Has anyone ever said to you, “what have you got to feel sad about, there are people a lot worse off than you”? Maybe someone has said it to you, or you have even said it yourself, or at maybe at least even thought it.
The big thing about what is happening right now, is there is not a person in the country who will not be affected by this unprecedented life changing situation. Every single one of us our children included will feel the impact of covid-19 in some way shape or form. That means we have all got it worse. We have it as worse as each other and to get through these tough and challenging times we need each other – kindness, compassion and empathy has never been so important.
Usually when someone tells us “someone else has it worse than you,” the message it sends is stop complaining. Or if we say it to ourselves it’s a coping mechanism to put a lid on our emotions and each time we do that what we’re really saying is, how you feel doesn’t matter to anyone least of all yourself. Sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to feel our perfectly valid feelings because we think someone else has it worse.
That narrative is unhelpful and unhealthy as what we really hear is, the way you feel, the difficulties you face, aren’t important enough to matter. That doesn’t encourage us to talk and share our feelings at the best of times so it won’t help us to reach out when we are experiencing the worst of times.
So yes there maybe be someone out there who maybe experiencing something worse than you right you, it doesn’t stop you hurting right now does it? It doesn’t stop us all hurting right now. Hurting for what we have lost, what will no longer be and the impact this is having on our health our livelihoods and the worry and despair we may feel for our loved ones.
We all are going to experience a range of emotions as we navigate our way through this uncertain and challenging time and by accepting we feel equally as worse as each other and allowing ourselves to feel, talk and experience our feelings will be necessary and important.
Perhaps after all of this is over and we begin to resume some sense of normality, that one of the life lessons we will have learnt is the way that we listen to one another. That no matter how worse someone else may have it, how we feel matters too and we are entitled to be able to talk about it. Someone may have it worse, but you are entitled feel your worse too and that’s what matters.