WHAT COULD THIS EQUATION POSSIBLY MEAN?
It means that I was mowing the lawn yesterday listening to my ipod on shuffle and heard two particular lyrics that gave me cause to contemplate what they meant --- in general and in my own life. You know by now that when I have one of those moments that I simply must share it with you. That's because I never know when something I have learned or observed will have meaning for others, so I take a chance and share it.
As Long As You Love Me (Justin Bieber) - stop judging me for listening to a Justin Bieber song :-)
"But the grass ain't always greener on the other side,
It's green where you water it"
I have heard and used the phrase about the grass always looking greener somewhere else, but I had never heard about it being greener where you water it. I started thinking about how many times I have been unhappy or dissatisfied with what was going on in my life and it seemed like all I had to do was look around me at other situations or relationships and they seemed better. I left jobs. I changed hairstyles. I ended and began relationships. I painted rooms. I bought new phones (or software or apps). All of those things took place because from where I stood, things didn't look like what I wanted them to look like. More times than not, the grass was not greener. The grass was the same old color, or in some cases, it was even less green than where I had come from. I have learned that it's more about me - the person looking at the color of the grass - than it is the actual grass. The more I thought about that, the more I realized that I am growing up - perhaps, getting wiser? I do this much less often than I used to. I don't give up on things as readily. I don't spend as much time looking around me for what I don't have. I am more present to where I am at. I have learned that the color of the grass is much more in my control than I had realized.
The second line ... "it's greener where you water it" ... kind of saying, the grass might look greener over there because that grass is getting watered and mine isn't. Water can be a lot of things, right? Attention - money - energy - time - positive effort- willing attitude. If I find that I am dissatisfied with something, how could I increase my satisfaction level if I "watered" it more? As I reflected on where I could have grown greener grass in my life, I realized that I was often unwilling to put in what it took to make it better. I just wanted it to change without me having to do much, or without ME having to change. One situation that really worked was when I had a co-worker that I really didn't like. My initial thoughts were to see how I could convince my boss that I should work with a different manager, but for some reason, I decided to try to make it work. It wasn't fast and it wasn't easy (required time and effort), but we ended up being a really successful team. We were able to complement each others' expertise and approach to work and the combination was a good thing - for the organization and for us. This made me think about how badly I want a green lawn. If I really want it, then I need to spend time working at it - pulling the weeds, planting new seed, providing ongoing nourishment, and sometimes just sitting back and noticing how much it has grown.
Things Have Changed (Bob Dylan)
"I hurt easy, I just don’t show it
You can hurt someone and not even know it"
Pretty simple! We never know for sure how our actions or our words land on someone else. Some of us are very transparent and when we feel hurt, you will know it. Others of us have faces that show no emotion and it's very difficult to determine if there is a reaction or not. These words reminded me of how important intent is and why we need to state our intent. I know that I have said things that were hurtful to others, and it was certainly not my intent. At the end of the day, it doesn't make any difference if it was intentional or not. If someone is hurt, they are hurt, and it's up to us (the ones doing the hurting) to own our part in it and do something about it. I believe that I have matured in this area in several ways (thank goodness):
1) I don't get hurt as easily myself. I typically assume good intent and give people the benefit of the doubt. It costs NOTHING to do that!
2) I also think I have gotten more courageous and I tell someone if I feel hurt by what they say. (NOT always easy to do)
3) I have worked to put more filters in place between my brain and my mouth and simply say less things that can be hurtful.
4) I have learned to be quite comfortable with 2 phrases that I didn't hear much in my childhood. "I'm sorry" and "Will you forgive me?"
Those are the deep thoughts I was able to pull from such great philosophers as Bob Dylan and Justin Bieber this week. THANK YOU, IPOD SHUFFLE! I'm not sure what you will pull from these, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. I'd also encourage you to listen underneath the catchy melody sometimes - notice underneath the words you may be singing less consciously - tune in and see if there is something there just a tad deeper that you can take away and become a bit wiser!