The Grass is Always Greener…

I’ve had conversations about this recently with a few friends, and it has caused me to realize that people are far too focused on some fantasy about what they could be missing instead of valuing the extraordinary, and often irreplaceable, things unique people in their lives are giving. Always striving to be better, and to improve your life, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to prepare yourself to throw away what you’ve earned when you see greener grass somewhere else.
“We should all replace constantly looking for better with striving to be in better relationships. Become a more effective communicator and encourage your partner to continue growing. Be present when it comes to dealing with the painful emotions that undoubtedly come up in a new relationships.”
How can anyone attract something or someone better when they’re half-assing their efforts in current relationships? If someone isn’t right for you, fair enough, but you can’t logically make that judgment if you’re not all in. That’s like trying to play poker without cards: sure, you’re limiting your risk, but you’ll never know if you could have won the jackpot.
This applies to life in general, not just relationships! I know a few people who give in to the “grass is greener” mentality in relation to jobs, where they live, and where they socialize. We should all be striving to improve every day, but trying to improve your life by seeking out greener grass is avoiding the real issue. What you’re looking for isn’t external, it’s in your own mind.
I found some great insight on the matter on Reddit on how to get over that feeling that you’re missing out by being in a long-term relationship, of all places!
“I just don’t. I know there are other hot, fun, amazing women out there… but I already found a hot, fun, intelligent, caring, witty, amazing woman who I’ve shared 9 years so far with, with so many shared experiences and growth together. Honestly having something like that is rare, especially as early in life as we found it. I wouldn’t want to give that up for all the variety in the world.” ~Dajbman22
“If you leave a stable and happy relationship because you think there’s something better out there, you’ll probably never be happy.” ~RightCross4
“My wife and I began dating a few weeks after I turned 20. I’m almost 33 now and we’ve been together ever since.
For what it’s worth, I totally get that feeling. I struggled with it a lot early on in our marriage, especially after we had kids. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had somehow missed out by not being part of the partying, meeting girls, having random sex, etc part of being a young adult.
What I eventually came to realize is that I was just looking at it wrong. You’ve got to assess one simple thing: what do you want?
If you want a loving, fun relationship with someone who can make you laugh, share your life, etc, then no, you aren’t missing out. What you’re missing out on is the stupid shit many people have to go through to get there.
If, on the other hand what you really want is a life of partying and sleeping with random women, then yes, you’re holding yourself back.
Deep down, I don’t think that’s what most people want, and ultimately, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. My desire for something “else” wasn’t about what I was actually “missing” but rather my imagined version of it which was full of sex and glamourous parties and traveling the world and basically all kinds of things I probably wouldn’t really have been doing that much even if my wife and I hadn’t met until I was 30.
Basically, the grass is always greener, and your imagination is likely filling in the blanks in the lives of your friends with a lot more endless fun than they’re really having. 
If you enjoy the life you have with this girl, the relationship is fulfilling, and she meets your needs, then really, you aren’t missing out on anything at all. You just need to realize it.

“The grass is greener” phenomenon. Usually a symptom of a scarcity mindset vs. abundance mindset.

The basic formula for getting rid of grass-is-greener is:

  • Accept that what’s going on right here is largely in your own head. For example, can you visualize a guy in his 20s constantly getting laid, yet feeling empty because he has no real companion in his life? Could you imagine any scenario where your situation might look better from the other side of the fence? If so, you realize just how relative all of this nonsense is.
  • Shift from scarcity to abundance mentality. This is huge, because grass-is-greener is basically another symptom of scarcity mentality. Why? Because you believe that you’re “losing” your 20’s by being in an LTR. Well, why couldn’t you have fun in your 30’s? And 40’s? What’s stopping all that? Only you, and your scarcity mentality. (Further decisions on whether to commit to your LTR in the future are a separate issue.) You have to believe that success is around always around the corner, and that there’s enough fun and partytimes out there to be had no matter what your age.


That’s about all I can think of right now. Basically, it’s all in your head unless you really don’t like being in an LTR–in which case, feel free to not be in an LTR anymore. But I think it’s mostly in your head.” ~Anonymous


Building an Abundance mindset doesn’t just help with your relationships. It sets you up for every possible avenue of success. Is it coincidence that so many cultures and religions centered on making things better teach mindfulness techniques? People who appreciate what they have while always striving to improve are happier, more productive, and an inspiration to everyone around them.

