We have heard the saying a million times, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This insinuates that what we don’t have, usually always seems more appealing. I think we can all agree that it is so accessible and easy to look at a friend, a classmate, a colleague, or a stranger on the internet and desire their life. We admire their relationships, their clothes, their tan, their body, their lifestyle and so on. The problem is we look ourselves in the mirror and question why we don’t look the same way. So we do everything in our power to reflect an image of our neighbor. Then when we look like our neighbor, we are still not satisfied with our image. Why? Because it doesn’t reflect OUR true image. Adapting someone’s persona, belongings and lifestyle doesn’t transform our happiness. Maybe what we see isn’t authentic as well. Maybe, just maybe the grass is greener on the other side because it’s turf.
What does this mean?
The power and beauty in green grass is that it’s been nurtured, it’s been sustained, and it’s been fed. It’s gone through seasons and it’s been given the right amount of care to reap a reward. Turf, or fake grass does not change in different seasons. It stays the same through each year, rain or shine. It doesn’t take time to reveal its color. It is immediate bought success and it makes every piece of real grass around it seem lacking.
What does this look like in our own lives?
- Faux grass might be the surface level success that we find ourselves comparing ourselves to on Instagram. The friend that posts all their vacations, their raise every three weeks and even their bank account statements. (Yes, I have seen this.)
- Faux grass could be the pretty stranger that asks you to join their million-dollar company and tells you you’ll be making six figures in three months. She tells you to quit your 9-5 job and convinces you that you are a salesman, even though the last thing you sold was a glass of lemonade at your lemonade stand in 4th grade.
- Faux grass could be the man that’s drowning in debt but has to have the big house, the big truck, and every motorized toy you can think of.
The problem with faux grass isn’t the faux grass's fault. The problem is with us and our comparison. We constantly log what we see into our brains and when we have days that make us feel like we are drowning, we turn to the grass and feel like a failure. We measure up what we see on the surface and compare it to our lack thereof; not realizing that our success is in our roots.
So what do we do?
- We need to stop comparing ourselves with immediate success stories.
- We need to realize that people are not sharing their struggles, their emotional battles, the loss they are going through, and their absolute lowest moments in the light we see them the most.
- We need to realize that we are all shining lights and as we are distracted watching someone else’s success or failure story, someone is watching us, wanting what we have.
- We need to turn our heart of comparison and flip into a heart of gratitude. It amazes me how in a world full of mirrors, we neglect the ability to reflect on what we already have. How is it that in a world that is drawn to all be like one another, we struggle with connection?
It is normal to be inspired, look up to, and even model after someone in our lives. What I challenge you to do though, is to not pin these friends or strangers on the internet to your “goals” board. Your goals look different and they should. They might have similar collections, they might have a similar story, but this is what should draw us closer together not make us feel lacking. Lastly, it is not our job to decide if the grass is faux or not. It is not imperative on our success or growth to figure out the authenticity, the development, and the history of someone else’s story. However, when we realize that seasons of change and hardship can result in growth, we are in line to be a guidance for the faux grass to our right or left. Our authentic and unique identity can help others discover their roots and find their grounding. When we emphasize the balanced power of unity and uniqueness in our lives, our influence for real change increases. Don’t tear apart your story. Don’t tear apart someone else’s story. Have the wisdom to know success and happiness that is bought verse built, is not our area of concern. Rise by building others up and don’t compare your success with the surface level of someone else’s. Being competitive and being comparative can be easily intertwined. Be competitive! But stay in your own lane. You can be competitive and still cheer on
Let’s cheer each other on. Let’s reflect on our own gifts, and exchange comparison for gratitude.
You are the best you! Remember that.