through healing and forgiveness, I set myself free. I cut the cord to the story that once tethered me to remaining contained. I chose to be brave and release myself into the great unknown. I chose to be my own hero.

With my transparent self-awareness, I started shifting my life and erasing the template of familiar unhealthy patterns. I no longer found myself becoming reactive or getting angry when I was deceived or dishonored; I simply pulled back my energy with self-protective grace and honor.

It took me nine years to get here.

It’s been that long from the moment I admitted being molested to a friend and then my therapist to today — a day I’m releasing the visual display of a little girl who grew up to empower herself to heal her wounds, grow through life’s lessons, and shine her bright light with the dimmer turned off.

My dad died just a few months after I shared this song with him. He was so proud of me and we were closer than ever the last few years of his life. I’m grateful for that.

The other day, I went to my mom’s house and shared this video with her. I knew I needed her to see it before anyone else. I saw and felt her emotional response as she told me she felt sad I wasn’t protected when I was a little girl. I assured her again that it wasn’t her fault and there’s no shame for anyone in this story. I assured her that Secret Keeper is a story about self-empowerment, and I’m proud of myself for the transformation I’ve experienced from the inside out. My mom looked at me and smiled as we hugged and said, “Kathryn, you’re so brave. I’m proud of you.”

With those words from the woman who helped me know I could be anything I wanted to be if I worked hard, believed in myself, and had a positive attitude — I’m now ready to share this video with you.

I wrote this for my own healing and understanding. I share it for yours.

May this song be a mirror of healing and hope for anyone who needs it.

You’re brave, too.


Secret Keeper

Lyrics and music composed by Kathryn Cloward
© 2017 Kathryn Cloward | ℗ 2017 Kandon Unlimited, Inc.

Be a good little girl don’t tell anyone
It’ll be our little secret just me and you having fun
Hidden in my closet that’s where he’d play
Why didn’t anyone notice it was the middle of the day
So I held it all inside and cried on my own
There was no one I could tell I felt so alone
I felt so alone

I’m a secret keeper I compartmentalize
I keep moving forward as I dry my eyes
I’m a secret keeper it’s a lonely road
Hiding what is true is a heavy load

Thirty years later that little girl is me
I grew up to live the life a script followed carefully
But all along the way over and over again
I found myself living the same pattern
Secrets I held for others and some I created
Deception and hiding are a lonely prison
A lonely prison

I’m a secret keeper yearning to be free
The cry of my spirit needs trust and safety
I’m a secret keeper but I don’t want to be
Will this ever go away I don’t want it to define me

Healing and forgiveness gave me freedom at last
Secrets no longer harness me to my past
Then I met a man who wanted me to be
All for himself but our love hidden in secrecy
It didn’t feel right like a wool coat in summer’s heat
I wouldn’t be the secret he wanted me to keep
No I wouldn’t be

I’m not a secret keeper I won’t compartmentalize
I’ll keep moving forward even with tears in my eyes
I’m not a secret keeper it’s a beautiful road
I’ll never hide again what’s not healthy to hold
I’m not a secret keeper I’ve set myself free
My spirit’s finally soaring because I chose to love me
I’m not a secret keeper that little girl in me
Is living the simple life in peace and honesty
Yes in peace and honesty

Executive Producer — Kathryn Cloward
Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Jeff Berkley
Mastered By Gavin Lurssen
Guitars – Jeff Berkley
Backing Vocals – Sharon Whyte
Lead Vocals – Kathryn Cloward

Executive Producer — Kathryn Cloward
Produced, Directed and Edited by Jonathan Hammond
Hair and Makeup by Lesley Garcia
Photos from Cloward family albums


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