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It seems that quotations and wise words are popular on the Internet, catching our attention as they do on social media or forwarded emails.  Sometimes if we feel a friend or colleague could do with some encouragement over a particular issue, we may be tempted to share an appropriate saying that has caught our eye.  These words of wisdom often have their roots in the distant past, and I sometimes imagine that many people throughout the ages may have benefitted from hearing them at one time or another.

One particular phrase that has come to my attention this week reads

“the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”

This may be a saying that you are familiar with, or perhaps a new one that you have not come across before.  I guess it refers to the way in which we can all be tempted to look at the lives of our friends, neighbours or work colleagues and feel that what they have is better than what we have.  Perhaps they seem to be progressing ‘more quickly’ in life, or have achieved things that we have yet to gain.  This sort of envious comparing, either of our salary, the car on the drive or spouse/life partner usually only has one result: it makes us feel bad about our own situation and jealous of the other person’s.

If you were to search for this phrase on the Internet, it wouldn’t take you long to find the ‘antidote’ to this green-eyed world view.  The logic, according to my favourite Internet search engine, is that “the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence possibly because they take better care of it over there”.  Sometimes as a therapist people approach me during their counselling sessions unhappy and dissatisfied with their ‘lot’.  They want to know how they can ‘get’ what they feel others have that they lack.  Often they want to make radical changes, which they feel will lead to radically different results.

When it comes down to it, it is sometimes the case that certain changes could do with being made, yet often a measure of acceptance is what appears to be needed too.  A valuing of what assets are already present, instead of a grasping at what is perceived as missing, can lead to a ‘dusting off’ of what was once taken for granted and a rediscovery of worth.  I have come to conclude that when we prize something, and take appropriate care of it – be it a possession, a relationship with another or even ourselves – we often come to see it through kinder eyes than if we disregard it as ‘oh… that’.

If your grass is not being tended as well as it might be, what could you do today that may prevent it from becoming a little brown around the edges?

Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com

The Grass Is Greener

The Grass Is Greener | Ashwood Therapy Blog