For centuries,we have been using the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” to express our perception that the lives of others is somehow better than ours. And while I understand the idiom, I’m challenged to believe that in actuality, not only is the grass on the other side NOT GREENER, it’s a completely different color.
For the past few months, I’ve been reflecting on the human desire to have what others have. We often wake up with a desire to be prettier, richer, more compatible with the person that dumped us, in another person’s position at work, a different city etc.
I’ve had countless conversations with friends and family that have proven this point. Recently, my hubby and I were talking about a friend of ours. She has a great job, drives a nice car, gets to travel,is in a great relationship, is SUPER fly all the time, lives in a nice apartment in the city along with many other great things! In our eyes, her life appears “perfect”. Of course we realize no one’s life is perfect, hers just seems REALLY REALLY close.
After having a conversation with her (and telling her how perfect her life seems), she shared some of her challenges and (though her life still seemed pretty great in my opinion) I realized no ones’ grass is greener. Because our lives have been hand crafted to be completely different, the grass will never be greener; I’m convinced my grass is purple.
I’ve always struggled with the idea of comparison. For years, I compared myself to others and often wished my life would look more like theirs and less like my own. In more recent months, I’ve been making a conscious effort to catch myself every time I feel a comparison begin to form in my mind.
I’ve come to understand I go through things that others do not go through because I’m designed to do so. Our situations, though often similar, are unique to the lives they are assigned to. The grass is a completely different color on my side! A color specific to my needs, abilities, talents, gifts and ability to conquer everything coming my way. AND because my grass is purple, it takes completely different maintenance than say, green or yellow grass.
The solutions to your problems aren’t always the solutions to mine. The timing in which you do things may not be the right timing for me. The man you are dating should not be compared to mine and vice versa.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t have standards or role models. I’m simply submitting that we have to be conscious of how strongly we hold to those standards as to not compare our lives to others — it can be extremely damaging to the intention in our individuality.
So often, we see the surface lives of others and deem their lives perfect. I’ve heard people imply that my married status is an indication that my life is perfect based solely on the fact that I have a great man and a “great” marriage. And, most of the time, their declaration of my “great marriage” is based on smiley face pictures of me and my husband in our good moments on social media sites and social gatherings. The saying goes that a picture says a thousand words but I don’t think you could ever uncover the depth of our challenges from an instagram selfie.
(Commercial Break: Before my husband sends me a “so we don’t have a great marriage” text, let me say this: I’m not implying my marriage isn’t great, because it is. I’m simply admitting it’s not perfect. Trying to prove a point here!)
Despite how neatly made the bed is, how spotless the counter tops are and how visible the lines in the freshly vacuumed carpet; there is always something stuffed underneath a bed, closet, or side storage room hidden from the naked eye.
As people, we rarely report the challenges and hardships for the world to see. While I understand it, I think there is room for a healthy balance of exposure vs seclusion. It’s important we understand how valuable our own lawns are. Without comparison to others, there is beauty in not only knowing the intricacies of your own but appreciating them.
Knowing my grass is purple, different and unique helps me learn the rules and routines that will keep my grass alive and vibrant. I cannot do with purple grass what is done to yellow.
Everyone is living with their own challenges and even when they’re not; there are circumstances in the lives of others I could not handle. While learning to appreciate the little idiosyncrasies of my life, I’m growing to appreciate the grass on this side of the fence.
What makes your life unique and beautiful? How intentional and attentive have you been in learning and appreciating those things? What color is your grass?
Make moves towards learning so much about your life that you have no time to compare it to others; always seeking to move forward and upward. Life will never be “perfect” but it can always be beautiful! We just have to be willing to see it as such.
Currently embracing my purple grass.