Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Have you ever been in the company of a friend or a family member when they have shared some news, specifically bad news, and you have retorted along the lines, 'Oh I know how you feel because that happened to me?' You may then have proceeded to share your story, which if not similar, would probably sound 'better' than the original.
It's human nature to show sympathy along those lines. But sympathy is often trite and meaningless — I don't want someone to look at me with pity in their eyes, I want them to support me and do something practical and I'm sure I'm not alone.
At one point in my life I believed I was that individual who thought nothing was going right, everyone else seemed to be managing and happy and had a spring in their step and a smile on their face— of course that made me even more miserable. If I was feeling broken then everyone else should be as well.
I don't know the stories or the reasons of why others feel feel desperately sad and lonely. It would be arrogant and patronising for me to suggest — 'Oh I know how you feel because once upon a time I was where you are. What you need to do is, blah, blah, blah,'
I don't do that, actually I don't think I have ever done that, instead I'll listen to their brokenness and their despair. I won't offer any empty platitudes and suggest there is a quick fix method which will wipe away all tears and heal the wound. Healing any wound needs time — hopefully that's what we can offer.