Have you ever spent time in reflection and found yourself feeling sad, down or even regretful? Those emotions are each valid and fair to experience. I think they can be a deterrent though to taking time to evaluate yourself and your life. Too many of us focus on what could have been and we let that negatively influence what is. I hope for myself and for you, that choosing to avoid these moments of uncomfortable feelings doesn’t keep us from being and doing all that is possible.
I reflect often. Sometimes just over recent events or encounters and sometimes I think about the life I thought I’d have years and years ago. If you know me well, or at least have known me for more than 10 years, you know my life was on a completely different trajectory back then.
I choose the word “different” on purpose. Sure, some things may have been better, but some things may have turned out worse too. I refuse to let myself ponder on what “could have been.” I think that’s dangerous. That’s when envy, greed, shame, disappointment and depression – all things mentally, emotionally and spiritually unhealthy tend to take root and grow exponentially and keep me from fulfilling the destiny I was created for. Or, as kids say these days, keep me from living my best life.
I don’t believe the grass is greener on the other side. I subscribe to Robert Fulghum’s philosophy that the grass is greener where it is watered. If I believe the grass is always greener somewhere else, than I’ll never be satisfied. I’ll never experience happiness. I’ll never know the peaceful state of contentment (not to be confused with complacency).
I think a great task and challenge in life is making the most of what you have, what you gain, what you create and what you grow – not wishing you were someone else or somewhere else. Nobody else can be you, nobody else can live life the way you are living life. We each play a valuable, irreplaceable role. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Don’t wish for greener grass, grow greener grass.