Knowing It Could Be Worse Doesn’t Always Make It Better

Brass Scales Of Justice Off Balance, Symbolizing Injustice, Over White

Years ago, after what I would consider a tragic event for my family, many people were quick to comfort us with a host of “at least”s. As in: “At least the kids are alright,” and “At least you’re all together.”

I appreciated their concern, but wondered two things at the time: didn’t they realize that I had already run through an entire list of “at least”s in my own head, and was grateful for every one of them? and also – did it make me seem ungrateful if I was still upset and suffering anyway?

I understand the need for counting blessings, and trust me, I do it every day. I am blessed beyond measure, I know that. I mark these things in my thoughts, in my prayers, even down on paper.

But sometimes, I still feel the sorrow and the struggle. Does that make me ungrateful? I hope not. I hope it just means that I can allow myself a little space to honestly feel what I am feeling before I pull myself back together.

I try constantly to look at the world from a different perspective, to understand how others have it much harder than I do, and to understand how much worse for me things could be. But I think it’s important, too, to look at my OWN life, to take it as-is, and feel pain when there is pain.

What about you? How do you balance knowing that things could be worse with the things that are difficult in your own life?



  • Jessica Barrus Morgan

    I agree wholeheartedly. I mentioned to a friend the physical problems I’ve been having with this pregnancy and after a few minutes of (I’ll admit it) complaining, he said “Why are you even pregnant?” Um, cuz I signed up for a baby, not to remain pregnant. I wondered something similar: do I HAVE to enjoy this pregnancy to be so, so happy that we’ll have another baby when it’s all over? I sure hope not!

  • Holly

    I wonder how many times I have said something to a friend or associate and it wasn’t the right thing.  I am curious how many times my kind thoughts and gestures actually offended another.  I totally understand your struggles with the comments, I just wonder if they were trying to be understanding and a good friend as well.  But then again….I don’t really feel that people are intentionally malicious.  I fear that anything that come out of my mouth may be the wrong thing.

    • I am sure you haven’t offended anyone, and that your good intentions have meant a lot to a lot of people. I took away certain lessons from my experience that may not be relevant to anyone else – we all go through struggles differently. I noticed in my situation that people tend to get uncomfortable around crisis and tragedy – they don’t know what to “do.” I do realize it’s comfort that people are trying to offer when they try to see the “bright side” of things, and I appreciate that. I just remember wishing that someone would just give me permission to cry and feel really, really crummy about my situation. But that’s just *me.* Others may only WANT to hear words of encouragement and “at least”s when they are struggling. Me? I want to hear things like “I know this is hard. You will get through. I will pray strength for you.” But again, everyone is different, and I think any support offered is valuable.

  • Suzanne Young

    Two thoughts…

    1.  You are correct abo