There’s this phrase that I’ve heard since I was a young child. The actual phrase that others may have heard throughout their life is “the grass is greener on the other side”, but I remember it the opposite! It goes something like this, “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” While this phrase has stuck in my head throughout life, I rarely listened to it or fully comprehended it until I had more experiences.
As I near my 40th year on Earth, it seems something has taken over my mind. I feel wiser, calmer, and more open-minded than ever before. I can only assume that my nearly 40 years of experiences are starting to transform my intelligence level alongside what I hold dear to me as a priority.
While I can cite a specific experience that occurred recently in my life, that would do no justice to the other experiences I’ve had as a person, a mother, and a daughter. I’m quite sure being the child of divorced parents, who were also teen parents and heading into the workforce at age 12 are all small parts of what helped me get to this current season of my perception of life.
Always Evaluating Myself
I’ll be honest, the most recent experience that disrupted me to my core has the most impact at this moment. After this situation happened I found myself addicted to evaluating myself even further than before. I spent time in a counselor’s office, listening to YouTube videos, and reading books to come to grasp with how such an incident could have happened to me.
Living in the Information Age I have more tools at my disposal than ever before. Perhaps this is what caused my increase in self-evaluation. With so much Infomation to read, I became both obsessed and fascinated with how I get involved in not-so-great situations.
I’ve learned that setting boundaries were easy in my mind, but sticking to them in the moment was hard.
Limiting Beliefs Cause Issues
Back it up quite a few years ago when I was married the first time around to my sons’ father. Life was simple in some ways and difficult in other ways. Our sons brought on a whole new life for both of us. He was thrusted into being a father for the first time while I had already parented my first child with someone else.
Here we were in the same chapter with a firstborn son together, but with two different belief systems. He had one set of beliefs and worries about being a father. I had another set of beliefs and worries about being a mother. This was a new chapter that didn’t include just one, but eventually two sons born to us within 2 years 6 days of each other.
As I am reunited with this man, I’ve come to realize so much about our first attempt at parenting and marriage. We were working on little sleep and as much as we both had the best of intentions for our family, communicating these intentions was a little difficult. Combining our already limiting beliefs at that stage alongside the lack of sleep caused a bit of chaos in our marriage.
I Knew the Grass Wasn’t Greener
Internally I knew that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side but my limited belief system, my ego, and my stubborn nature collided to create this situation where we divorced and started raising our boys in separate households.
I do think back to those days and have throughout the last ten years wondering if I ever had that instinctual feeling that this wasn’t the right choice.
I’m not able to know for sure if I ever had the instinctual push internally telling me to pause my ego and stubborn nature to work with my husband or not, but I can say I get it now. Again, my experiences thus far in life have advanced my way of thinking to align better with what feels right for me.
Whether I had that push or not, we eventually went our separate ways, and while we did try to ‘date’ a few times after our divorce it finally came to the point where we made a promise we’d never try to date again because we didn’t want to put our sons and my oldest thru the ups and downs of a back and forth relationship.
That was somewhere around 10 years or less ago, and here we are together again! We communicate better. I feel respected and appreciated. I have total faith that we’re on the same page with raising our family. I have total confidence to speak up when something is bothering me.
In one simple sentence; I feel at peace and fulfilled living this current season in my life.
What I Learned from Divorce
There are quite a few things I’ve learned from divorce and perhaps I had to walk the path of unhealthy relationships to get here and appreciate the man that I once knew within my soul was my match for life. I had to walk that path to get here to appreciate the person I am.
The unhealthy relationship patterns were not the fault of other people, they were the fault of my limited experiences, beliefs, and broken pieces that didn’t get mended.*
I wasn’t wise enough to comprehend my unhealthy patterns and limiting beliefs were causing me to continue along with the not-so-green pasture side of life after divorce. Although I knew in my heart some choices I made were harmful, hurtful, and not right I just couldn’t stop that pattern of unhealthy behaviors and connections.
That was until the final ‘test’. I met someone who was so disastrous and harmful to my kids and me that something snapped inside. I finally realized the lesson I needed to learn for my soul to be drawn forward to a person and life that I’ve always desired and deserved.
This person and life just so happened to be the father of my two sons. I’m not sharing this as a story to inspire you to get back with your ex, no that’s not right or healthy for everyone. What I’m saying, instead, is that you learn from a place of pain.
Take the pain you’ve experienced and look inward to learn more about yourself.
Learn about the limiting beliefs and unhealthy behavioral patterns you have from all of your life experiences.
Take a Break
Take a pause after an extremely painful situation occurs to learn more about how you can do better next time. Seek help with a counselor through weekly therapy visits. Read all of the books about your situation. Watch YouTube videos about your situation. Use the resources you have access to so that you can turn inward to learn more about what drives you to continuously experience these patterns.
Once you do the work to look inward and evaluate yourself, you’ll find that life starts working out for you. You’ll feel more confident about setting and sticking to boundaries. You’ll feel more in control because you’ll only say yes to things and people that align with your true values.
You’ll start living your best life alone or with a partner because you’ll demand what you deserve and desire in all areas of life.
Final Thoughts About the Grass isn’t Greener
Let me finish this by telling you that life is unpredictable. You’re going to face hardships and challenges regardless of how aligned you are with your true purpose and lifestyle. The worst of things can happen to the best of people. The best of things can happen to the worst of people.
While you’re searching for ways to fix the broken parts inside of you to live a more fulfilling life, please remember that each of us has a little broken piece that needs mending throughout our life. There will always be something you need to work on. There will always be something coming at you to test if you’ve truly learned the lesson from a previously painful situation.
Whether you’re thinking about divorce, a huge life change, or some other significant change in your life please remember that no matter what you do, if you’re not working internally on those broken pieces then the grass will never be greener on the other side.
*Note: While I admit that painful situations are the fault of me, and my unmended broken pieces to some extent. That doesn’t condone anyone treating someone poorly or doing the evil things they do in an unhealthy relationship. Much like I take the time to evaluate my innermost issues, anyone else who is an unhealthy person to others must do that work, too.