Going where the Grass is Greener
Getting a New Perspective
By Margaret Goodwin
When I was growing up I used to look at the kids next door and think that they looked so happy… I wished I could be like them… so confident and happy.
Then I realised one day that I was comparing so much of my life with what other people were doing in their lives.
It was almost like I was comparing instead of becoming… I realised I was making myself feel SO BAD ALL THE TIME, even experiencing deep sadness because I was always comparing!! At that point, I realised that whilst I was busy watching them.. I never really learnt what was good in my life, and what was good about me.
On that day, I decided that I really needed to appreciate myself more. I needed to know the good things about myself… I realised that I really needed to appreciate who I am and what I have (and do) that’s good. And suddenly this quest to appreciate myself became VERY important.
I began by looking at the picture of what I thought was going on with others.
For instance, I actually thought that the grass on their side of the fence was definitely much greener compared to my side of the fence. And as I looked over the fence and thought about it with new eyes here’s what I discovered:
- I always loved the shade of their tree and then suddenly I realised that there really was nothing stopping me from planting a beautiful big tree or getting a new bench and table to sit on (on my side of the fence)…
- Then I looked at their beautiful green lawn and I realised that really, they had to work very hard to keep their lovely green lawn that way and I had a dog – a lifelong buddy…
So at that point, I knew that I would never want to give up my dearest friend just to have a perfect lawn… I realised that the beautiful green lawn they have, wasn’t worth it for me… I’d rather have my friend.
And that made me begin to look deeper.
I thought: “Wow their house looks so beautiful and perfect…” but then I began to wonder if the people next door were happy? These days they didn’t play so much and I hardly ever saw them outside anymore…
So the house looked perfect from the outside.. but was it perfect and happy on the inside?
Then I thought… If I wasn’t happy, would having the ideal house and garden make me feel happy??? …and I realised it wouldn’t.
I was very happy with my friend. I had a good life here. In fact, I have the exact life I want to have living right here with my four legged friend.
Then I had a funny thought.
I thought: Now wouldn’t it be really funny if my next door neighbors spent some of their time watching me (through their curtains) and wishing they could be as happy as me – playing with my dog (and wishing they could too)…?
And wouldn’t it be funny if they spent a good deal of their time wishing that they didn’t have to work so hard all the time to keep up appearances or have the nicest, greenest lawn in the street?
Maybe they secretly wished they could live a life like me.
I mean, if I’m thinking about them, then maybe they’re thinking about me – it’s possible… and that put a big smile on my face.
I realised that my perception of what was happening really may not be as accurate as I was thinking it was.. I have been judging my next door neighbors according to the way that I see the world… (subjective).
Then I thought:
Maybe I am the lucky one. I don’t have to do all the work my neighbors have to do to make their house look beautiful. Instead, I can simply look out the window and get the perfect view of all their hard work and appreciate the fact that I live next door to the most beautiful garden in the street… And yet, without having to do the work, I can play with my dog in my own garden as I like.
So then I thought… now who is the more fortunate one?
It seems to all depend on our point of view, the way we see things… And, at that very moment, I decided I was going to see how lucky I am, to simply be me… All the things I really wanted in my life I already have.
How lucky I am.
We wish to thank grasshopperlawns.com and allaboutlean.com for sharing their images.