Troubles can come in life when we believe the myth that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We can be taken over by envy, believing that other people have the good stuff and then feeling depressed, anxious, and maybe even a little bit angry. We can be overcome by greed, wanting more and more and more, and feeling that what we have can never be enough. By denying the goodness of our own lives, we believe that we have nothing good to work with and don’t believe that we have the capacity to work with it. We lose focus, self-confidence, and hope.
We need to bust the myth that we can have someone else’s life, someone else’s castle, and someone else’s lawn just by crossing over to where they are (and for all we know, they are admiring our lawn). We have our own spot, and if we can accept reality for what it is, we have the chance to develop it, to improve it, to grow it and shape our futures.
Robert Fulghum, author of the classic work “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” put it this way: “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are.” Take a fresh look at your hypothetical lawn from a fresh point of view, and I’ll wager that it’s not as negative as you might think. Maybe it could use some water, but that’s something you can do something about.
Remember that, when you find yourself coveting another patch: someone’s evidently been watering it. If your patch is feeling dry or looking blanched, try some water. Grass needs water to grow in order to be vibrant, healthy, and green. It simply won’t amount to much on a diet of entitlement (“It should just be green and awesome.”) or neglect (“What, water it again? But I did that last month.”). Give it a respectable amount of TLC. You may still find that you don’t want your patch and that perhaps you want somebody else’s. At least you will find yourself in a better place with your lawn looking prettier, greener, and more comfortable to sit on as you figure out how to make your way to where you do want to be. On your fence-hopping journey, make sure to take your watering can with you.