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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The grass is always greener

I’m not proud of this, but in the interest of being honest, I have to admit that I can be a jealous person sometimes.

Now, I know that envy is one of the seven deadly sins. To be perfectly clear, envy (by definition) involves having “painful or resentful awareness” of wanting something that someone else already has. Envy is also sometimes characterized as wishing to deprive someone of something you wish you had. For the record, I don’t ever wish to deprive anyone of something that makes them happy—ever. I also don’t resent anyone for having something, whether it’s something I want for myself or not.

My jealous tendencies are more wishful than envious. I wish for things that I want in my own life, and it just so happens that those wishes tend to intensify when I see those things in the hands of other people. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy for those people, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t think that other people deserve that same happiness. Because I am and I do—with my whole heart. I find joy in seeing other people happy.

So does that make me a bad person? I’d like to think that it’s ok sometimes to see in others the dreams you have for your own life, and to stop and reflect for a minute (or longer) on how much you hope to someday achieve that, too. So if you want to call it jealousy, or even envy, then so be it. I like to think it’s just passion, having goals, and feeling deeply about something that’s important to you.

But above all I appreciate the moments where I can step back from my so-called “jealousy” and look at the life I do have. To give thanks for the multitude of blessings—both big and small—that God has bestowed upon me and my family.

It’s easy to get lost in the yard, thinking about how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. But it’s so much more rewarding to stop and look around at the garden where you stand. To take note of the areas that need some special attention, and the areas that have bloomed so beautifully. It takes maintenance. You have to have dreams of what you want it to look like in the future and recognize the things that are already there that make it so beautiful.

Lately I feel like I’ve been focusing too much on the grass on the other side of the fence, and for some reason today I looked around me and realized how incredible my life really is. I’m surrounded by blessings. There are hard parts of life that will always make each day challenging, but I’m so lucky to have all that I do. So I have to say thank you to everyone who is a part of my beautiful life. And apologize to those who have to put up with me when I tend to focus too much on “wants” and not enough on what is already in front of me. I promise to try and look around me more often.

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