Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When The Grass is Greener, The Crap Was the Fertilizer

Don't you just hate it when you look at someone who seems to have everything under control, everything going for them, and everything just right... and it seems as simple as breathing for them to be that put together? You look over their fence, and the proverbial grass is that beautiful shade of lush emerald green. It looks thick, healthy and welcoming.

You look at yours and it is a crunchy brown patch of straw. You get that little pang of jealousy when you look into someone's yard and their grass is greener than yours. You wonder why your yard - your life can't look like theirs.

No... we are not talking about  actual grass. We are talking about life.

Face it... we all peek over fences and compare, even though we know we shouldn't. And we often want what we see on the other side - the "perfection" we see on the surface.

There are so many things that have made the grass of your life weary, dry and dead.  Perhaps you have had struggles and strive that kept you from tending to your own yard.  You work hard and just don't "feel" like you are getting ahead. You are tired.  Disappointments, betrayals, failures, struggles leave you in a drought of faith.  You feel so far gone, that you just don't know how you could have the vibrant, renewed, lush grass that you see over other peoples fences. The closest to green you may feel is the envy that is creeping into your heart.

You think that there is no way that the grass on the other side of the fence could have possibly endured the same crap in life that yours has.  If it had, it would be just as brown and dry as yours.

Step back from your pity party (yes... harsh... I know, but oh how we love to host those!). Their grass is greener for one of two reasons.

The first reason: It is fake grass.

Fake grass has no roots and does not grow.  The last thing you want is a life that does not grow, so stop comparing yourself to one that is stagnate and phony.  Build the fence higher and forget that it is there.

The second reason:  The person on the other side of the fence has used the crap of life as fertilizer.

The crap of life can pile up, stink and destroy your patch of green. If your grass is dry and dead - that might be what you have been doing. But, you can choose to steward it in a way that it enriches, teaches and strengthens you.  You can use it to green your own grass - like the grass over the fence.

How do you spread the crap so it brings growth and not destruction? How do you make it welcoming? How do you steward the challenges of life to spring forth growth and vibrancy? 

Start by doing these things:
  • Refuse to let it hold you hostage.
  • Recognize and take accountability for any part you played in bringing it into your life.
  • Learn how to not repeat the same mistakes.
  • Don't let the disappointment that happens in certain moments of life dictate your expectations of every moment of life. 
  • Look at your own grass and choose to see the green blades among the brown.  You are more blessed than you realize. 
  • Water it in faith of what can and will be, if you choose to let it grow. 
It is in human nature to compare our lives to others.  You know who you are, where you fit, how to be, and how to exist in the world through what is seen and compared to around you. But when you do compare, realize that when you peek over fences and see a beautiful lawn - it may be that your neighbor has had just as much crap in life as you have.  They have just done a better job of using it as fertilizer. 

Do you get caught is a cycle of comparing your life to others?
Have you ever been envious of someone else's yard and realized that they were going through struggles just like you?
Have you ever been jealous of what was over another person's fence and realized that the grass was fake? 

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