In his book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father James Martin tells of a conversation he had with another priest. Martin was not having a good day and concluded with “My life is such a cross.”
His friend responded, “Yes, but for you or for others?”
Now I have nothing against sharing our troubles or even venting them. But do we really want to be the emotional Pig Pen, walking around with fumes of anger, resentment, and anxiety spreading to every bystander?
I know more than once I’ve met up with a friend expecting a nice meal and conversation only to leave feeling as if I had just slogged through the Slough of Despond after listening to a never-ending litany of complaints. And I’m sure friends can say the same after an evening with me.
But it’s something I’m working on. After all, there are enough bad things in the world for my friends to face without adding me to the list.