Sunny Saturday: Watering Your Own Grass
I will admit that I have lived a majority of my life with the belief the grass is always greener on the other side. I thought that I would be happier in a different set of circumstances. I was never pleased with where I was in the moment, always wanting something else thinking that would be all I needed. It was never about wanting what others had and being jealous of them. It was always wanting what I used to have or wished for that I thought would be the key to my complete happiness. It was always wanting the opposite of what I had. But when I would get it, I desired what I used to have.
The major example of this is the anorexia. I wanted a life with less emotion. On the other side of my fence was a life in which I thought there would be less pain, less feeling, more acceptance in how I expressed myself. I saw a life where I could be all that people wanted and be loved by all for that. Once over there, however, it wasn't at all what I thought. It wasn't dreams fulfilled. It was a nightmare. There was more pain and heartache. There was isolation and hate. There was a complete loss of myself and all hope. Nothing was what I pictured. There was no greener grass. No grass even existed when I stepped foot on that side of the fence. It was void of life. It was barren. All along I could have made where I was a place of peace and self love and acceptance if I cared for my heart, body, and mind like it deserved instead of trying to make it all that it was not designed to be. My life had everything already, but I failed to see that when overcome with being too worried about what others thought and not accepting God's gift. If I put my energy on what God was doing within me and why I was feeling so much, I could have learned to use it to my advantage to make my own grass greener.
There are other examples as well. When I was a child, I wanted to be an adult but when I became an adult, I longed for my childhood back. I would have moments in life where nothing eventful was going on and I longed for some excitement. I would get that excitement and wish for some peace again. I wanted to be more spontaneous in life but when I got it, I wanted the predictability back. I wanted to be in the presence of people but when with them, I longed to be alone. I wanted to live in a more populated area, but once there, I miss the quiet of country life. No matter what I was never content. I was never satisfied with what I had. I could never get myself to settle in one place, one phase, or one stage of life, one emotion, or one circumstance. I kept thinking that the other option as to how I was living would be a better way to live. All I could see where the positives in it and the negative in my current circumstances when I should have seen that both exist in each situation. I kept wanting my life to be hugely successful in the terms of society and full of adventure, and when it did not turn out that way, I felt depressed and empty. I wanted more. I wanted to go where I thought the grass was greener. But once I hopped the fence to the other side where I imagined lush, perfect grass that would leave me satisfied, I discovered it was no different. So then I started to wonder about the grass being greener somewhere else and the cycle continued. I turned all my attention and energy on focusing on what I didn’t have in each spot of land rather than counting my blessings in the moment. As I was wishing what I had away and trying to change it, I failed to realize that I already had so many perfect things in my life at that moment. Thinking about all that we don’t have leads to a miserable existence and causes us to forget what is most important. We forget what the whole point of happiness truly is.
Happiness comes from peace of mind, acceptance, and allowing yourself to be in the moment. It is about being content with your current circumstances; no matter where you are, what you are doing, or whom you are with. Being mindful brings a peace and quiet within us that no other quest for a perfect life could ever bring. It is not to say you cannot dream for a change that will help you grow and enrich you if things are not troubling right now but don’t wish away the current moment for some happiness you think has the potential to exist. You are where and who you are for a reason. Even if things are not ideal, you can make where you are beautiful. You can make the grass greener. Whenever you feel yourself losing focus on the now and wondering about where you will be “happy” next, bring yourself back to the present, look at what you already have, look around you and enjoy the moments that are happening right before your eyes.
You achieve happiness by creating life around your current location. You already have nearly everything before you that you could need to satisfy you but it is up to you to make the grass as green as it can be. The grass is greener where you tend to it. You can water the grass surrounding you and bring color and life to where you are. Think in positivity and hope. Bring people in who bring out the best in you. Find hobbies that bring you joy. Discover what your passions are. Forget about the past and do not worry about the future. Take each day as it comes and enjoy the beauty in each one. Stop to take note of the result of you caring for your life; the flowers blooming, the butterflies fluttering by, the ray of sunshine coming down on you. Failing to do so results in you waking up one day and realizing that you spent your life chasing happiness with no luck while you had the means to be happy all along. The watering hose and fertilizer were in your shed the whole time.
The sad part is that is usually takes losing or nearly losing what we have in order for us to realize how much it means to them and how happy we were with what we had. So much we take for granted. We grow a certain expectation for them to be there forever. We become numb to the happiness they provide. We are blinded to what they are giving to our lives. It is when they are gone, either by our own doing by hopping the fence or by circumstances out of our control, we see what blessings they were. We don’t realize what we have until it is gone. It is so important to stay in the moment to delight in all that we DO have and treasure those things because in an instant, they could be gone. You would have missed out on countless beautiful things with it because you were so focused on going after something you deemed to be perfect. Sometimes the dream of something is much more appealing than actually getting it. Once obtained, you may still feel empty. From a distance, they seem flawless. Once you have them, the rose-colored glasses come off and you start to experience the bad side of it as well. You may think it was better when it was just a dream. You may want back what you sacrificed that could have been all that you needed if you put the care and energy into that it deserved.
Always wishing for different, complaining about what I had, being unhappy with my grass, left me in a victim mentality. What this did was contribute to my browning grass and even add weeds to the field. It was doing nothing to make my grass greener. I would always be left unsatisfied and living a mediocre life, never fulfilling or bringing me true happiness. What I needed to remember is that my life may not have been perfect or easy, but it was mine. I may not be in control of what type of grass I was placed on or what surrounds it, but I am in control of what I chose to do with what I have been given. My life is what I make it. I can chose to find the good in what is before me and make the most of it. I can use the not so ideal to my benefit. With my health and freedom, I believe anything is possible. No grass is too dead to be revived. That mentality is what will add beauty to the side of the fence I stand on today.
It is important to remember that what you dream, what you desire may not give you all that you want or expected from it. There is that chance it could. But I believe if it is meant to be, it will show up on your side of the fence once you properly tend to your grass. Things will present themselves for you to achieve your dreams and find your happiness right where you are if you learn to accept what is around you and who you are right at this moment. You need to keep watering your own grass and it will grow to be all that your heart wants in life.
Love, light, and bravery, J.L.