When “the grass seems greener on the other side,” you look over the “fence”—literally or proverbially—and see your neighbor’s “lawn” as healthier than yours. But, just like us worn-down mortals with eroded and less-than-perfect parts of us, you’re often not close enough to recognize the crabgrass, brown patches, or bare places.
As humans, we often have a bias that makes others’ realities appear more amazing than ours. We see their world through rose-colored glasses. You might imagine, “Wow, my friend has it all—an amazing career, a gorgeous house, and the opportunity to travel extensively. If he heard you, his response might be, “Are you kidding? I’d give anything to get off this hamster wheel, have a simpler life, and spend more time with those I love!”
You might think, “I wish I had a relationship like Karen and Stephen’s, or Jim and Michael’s. They’re so happy and in sync with each other; their lives are perfect!” But, you probably don’t truly know what goes on behind their closed doors. Karen and Stephen may live in an outwardly beautiful house, that’s anything but peaceful inside. Jim and Michael may go separate ways as soon as they unlock the door.
We sometimes believe we’re entitled to continual bliss. (That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?) But, when something significant changes—a loved one dies, a fulfilling career ends, a home that was nurturing becomes overwhelming, a friendship fades away, health becomes compromised, or something as world-altering as COVID-19 occurs—we can forget that we have to seek joy. It won’t always be easy (first-hand experience), but don’t close the door to happiness.
No matter how popular, blessed, loved, or financially secure, some are never content because there’s always greener grass to pursue. Please don’t let that be you. Recognize what truly makes you happy, make whatever changes you can to achieve it, then live into it with all the gusto you have.
Often, the things we say we need or want to experience contentment have a financial price tag attached. Would a larger home, more prestigious car, or designer handbag genuinely add joy, or would it merely fill the void for a brief time? The significant parts of life: health, friendship, love, creativity, and laughter are what truly matter. Sure, we can spend money on the things and experiences that bring us happiness, but, for the most part, we shouldn’t have to “buy” joy.
Sometimes, of course, the “grass is greener.” If you’re in a situation or relationship where you’re unfulfilled or unvalued, you may need to step off the safety of the turf you’re standing on, reinvent your life and move to greener grass. But, remember that there aren’t just two sides: “their awesome green grass” and “my, not so gorgeous, weed-filled grass.” There’s a myriad of alternatives between the two!
Choose, continually, to evolve in this odyssey called life, nurturing greener grass as you lean into who your spirit knows you are. Throw away what no longer serves you and put on new rose-colored glasses that allow you to enjoy your path, and intentionally create the life you want to live—the one that you’ve learned how to fertilize.