The Grass Isn’t Always Greener:
We’ve all heard the phrase: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Like many of our phrases its origins are lost in the passing of time.
A Latin proverb cited by Erasmus of Rotterdam was translated into English by Richard Taverner in 1545, as:
“The corne in an other mans ground semeth euer more fertyll and plentifull then doth oure own.” (The corn in another man’s ground seems ever more fertile and plentiful than our own does.)
The poet Ovid takes this further, saying in his “Art of Love” (1 BC) that “the harvest is always richer in another man’s field.”
As far as modern English sources, this idiom has been popular since at least the early 1900’s, evidenced by the fact that a song recorded in 1924 by Raymond B. Egan and Richard A. Whiting carried its wording, “The Grass is Always Greener in the Other Fellow’s Yard.”
That said, it is clear that the sentiment of this idiom has been expressed in some form or another for thousands of years, and the true origin may never be known.
Of course, it’s natural to occasionally lust after a life that’s idealistic and to occasionally dream of escaping elsewhere. Often, while we’re busy envying the lives of others, our green-eyed monster paints a picture of something better that we’re dying to seize.
Whatever the case, this mindset will only ever hinder happiness. There’s another quote that says, “The grass is greener where you water it.” To remember this is to find contentment.
In a generation rife with opportunity, it’s easy to feel trapped by the routines we’ve crafted for ourselves. Life can become a series of habits and plans, clocking in and clocking out, always wondering where the time goes. Yet we know there’s exploring to be done, memories to be made and lessons to be learned.
When we realize we’re stuck in an unfulfilled rut, it can feel like we have no control, spending most of our time wishing we were anywhere but here. Thoughts can easily wander to the exciting experiences and adventures waiting to be embraced.
That’s okay, but you must realize that you are not locked up in a cell, peering out at an unattainable ideal. The term “reality” does not need to induce frustration. The whole world is real and tangible, with unlimited green grass.
To bring your desired world into your reach, first consider these three things:
When life isn’t going as planned, sometimes a little voice starts telling you that it’ll unquestionably be better elsewhere.
If you’re going to go after your dream life, make sure you’re not just running away from having to cope with something else. Remember that your guaranteed travel partner is always you.
If you’re not happy in your skin or your mind, even the lushest pastures will not bring you happiness. Create an internal satisfaction that works for you.
How often do you stop and think of how lucky you actually are? The constant desire for more prevents us from being truly content with what we already have.
Be grateful for where you are in your life right now. Maybe there’s nothing actually wrong with your grass; you just aren’t looking at it with grateful eyes.
If you still feel like life isn’t where you want it, take control. You alone have the power to make the grass as green as you would like. Take the time to dream a little, mull over what truly makes you excited and then make plans to go get it.
Stop talking about it; stop complaining that you don’t have it and go grab it. When we’re more content within ourselves, our goals and desires become clear. They don’t have to be huge or extravagant, but they should ultimately enhance and nurture your overall life.
If you’re tempted to jump the fence today, try turning to God
1. Lord, help me to feel content.
And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little.– Philippians 4:11-12
2. Lord, help me to feel joyful.
May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.– Romans 15:13
3. Lord, help me to rely on you for my needs.
And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.– Philippians 4:19
4. Lord, help me to feel your peace.
You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.– Isaiah 26:3
Nourish what you have within your grasp now. Your watering can won’t stretch beyond the grass right in front of you.Tags: Dial M, Magazine