“Leaders who allow a scarcity mindset to work its way into their culture pay a high price. When resources (money, opportunity, recognition) are perceived to be limited, paranoia, fear and politics thrive. In this environment, people become nervous and afraid to make a mistake. As a result,teamwork and innovation suffer.”

I think the best piece of advice in that article is this: “Give more of what you want.” There’s an old saying that you attract what you put out into the world. If you expect something from the people around you that you’re not truly giving, why would they feel obliged to cooperate? Hypocrisy is abundant enough in the world. We need more leaders, in relationships and in business, to show everyone how things should be done. And the best leaders are people who consistently apply those morals in their business and personal lives.


We all deceive ourselves and those around us. Our illusions are, by and large, the reasons why society is able to function. Without the lies to cushion our reality, wouldn’t everything we’ve built begin to crumble?

That bit of truth doesn’t make coping with deception any easier, though. For those of us who always know when someone is lying directly to our faces, it can be a battle to keep an open mind. The things people choose to hide, sugar coat, or completely fabricate are so ridiculous at times that one can’t help but wonder why they’re wasting the energy!

A set of questions which always arise during my discussions about deception are these:

Where do you draw the line?

When is lying wrong?

When is lying immoral?

When is lying intolerable?

Is that line the same for everyone in your life?

If not, why?

I’ve come to accept that everyone lies, and it’s not about me. The only time when I refuse to tolerate that behavior now is in romantic relationships. For me, being intimately involved means forming a partnership. How can a partner in life, someone you trust implicitly, be counted on when they aren’t being completely honest?

Friends and family members alike have pointed out that lying is normal in a committed relationship. I realize that, for the majority, that is true. However, my relationships aren’t typical. Why should lying be acceptable to me simply because it is expected by the rest of society? Being entirely open with that single person, for someone as truthful as me, is about being safe with one another. Isn’t that ultimate level of vulnerability, and the trust which follows, the epitome of love and romance?

Tomorrow We Begin Again the Bitter Dance of Self Deception


Victory at last!

I finally tipped the scales.

Moving forward now.

After one entire week of deep depression, I decided that I am ready to move forward. It was necessary for me to experience that sadness. I needed to accept that something changed dramatically in my life, and that everything in my future will be impacted by that change. Now, though, I see the grand potential in what lies ahead, once again.

The pain is still there, centered in my chest, reminding me that the trauma of this year has left a mark. Who wouldn’t still be in that place, or worse, after so much loss? A breakup, devastating as it has been, isn’t even the beginning. It hasn’t even been a month since my Uncle Bill left us. Before him was my grandfather, William Marsh. Just four months before that, his wife, my grandmother, Mildred Marsh. Two days after Christmas last year, it was my Aunt Debbie. One year, and four deaths of family members who meant the world to me.

Some might struggle to find the silver lining in such a terrible set of circumstances. There are many positives, from my point of view, but the greatest one is this: I was able to endure the suffering with such strength that I allowed myself to open up to deep, passionate love. Brief though it was, having my shields shattered, and the level of intimacy which arose as a consequence, has created a lasting, positive change. The experience brings a favorite poem to mind, in fact:

My Candle Burns at Both Ends.jpg



Tell me that I’m special;

that you’ll always cherish me.

Tell me that we’re destined;

that I should let love be.

Tell me that you adore me

more than anyone in your past.

Tell me that I’m the one

with whom you’ll always last.

Show me that those lovely words

were more than empty vows.

Show me how to feel that passion;

how to melt into the now.

If your promises were empty,

  just a way to pull me in,

I’ll hold onto those memories.

Keep your pretty words within.

When that genuine one comes to call,

and unbridled resonance abounds,

I’ll open up the floodgates.

Let go, float on, spellbound.

Burning Passion

The Dark Side of Awakening

The Emotional Quotient is something that I have to explain to most people, and even then, they still don’t seem to fully grasp how incredibly important it is to be emotionally strong and healthy. Most people are so preoccupied with maintaining the material status of their lives that they never stop to think about what might be motivating them, or why they just can’t stand that one co-worker. They live on the surface of human existence.

For the last ten months, I have gone through the motions of life at 50-70% of my normal capacity. Pain, grief, and a particularly brutal round of existential depression had me living day to day, without the ability to concern myself with the future. It was all I could do to just take care of necessities, stay in touch with friends and family, and laugh whenever possible.

