Recently, in conversation with a dear friend, the phrase “The grass is always greener (on the other side of the fence)” came up. My friend had heard an interesting spin on the usual phrase and she added, “It’s just a different shade of green” and I thought, ‘Oh, how true that is!’
(image courtesy of shutterstock.com)
How many times in each of our lives have we wondered, considered, even believed that the grass may be greener on the other ‘side’ of our current situation? In the workplace or our employment situations, we may believe that things would be better if only we had a different job, position, or responsibilities. In our relationships, we may wonder if we would be better suited with someone else or maybe even alone. In our personal reflections, we may feel that if we looked differently, acted differently, or even associated with different people that our lives would be happier; the proverbial grass would be greener, thereby making our lives ‘better’.
Not to burst anyone’s bubble or to rain on any parades, but I don’t think the grass is ever really greener over “there”. I agree whole-heartedly that the grass may look and appear alluring and may be a different shade of green just like my friend stated, but it is still grass.
We will not be able to change the things that need to be changed in our selves and in our current situations if we are always looking for the quick fix of wanting what’s over the fence. We need to mow our own lawns before we want to be on someone else’s. We need to clear off our own doorsteps before we wish we were on the steps of a different house. We need to break our own cycles of laziness or even craziness before we can think that simply being somewhere (emotionally or physically) different is going to change us.
Issues we have at work, in our relationships, or with ourselves will remain constant no matter what side of the fence we are on because they are usually problematic elements deep within ourselves, not in our environment. If we cannot recognize those things as the root of what is ‘wrong’, then they will continue to follow us despite which fences or grass we search out. Remember: The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. This applies to grass gleaning as well.
Now, change can be good, things that are broke do need to be fixed, and sometimes fences can’t be mended or bridges unburned. BUT – if we want greener grass simply because it seems to look better, promises to be more fun, or appears to be the easy way out, then we are searching in vain. Many times things appear better than they are; our perspective or perception may be one way, when reality is completely another. Remember also: The grass is always greener over the septic tank.
In our search for greener grass, we may even be allowing envy or greed to dictate our feelings and enabling our beliefs that we are not and do not have enough. We may have a fear of commitment, of boredom, or even a fear of losing our zest for life. We may feel inferior when others succeed or achieve more than what we do. Whichever is the case, the idea that there will be something over the fence that will allow us to have all that we want, crave, desire, and value and that it will happen on our terms, is a fantasy that many of us fall victim to.
When we constantly search for greener grass we forget that the key to happiness is to make the most of what we have. When we are constantly yearning for what is on the other side of the fence, we lose confidence in ourselves and have a hard time remembering that the focus should be on our own lives and making the best of them. We may even lose hope that our lives can be wonderful and fulfilling just as they are because we are so caught up in wanting the seemingly wonderfulness of the grass that is just out of our reach.
We can’t have the grass over the fence. We can only have our own. Even if we test out the terrain on the other side, that grass becomes ours anyway and will eventually lose its appeal. There will always be another fence with greener grass that we will continue to want. We may even start to desire the grass back over on the original side of the fence where we came from as well.
We can only have our grass and the sooner we accept that as a fact, the sooner we can work on improving and growing our own. The grass is always greenest where it is watered. Let’s work on ‘tending to the grass wherever we are’. After all, grass is still grass, whatever shade of green it might end up being.