Betty: It’s interesting, isn’t it? That which we complain about in another is in some form inside ourselves. It really is. The reason the other irritates us is because we have a problem. Nobody gets your goat, unless you have a goat to get. I’ve noticed in life that it’s proven over and over again to be true. So that, so much so, that when your goat is gotten, just know for sure the Lord has just introduced you into something you need to work on. Whenever somebody gets my goat now, it’s like, “Oh, no.” Because I realize I’m overreacting. “Uh oh!”
AM: It’s a good thing though you’re getting your goats cleaned out.
Betty: Well yeah. It’s part how the Lord tries to to move us on. One desert father spiritual director said to his spiritual directee, “Brother. If you do not have in your monastery someone who irritates you, then for the love of Jesus, go to a neighboring monastery and borrow such a one. For they’re essential for growth in the kingdom.” He was to go to a neighboring monastery and borrow somebody who got his goat. So, I’m thinking, “You’ve been gifted. You don’t have to go borrow one. It’s been provided.” Have you thanked the Lord for the gift?
AM: Doesn’t everybody have a goat at their disposal at all times?
Betty: Well, maybe not Jesus and the Virgin Mary, but most everybody else, yes.
AM: Don’t you think the rest of us always get the goat opportunities? I don’t think there’s a shortage of goats out there.
Betty: Well, I don’t know. This happened in the case of this desert monk. It’s written up by the desert fathers. They have a lot of wisdom for us.
AM: Well, some people don’t get bugged so easily though, and they may not be able to find a goat.
Betty: I don’t worry about you. You manage to find enough goats as you go through life. In fact, you might be somebody else’s goat for all you know.
Is there someone who is getting your goat that you need explore how you’re similar to them? My aunt said it’s like getting free psychotherapy to find a goat. Awareness is the first step. Then, we can take responsibility, and take it to God for healing.