“This too shall pass”, “it’s just a phase”, “look for the good in it” etc etc etc.
Particularly of late, I seem to have been on the receiving end of a lot of comments like these. At least one a day I would say. Mostly, they irritate me, and I use some misguided superiority of suffering to mentally bat them away. I mean, what comfort is there in sayings that point out the temporary nature of your struggles, when you can’t see beyond the present, difficult moment? How can you see the light at the end of the tunnel when your eyes are blinded by the fog of stress and exhaustion? It might be a transient experience, but that is where you are, and its transience doesn’t make the burden any lighter.
And yet, where would we be if no-one tried to pull us above the muddy mire that we’re in, and gave us a moment of perspective, misguided as the words they use may be? When I look back on some of my naive attempts to offer consolation to others, I cringe. But I am glad that I tried, and didn’t shrink away from their pain just because I couldn’t share it.
This is what I need to remember when a cliched saying is offered by way of comfort to me. It may be classed as a ‘throwaway’ statement, but the intention and the person behind it make it something to be acknowledged, considered, even treasured.