Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side?

Have you ever been overcome with anxiety because you feel like you aren’t where you need to be in life? This familiar feeling arises within me from time to time, and although I know better than to succumb to these defeated feelings, they can be overwhelming. Pressures that society instills in us and that we instill in ourselves manifest a lot of stress, and we forget to appreciate where we are and all that we are doing.

I’m 26 years old and when I look at my Facebook newsfeed I see posts of friends getting engaged, having kids, and creating homes for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier for these friends, but seeing this makes me think…Am I where I want to be in life? Am I where I thought I would be at this point in my life? There is no grand plan for how your life will turn out, and there is no way in knowing. When you hear about your friend’s lives and what they are up to…do you feel jealous? Anxious? Unsettled? I know I do, and that’s because I am my own worst critic. I know that I want a life where I have financial stability, a home, and a family, and because I don’t have those things yet and other people do, I feel pressure. I recognize this, and it makes me think, will we always believe that the grass is greener on the other side?

Why do we want what we don't have? We latch on to all the reasons why life isn't good enough, and constantly want more. Continuously climbing up a never-ending ladder hoping that when we finally reach the top we will have everything we've ever dreamed of.

What if I told you a little secret? Those feelings will never go away. You will forever yearn for more out of life, your relationships, and career. It's a chronic addiction, and a mind game that will exhaust you to no end.

So how can we overcome this? How do we deal with feeling insignificant? Try not to latch on to the negative, the reasons why things won't work out, why you feel like you aren't good enough, or why you shouldn't keep trying.

Time is on your side my friend. Make the most of it. It's easier said than done to say, "don't rush the process." It's not just some yogi mentality; it's a practice of patience that is acquired with time. When you finally accept that you won't know how long it will take to get to your destination, or if you will ever get there, you finally have given up resistance. You’ve finally learned to accept yourself for who you are in the now, with wrinkles, cellulite, pimples, or other "imperfections." You've learned to embrace everything as a learning experience, a building block, and a part of you.

We have become accustomed to instant gratification, instant results, and have forgotten that worthy things take work, investment and yes, time. Time is contingent to our patience and growth. As we learn and progress, our goals in sight will surprisingly transform as much as we do.

At the end of the day, what we are all searching for is meaning. Meaning in building a prosperous life. Meaning in our relationships. Meaning in the mess of it all. We are all interconnected by this humanistic desire and inner fire that drives us to wake up each morning.

So why is it we always compare our lives to others? What makes what they are doing any better than what you are doing? You see, what's different is the way your friends speak about what they are doing (and we do the same in social situations) or what they share on social media. To you, they seem happy, content and on the right track, because this is what they are forced to portray to ironically make you feel comfortable.

They’ve somehow pushed your insecurity button and envy and jealously inevitably surface. You want to feel the kind of security and happiness they are portraying. However, unbeknownst to you they don't divulge the pain, the disappointment, and all the bad things they have dealt with along the way to where they have gotten (in your mind).

We think that everyone else has their shit together, is able to make more money than us, and has the secret ingredient to this mysterious formula. It's just not the case. We are just thinking romantically and latching on to ideals that society has engrained in us from a young age. Telling us that we will grow up and be rich and have a happy life and family, and once we have all these things, this is the true definition of happiness and success.

The reality is, things aren’t that simple. The definition of success differs from person to person. I realized this when I began meeting people and they were honest about their struggles in life. They were dealing with exactly the same problems as what I was going through. Not being happy with their job, wanting the freedom to travel, and their struggles with dating and being single. I began to realize, I’m not the only one, and neither are you. Get out of your head, stop over-thinking, and begin to look within. What you want, you have the ability to create, but dwelling on what you don’t have, will get you nowhere. 

You would think by now, after all these years of experience, we would have learned. But you know what? People don't like the truth. And why? It's brutal, raw, and honest. The truth can't be romanticized into some fairytale dream with a knight in shining armor. The truth isn't always happy or fun. The truth makes us confront our deepest insecurities. So of course we want to avoid this!

When I was ready to grow I began to welcome all of my insecurities, all of my inner struggles, and a lot of uncomfortable feelings. Why? Because I finally learned that accepting these feelings, these aspects about myself, meant that I finally accepted myself for who I am. Beautifully broken. I use the word broken in a positive context, because being broken means that you have endured pain, and learned how to be resilient and strong.

Most of all you've learned. You've learned that the bits of you that are cracked don't necessarily need to be fixed. You've learned to take responsibility for your actions and words, and you've become more connected to your individual beauty by accepting what you used to perceive were flaws. Those flaws have transformed just as much as you have. I no longer felt like my flaws defined me, and I began to have the strength to define them, because I knew who I was. I realized that I would forever be evolving into a new beauty, into a new beast, into a more aware person.

I realized when I accepted these uncomfortable feelings that I was more connected to my truth. Instead of avoiding the pain, and escaping it through any vice, I decided to look at pain right in the eye. I developed a more consciously aware relationship with pain. I began to ask why it was present, and reflected on my experience with pain to help me become stronger and avoid any self-destructive patterns in the future.

I’ve learned that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s just unknown. It intrigues you, and because others describe their life in a desirable way, you endlessly search for what they have. Not realizing that you’re standing right in your own oasis. Don’t seek what others have, because what they have is unique to their life and their path. Look down where you are standing and notice how the grass feels in between your toes. That’s the beauty in it all. That’s where you will find your success, your strength, and feeling complete in life.

