Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

grassDo you look at people with envy? Do you think that others have it better than you? I feel like I hear people say all the time that they’re sure other people have better lives, better relationships, better jobs, etc. I used to walk around believing that too. Than I met Vicki. We did volunteer work together for years. She was very pretty with a great body, hair that I’d have killed to have and a job that sounded like fun. Everyone liked her and she rolled with people pushing her to do things and troubleshooting problems.

Every time I saw her I felt envy and thought, she has it so much better than me. It was a wonder that no one actually noticed me turning green I had so much envy. I thought that being Vicki would feel like heaven on earth. Then someone told me about what she had going on that I didn’t know about. She was a cancer survivor, had left an abusive husband, and was responsible for taking care of her sick mother. While I assumed that because she was pretty and sweet that she had her pick of men, one day Vicki mentioned how she could never find a good guy.

Wow! Her grass wasn’t nearly as green as mine! I might not have her looks or her body but my life didn’t have awful things going on like hers did. Vicki had a good spirit and covered her troubles up as much as possible with her cheerful personality, which I assumed was because she was so lucky. But it wasn’t. Vicki had a hard life. I learned that you never know what’s going on in someone’s life, beyond the façade of having more than you.

A big part of happiness is accepting yourself and what you have. Assuming that people have a better life than you do is often an erroneous assumption. Focus on appreciating what you have. Always looking for what more you can have is counterproductive to happiness. Having the killer body your friend has can put you into a position of having the eating disorder you don’t know about or being obsessed with exercise. The grass might look good on the other side but you don’t know how many weeds are buried in it. Love yourself enough to own the life you have and make the best of it.

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