“The grass is always greener on the other side.” This is a phrase I am sure you have heard. You know how you can hear something but not really take in the meaning? I have done that with this phrase, but recently it clicked in my brain and I was like “Oh wow, yeah I get it!” Obviously I knew what this saying meant, but it never really applied to my life in a way that I was consciously aware of.
I made the connection with grass. Yes, grass. On the berm (tree lawn, boulevard, whatever you want to call it) at my house I noticed that from a distance it looked like luscious thick green grass but when I got up close to it it was actually really patchy and a lot of dirt was present. Our neighbors probably saw beautiful grass and didn’t know that we had so much dirt showing through the patchy grass.
This is like life in general, especially now in the age of social media. People are not posting about their dirt that is showing through, they are posting the angle that shows the perfect green grass. If you compare your life to someone else’s you really don’t know their whole story most of the time. Even if it is someone who is close to you, you don’t always know everything that is going on in their life.
You might think someone else has the dream job, their trip looked like the best time ever, they eat super “clean” food (I use quotes here because I don’t like saying clean or dirty for food), they workout all the time, or they are always productive. You might wonder how someone is living such an amazing life and how they are happy all the time. Guess what, that is not reality.
Someone can have a dream job but the job that is their passion also takes them away form their new baby at home and that makes them sad. Someone could post amazing pictures from a trip they went on but they never talked about the fact that they got food poisoning and started crapping their pants in the middle of the hotel lobby. Someone only posts about meals that they feel proud of so they only post when they eat a salad and you think that’s all they eat when in reality they struggle to eat salads and tend to binge eat peanut butter by the spoonful all day long. You see someone post about being at the gym every day but you don’t know that the only time they can get away from an abusive spouse is when they are at the gym. You see someone post about their to-do list and how they always cross everything off but what you don’t know is that they are struggling with severe anxiety and one thing that helps them is making lists. You see someone post about how happy they are but on the inside they feel like they don’t deserve to be alive.
Are the scenarios always true where something not as great is behind the picture? No. Is it true that what we see online is filtered and more than likely altered to look better? Yes.
Longing for someone else’s life is a very unhealthy habit to fall into. Instead I think it is important to appreciate what is in our lives that brings us joy. What is making you happy to be alive today? Are you showing up for yourself the best that you can right now? Are you letting your friends and family know that you love them? Are you telling yourself that you are worthy and capable of all you set your mind to?
Be happy for the people in your life and what they have. Make sure to check in with the people in your life to see how they are really doing. Be honest with yourself and others about how you are doing.
Look at your life from a place of gratitude and know that your grass is just as green as your neighbors (or just as patchy) even if it doesn’t seem that way.
Until next time,