Everyone will always want more, but when you accept what you have in this moment, you will not only attract what you desire, you will become it. That’s the secret, not thinking about how life will be when you have obtained what others have, it’s about realizing all that you have already.  

The Risks of Love

If someone you are in love with doesn't make you feel desired or important, why do we keep trying? Is it because we have this never-ending need to prove to ourselves that we are worthy of their acceptance? If we win them over, will that make us worthy of love? Who exactly are we trying to prove this to?

Why do we torture ourselves constantly, when deep down we know what we deserve? More often than not, what we don't deserve keeps us hanging around for too long. We end up overstaying our welcome and constantly feel disappointed and unwanted. So why do we stick around? Why do we need the other person to realize what they have? Why is it so important to prove our importance to someone when we already know deep down what we have to offer? At the end of the day, we have to realize that there is nothing to prove to these people, because they aren’t the ones we should be fighting for. They will never open their eyes, and maybe it will take losing you to realize just how special you are.

Humans are innately selfish and even though we ultimately want to share and feel love, we act in self-destructive ways, ironically unable to reciprocate what we desire. Our life quest for another being to complement our intricate soul is ultimately what we end up hurting in others along the way. Granted, this is necessary and a risk we all take when falling in love. It's also something that causes problems to a person's psyche, makes them feel confused, hurt, and closed off from love. This stems from unhealed wounds that we haven’t faced or healed within ourselves so they surface in our close relationships.

No matter what, we still give love a chance, and we still have hope. We still go on that never-ending quest to our ideal destination with the hopes of finding love. The sacrifices we endure and the heart wrenching pain that sometimes arises are worth the risk when you can experience euphoria within love; feeling so special, so wanted, even if just for a moment in time. In contrast, those highs are sometimes lost. Love can leave us feeling the worst, most earth shattering and all consuming pain - leaving you paralyzed, numb, and unsure of why you wanted something so good from someone who could hurt you so badly in the first place.

I think we are all left with this question at some point in time, why did we think this would be any different? Why did they change? Why did I change? Why did we change? Relationships are an evolution. We both complement one another for a moment in time; but different external events change our makeup, affect our outlook, and drastically persuade our wants and needs in different directions - eventually causing two beings to reevaluate where they stand together. Are their wants the same? Are they still happy together? Do they want something more, something different, or even someone else?

This makes us human, our minds, our undeniable consciousness that we tend to put on the back burner and not listen to when we know deep down i'ts sending us a sign. It's telling us that things don't feel right, that we aren't fulfilled, and that the quest is still ongoing. We as humans also don't like to accept failure, or what is portrayed as failure in our minds. Failed relationships, a broken heart, a hurt ego, all leave us feeling disappointed and broken. These feelings can never be avoided. It's in our make-up, in our bones, bodies, and being. We are empathetic, we seek acceptance, and we seek love. We search for something we don’t accept from ourselves. But most of the time we just want a partner to experience this world with. We want to create something beautiful, and eventually create a life and another human being together.

Fairytales confuse us. Romantic stories and movies muddle up reality and leave us with unreachable and misinformed expectations of love. To find one person who will complement you for the rest of your life, the rest of your life! That's a long time, and it's almost impossible. It's a beautiful thing if you can achieve this, and if you both want to work hard to maintain this connection forever. However, the reality is that you will most likely find one person for segments of your life, who complements you through different stages of your evolution, and that's still a beautiful thing. That's still something to be cherished.

Maybe we are misinformed about having "soul mates" and only being with one person "forever." Maybe it's not in our makeup after all. Maybe we need to accept this, and not continue to be hypocrites. We practically set ourselves up for failure with the amount of pressure we put on ourselves. No one can withstand the amount of pressure the world and society's norms put on us. Society tells us: "You need to make a lot of money to support yourself so you can have a family one day. You need to have a big house. You need to have nice car. Why haven't you gotten married yet? Where's the ring? When are you guys planning on having a baby?" Then we are left making up excuses to make other people feel comfortable in social situations even though deep down we know the truth, we know we don’t want to succumb to these pressures instilled in us. We are left lying to the world in order for them to “accept” us, in order to live up to these cookie cutter standards. In order to make it seem like everything is ok, because we are doing things just how we were told to.

Where’s the fun in that? Having that same conversation over and over again? Having that internal struggle with oneself everyday. Then eventually taking out your frustrations on yourself and the ones you love. The stress we deal with from pressures that have become norms in today's society.

Yes, there are people who think and go against the grain. These people are adamant about living their life the way they see fit, with their own unique standards. I think if more of us lived this way, we would be happier, and less likely to inflict pain on others, and really live and love authentically.

Being hurt is a risk you take when falling in love. With every great beautiful feeling comes the risk of experiencing the opposite of that. Life is a risk everyday. It's something beautiful we are fortunate enough to experience and some days are better than others. Some days we come across love and some days we prefer to be alone. Everyday you should remember to choose happiness, remember your worth, remember your goals in life regardless of what anyone else tells you to do, and remember to treat others how you want to be treated. If you can remember to do these things, you can at least spread love along the way. At some point in your life you will come across someone who will love you the way you deserve, even if for just a moment.