Happiness is an inside job. We are responsible for our feelings, we are responsible for the way we interpret the events in our environment, how we choose to see ourselves, how we turn the perceived reality into a story in our minds.
But this way of thinking can sometimes be more harmful than constructive.
Whereas it is true, that we create our own reality and can influence the experiences we have, there are still some grounds that are more fertile for us than others.
Not all soil has the same effect on you
We have a responsibility to look out for ourselves, and to cater to our own well-being. We are not all the same, and therefore the environments, the grounds we try to grow on, is also not equally suitable for everyone.
I used to think it was my responsibility to find my happiness in every situation. To accept, to be all zen and no matter how negative, destructive and bad for me the environment, I was the one needing to adjust, cope and accept. And when I was unable to do this, when I burned out and struggled regardless of my best efforts to release, meditate and accept, I blamed myself for being so influenced by the environment, unable to release and be outside of it all.
Until I understood that not all grounds are equal.
Why the grass is greener somewhere else
I live on a tropical island, and my neighbor has a garden full of beautiful flowers. I admire her garden daily, and sometimes she is kind enough to give me some branches to plant the same flowers on our side of the fence. But for some reason, the same flowers do not flower on our side. The plants grow, but they do not flower.
I doubt that the flowers are blaming themselves for not being able to bloom in every single soil. There are flowers that do better based on the location. Some need more sun, some get burned easily and need more shade. There’s no shame involved, there are just different plants with different needs. The shady flower does not need to push itself to strive in a full blown sun, it does not need to feel like a bad flower for not being able to cope everywhere.
In garden design it is important to care for the individual nature of the flowers, if you want them to reach full bloom.
The same goes for us. Stop the blaming and self-doubt, and realize that not all soils are created equal (for you). It’s OK to realize that some soils are not good for you. Maybe in some environments you can cope and grow length, but your essence, your beautiful colorful flower, will not have the strength and space to come out.
It’s up to yo to find a soil that makes you root down, that makes your leaves happy and that allows you the space to come to a full bloom. Look around you today – are you blooming, or do you need different soil around you?
Originally published on Life as we think we know it in 2016.