The Neighbor's Garden

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

I always come across the quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy." And it's true.

The more we look at other people's seemingly amazing lives, the more we feel disadvantaged. And now with social media, we instantly fall into the trap of believing what we see online by face value. Hence, we develop envy and jealousy with the question, "Why do they have it great and I don't?"

I'm getting better as I age but of course, I'm still human. And browsing accidentally at Miranda Kerr's Instagram will still poke me with self-sabotage queries like, "Why wasn't I born with such privilege, height, beauty and married a good looking young billionaire?" It's just natural to feel a pang of insecurity. And only God knows why it is what it is but after going through a lot of soul searching, I'm seeing things in a different light. She was meant for that path and I for another.

I had a conversation with a good friend back in the Philippines about how my best metaphor to describe this is by checking out what the neighbor is planting in their garden.

I see them planting seeds and taking good care of them; I do the same with mine. And their beautiful red roses start growing and blossoming with time. But mine isn't so it backfires to self-blame.

What am I doing wrong? Am I a horrible plant grower and care taker? Am I not worthy of those beautiful red roses in my garden too? Why them and why not me?

But what I don't realize is that my garden is growing something else. Not the roses that I hope for but something else... peonies, which are lovely as well. It's just not the same as what everyone else is growing.

Sure, other women have that gorgeous looks, great health, big house, a hot man, lots of money, cute kids and material things that I desire which I compare to the roses. And good for them!

But maybe it's just not what I'm destined for.

I lived a life with crazy Philippine show business stories, memorable global travels, meaningful friendships around the world, minimalism and non-dependence on material things to be happy, resiliency enhancing experiences such as the cancer story, and have a creative outlet through speaking and writing.

Definitely NOT red roses. But they're colorful peonies. My peonies. The flowers I worked hard to nurture and create. And perhaps, what is meant for me anyway.

I will, sometimes, feel a bit out of place from the rest of the neighborhood with their pretty red roses but it doesn't mean that what I have aren't great. They're just different and not what is expected. But they're there and they're mine to take care of. And comparing it with my neighbors won't change them to red roses. So why not keep nurturing, appreciating and enjoying them?

So if you're reading this and you wonder why life isn't turning out quite the way you want it to be, think again. Are you really paying attention to what's growing in your own garden? Or are you just comparing it with your neighbor?

Maybe it's time to take on a different outlook and realize that you have something else going on for you. It may not be what you expected and so far-fetched from what your neighbors have. But it's unique. Something that is custom made by the Creator for you that one day, you will be so thankful for because it's probably what's meant for you right from the very start. You're just too stubborn to realize it because you keep checking out what your neighbor is up to.

So own your story. Trust your journey. And stay open to amazing possibilities. Your flowers, whatever form and shape they may be, will blossom at the Creator's perfect time when you keep that grateful, hopeful and faithful heart.


Tita Jaymee :)

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