The Grass is Always Greener
We’ve all heard the popular adage and yet it’s still easy to get caught in the web of comparison. Seeing people we may not have spoken to in years living out their dreams online can create feelings of not being enough. Scrolling endlessly through career achievements, fitness progress, romantic relationships, and expanding families can leave a sour taste if we are using their success as a benchmark for our own happiness. It may feel as if we are behind or just unlucky when comparing our messy lives to the tangible results those around us are celebrating.
In reality we don’t always see the work, struggle, and sacrifice that went into creating those post worthy events. We often compare our insides with other people’s outsides without even realizing what we’re doing. That picture perfect post that stirs up feelings within us can seem completely out of reach when compared to our own lives. Maybe we don’t have the body or career of our dreams. Perhaps we’ve been looking for the right partner for years and it hurts every time we see another happy couple. It could feel like we’re in a rut and no matter how lofty our dreams are, we just can’t seem to take a step in the right direction. It’s ok. It really is.
You are not broken or behind anyone else. We all struggle and have challenges, we just don’t all share them online. I remember going through one of the many rough parts of my divorce. I had been with my ex-husband for eleven years but what was once love had become laden with toxicity and resentment. I didn’t have the tools to have a healthy relationship even if he or she was dropped on my doorstep in that exact moment. So naturally, I started seeing someone immediately. I didn’t want to go through the pain of unpacking why my relationship failed. I didn’t want to start over again after putting all of myself into something for so long. I posted scathing dirty laundry about the relationship I was leaving and pretended like the relationship I was in was the answer to all my prayers. It wasn’t. I was in so much pain and had just allowed myself to fall into a codependent relationship with an abusive narcissist. The only people who understood that were those closest to me. It didn’t take long before the fake life I was trying to show off crumbled.
So what now? What happens when you’ve been trying to build the life of your dreams through dedication and effort and it shatters? What happens when you’ve been faking it until you make it but you’re still feeling empty and unfulfilled? You turn within. I started looking at my relationships and the way I responded to certain situations. I began healing the trauma that had contributed to my warped perceptions of reality. That doesn’t mean I didn’t still try to find the partner or reach other goals along the way. From the day I broke up with the narcissist until I had my first date with my current partner was 5 years. I ran into many walls over and over again with my dating patterns. I allowed my heart to be broken by people who had no interest in protecting it. I had nights where I felt like my soul would never be mended from all of the pain I had endured. And yet, there was hope. I knew what I ultimately wanted and I didn’t let anything stop me from becoming the woman who was capable of receiving it. Through all of that commitment and self-love, I attracted a healthy and joyful relationship. The highlights are all anyone ever sees. Our innermost struggles and sacrifices that led to the goal are not always apparent.
A recent example of this is a gift I was creating for my mother’s birthday. It had been a stressful week for many reasons. I wasn’t feeling confident in my abilities as a pastry chef or an artist but I knew I wanted to create something heartfelt for my mom. I was beating myself up for not being perfect. I can get into a space where I get frustrated at my humanity. I want everything to be perfect and go according to plan. I have Virgo heavily in my chart and boy does it show. Life doesn’t go according to plan though. I ended up throwing out my first sculpture and changing the plan on the cake midway through. I didn’t take a picture of the trashed sculpture or the ganache all over my kitchen counter. The first patch of grass for the sculpture burned to a crisp in the clay baking process at 10 pm the night before. What I posted was the final product that looked the best I could create at the time. Was it perfect? No, but it was far from the turbulent process behind it.
I laughed the night I took the picture of the two patches of grass. God (Spirit, Universe, etc.) has a sense of humor. The second sculpture came out better than the one that I threw away. I allowed myself to accept help rather than trying to stubbornly make everything perfect. My partner patiently helped me mix the clay and add the details. I said, “People are only going to see the one that came out well. I should post about what happens behind the scenes. The grass isn’t always greener.” And then I laughed at my own dad joke because I am a total goober. I love my life. It’s not perfect and it’s definitely chaotic. But…the grass is greenest right where I’m standing because I’ve tried my hardest to get here. I’m grateful for it. The good, the bad, all of it.
So next time you feel yourself getting pulled into the trap of comparison, know that you are not alone. The grass underneath you just needs to be tended to make it greener rather than being envious of someone else’s lawn. When you see people posting about the things you hope to create, show them some love. They are showing you that it’s possible. Now, the rest is up to you. Wishing you all so much love, blessings, and light.