Of masks and reactions

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Does this law of physics apply equally to other areas of life?

I was chatting to a friend who has recently started in full-time ministry. He finds that when he spends the day giving out to people, 'being the minister', he comes home and can't help being really grumpy with his wife.

I find the same thing. I spend the day absorbing various amounts of aggravation and interruption from children, but take it out on my husband (or the dog!) at night.

Are ministry and motherhood similar in that we put on 'masks' of niceness, calmness and being 'above it all'? I don't really want to show the anger that accidentally spilt juice arouses in me. After all, it's not my child's fault that he's still learning to pour. And perhaps I'm angry at myself for not taking more charge of the situation. My friend doesn't want to show irritation he might feel at being kept waiting for someone. It's easier to wear the mask that's appropriate to the situation.

The trouble is, we always end up with a reaction that hurts other people who are relative innocents to the situation!

So how to solve the problem?

More honesty in life? Less mask-wearing? More vulnerability and ability to speak true feelings? Or just buy a punching bag and give it a good round before dinner?

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