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‘You’re bitter? Don’t be’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

March 25, 2020

Nearly two weeks ago, I was chatting with a kind priest before he heard my confession. “How’s your spiritual life?” he asked.

“Not so hot,” I answered. “To be honest, I’m bitter. Between the car accident and two surgeries in just over a year, I feel like I’ve had more than enough pain and chaos.”

“You’re bitter?” he responded. “Don’t be.”

It was that simple. He let that reality sit with me for a few seconds before reminding me that I have a family I adore, a job I love, relatively good health, a group of close friends… He reminded me that I have a pretty good life.

He also reminded me that I have the ability to choose how I react to what I perceive as hardships. He reminded me that God has given me great gifts, and he reminded me to be grateful.

I’ve thought about “you’re bitter? Don’t be” possibly hundreds of times this week, as our world has changed around us in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

If there’s ever been a good time for people to be bitter, this could be it. People are getting sick. People are dying. We’re isolated. We’re concerned about vital resources being available when needed. We can’t go to Mass or gather in worship. We can’t receive the Eucharist. There are financial concerns and other fears.

“You’re bitter? Don’t be.”

While it would be easy to be bitter, I’m trying to see the positives and to see God at work in the current situation. I’m trying to be grateful.

I am grateful to God for the medical professionals, retail workers, shipping and warehouse employees, law enforcement, emergency responders, media, policy makers and all the people working to try to keep the rest of us safe, healthy and informed.

I am grateful I’m able to spend my days with my husband and son. I’m grateful I’m able to work from home and continue doing this job I love so much. I’m grateful my family and I are safe and healthy.

I’m grateful to a loving God who has given me many gifts, even in a difficult time.

I’m trying not to be bitter. Please try with me.

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