What to talk to spiritual director about?

My spiritual director is a Priest and a family friend and every time I talk with him (once a month) I never know what to say to him. He asks how I’m doing and I say “uh fine.” Then he says what have I been up to and he says “nothing much.” I just don’t see how talking about private stuff is good. Why would I want to talk about negative things because then I’d get emotional and I don’t like being emotional, thus I don’t share my problems with people.

It’s like going to the doctor and they have you fill out a sheet of any pains or mental issues that you have had recently. I just check ‘X’ for all ‘no’ so I don’t have to talk about anything and go down a rabbit hole. There’s some issues of mine I share to help other people and to help myself but there are others I just don’t want to confront because I know I’ll cry about it. I feel ashamed about my problems and don’t want to talk about them with him because I’ll seem weak (not talking about impurity struggles, they aren’t the problems I’m referring to ). Any advice? I have spiritual direction this Wednesday, so in a day basically

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So talk about something positive.

Think of spiritual direction as a way of building your spirituality… like a “building up of the church”, as they say…

But note - in my experience - there is an immense difference between confession and spiritual direction, which can sometimes get confused… Some clergy told me they tend to separate their confessor from the Spiritual Director, although they may be intercompatible…

If you wanted to build a church, for instance, you would be talking about stuff like zoning, finances, architecture, and so on… You wouldnt be talking about your sins because they would be off-topic… You’re saying you dont want to talk about negative personal stuff anyway… so reserve it for the confessional, and discuss the positive “building up” spiritual stuff with your Spiritual Director… Talk about the meaning of a Bible passage you find amazing, or a good prayer for a certain petition, or some Saint’s diary you are reading… whatever is building you up or you would like to build into your spirituality…

In any case, it’s kind of ironic… you’re coming here and asking this question, when you have the real deal right there before you… That’s not a criticism… But why a website when you have a living Priest right there with you?

I’m the same way, but I think it’s important that you learn to talk about these kinds of things. It’s okay to cry, especially if your issues are truly something worth crying about. I agree with @Wm777 in the sense that you should try to find positive things in your life to talk about with your spirit director, and if you have nothing positive going on in your life (which I highly doubt; I’m sure you could find SOMETHING if you tried hard enough :slight_smile: ) then just talk to him about whatever you have on your mind, regardless of whether you end up crying or not. I have cried many a time after Confession having been so ashamed of what I’ve done, and nearly twice as many times during therapy because of things I’m going through. Don’t worry about others’ opinions; it’s more important that you are emotionally healthy and don’t bottle these things up until they explode.

Having said that, my prayers are with you. Good luck!

I never share my emotions with people so I think he would find it very much “out of left field.” I think I should talk about stuff but I don’t want to because then I’ll have to think about it

You are wasting an opportunity for real growth/change by not being open and honest with your spiritual director and your doctor. It’s okay to get personal and it’s okay go get emotional. You should be honest with him. Holding it inside is not helping you. And you need to help yourself first. If anything, perhaps a psychologist would allow you to separate your spiritual director from your personal life for you, but you have to see how they are intertwined.


You have to reveal your spiritual struggles and things that are really on your mind. Otherwise, SD has little to no value. Be bold. Man up. :smiley:


I’d suggest you either start talking to him about why you don’t want to address emotions or quite going. You may not be ready for spiritual Direction. What are your expectations of it? What do you hope to accomplish?


I think I should talk about stuff but I don’t want to because then I’ll have to think about it

Uhmmm… yes, I can see why that would be a problem…

But do you enjoy going to mass, saying prayers, reading spiritual books, watching spiritual movies?

Yes very much so. Pretty much all my interests outside of sports are religious. Very active religiously. But I don’t want him thinking I’m weak or something

Idk. My brothers who are years older than me go to this same priest and so do my parents so I was kind of grandfathered into it a couple years ago but idk what to talk about or get from it. For example, if I said to him “I really hate college, sure there are spiritual and educational opportunities but it’s really hard for me emotionally and I can’t take the socializing demands. I wish I never went to college but I know I’m suppose to.” What could saying that possibly gain me? All it does is have me think about my situation which makes me sad. He thinks I have tons of friends and everything’s all good with me. Exactly what my family thinks, they think I have zero problems in my life and eventually I’ll find someone because nobody’s life is easy forever… they just don’t know because I don’t talk about anything.

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How would he or your family know anything is wrong if you keep shoving down your feelings?
Please, consider getting some counseling. If you are in college, there should be counseling available to you. Just ask.

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Well, the priest might likely ask you if you’ve prayed about it. If you thought about what God really wants for you. What is God’s Will.

You should not go to college just to be pleasing your parents. That’s a big mistake. Take things like that to prayer and you can ask your spiritual director how to do that.

You’re not a minor, though, and you can make your own decision about whether spiritual direction is right for you at this moment or not.

If you don’t spend time before the Blessed Sacrament yet, I would recommend you give that a try.

Talk to him about how you experience God. What is God like for you?

I do adoration pretty much daily, and I do find a lot of peace in it. I usually lay prostrate

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I experience God most in forgiveness and mercy since I need it

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That’s excellent! Now, listen to what Jesus might be telling you there. Keep it up. :slight_smile:

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If you’re not comfortable opening up to your spiritual director therm maybe you have the wrong director. You say he’s a family friend. The thing is, your spiritual director isn’t meant to be your friend. He’s there to help you grow in your spiritual life.

Maybe the question to ask is what you are looking for in spiritual direction. Why are you doing it?


I think what I want is for him to ask me questions that open up conversations about the problems I’m struggling with in the hopes he has help to offer. But I don’t want to bring them up myself because I don’t think it would even be helpful to do so.

Tell your SD what that is like for you to experience.

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But if you don’t bring them up yourself, he’ll have to guess what your problems are. Essentially, you’re asking him to read your mind. That’s not what spiritual directors do.

It may be that you’re not ready for spiritual direction, or that he’s not a good fit for you. Either way, there’s no shame in it. But as others have said, you’re missing an opportunity here. It’s not a good use of your time or his. There’s little point in pursuing a spiritual direction relationship if you’re not completely open and honest with your director.

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