My vacation to Washington, D.C. brought my mind back out of the abyss to the extent that I began to look forward to normalcy. What turned everything around, though, was recovering from my surgery. Once the pain and dizziness subsided, I felt as though my core had been re-awakened from a long sleep. It’s amazing what we can grow accustomed to out of necessity!

An acquaintance said something yesterday that really inspired some deep thought about this reality and its implications:

I think there’s even more going on, on a subconscious level. Descriptively, I often think most people are floating down the river of life in a boat and they experience nothing of the water! I on the other hand, have my hands over the side and can feel the undercurrents that are moving me along and in some part unnervingly understand the relation of the current to the movement of boat on a very basic level.” ~Lee Thompson

What, then, is life like for those who jump into that water, and spend their lives discovering its mysteries? The short answer: it is an enhancement of everything which currently exists in our mortal world. Every aspect of what makes us human is ever-present; what marks the difference is degree, not some well-defined line.

The deeper I explore, the more I relate to everything and everyone around me. I gain experience, understanding, and insight, and I am forever compelled to continue on to new discoveries. When a profound moment arises, my addiction to exploration is sent into hyperdrive, and I fervently seek out anything which will perpetuate the feeling, or provide it once again.

110 Light Year Nebula

After twenty-seven years of this cycle, I have come to question my Self, my perspective, and my current path. A crossroads has appeared, and the choices are undefined. My personal growth has led me to a point where my expectations of others may never again be reasonable. Is it possible to change this one aspect of my mind, or can I only move forward? Should I attempt to boil myself down, once again, for the world – even with the awareness that my efforts are doomed before they begin?

An Empath with LLI: The Cacophony of Life

We’ve all dealt with it at one time or another: the noisy neighbors, the douchebags in rush hour who believe that we all want to listen to their low-quality speakers spewing a rap song the artist wrote in three seconds, or that one annoying family member who has such a problem with silence that, any time it does pop up, they behave as though their behind has caught to flame. Noise is everywhere in the world.

This phenomenon is called misophonia in the medical community, although this definition doesn’t always apply to every aspect of the issue for our minority. What is it? In short, misophonia is oversensitivity to noise. The word translates to “hatred of sound,” and for good reason!

For the Empath, and especially those with LLI, noise can be a serious cause of stress. Having LLI means that you can’t drown things out the way most people would, and being an Empath means that you’re hypersensitive in a way that impacts you emotionally. Most people can just turn to ear plugs, or turn on some music, or read a newspaper, and everything around them goes quiet. For people like us, however, there aren’t any instantaneous solutions.

What can you do when the noise of the world is too much, and you need to put an end to it? Well, that’s going to depend on where you are and what works for you. Some people can effectively cover up background noise that keeps them awake at night with white noise, such as a noise machine or a box fan. Many of us use music as a way to escape in most everyday situations – such as when you’re walking around in Wal-Mart and don’t care to engage the weirdo who likes to wear pink panties over the top of his camo pants. I’ve even known people who pretended to be deaf so that random strangers would leave them alone!

When headphones or ear plugs aren’t an option, the world can become a quite hostile place. We’re left with two choices: either find a better way to cope, or suck it up and try not to blow a gasket on anyone nearby. If you’re like me, you’ve probably done the latter throughout your life. What other choice do you have when nothing else seems to work? Stuffing it down and trying to heal after you get home is probably one of the worst ways to cope, though. Eventually, you’ll find yourself in a situation that doesn’t allow for you to recharge, and you’ll either blow up or start to have health problems.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out which noises are triggers for you. No one is truly sensitive to every type of noise 100% of the time. Usually, there is a situation, person, or specific noise that triggers your hypersensitivity. For example, if I am sleep deprived, I will be annoyed by everything from the clacking of the keyboard keys to the sound of a car door shutting outside. Normally, I notice these things, but they don’t cause an emotional response.

A majority of people who are sensitive to noise find that their sensitivity increases exponentially when they’re stressed for one reason or another. It can be helpful to recognize this in yourself, but that isn’t necessary in the beginning. What you can do is try to prepare yourself for the extra sensitivity when you’re in any sort of stressful position. Simply remaining conscious of the issue is often enough to hold it at bay – even if it’s just until you get home, where you can don your boxing gloves and blow off some steam. Or just do some yoga.

Here is a list of the coping strategies fellow Empaths have tried:

*Telling those you interact with the most about your sensitivity, and offering suggestions, such as not trying to have a serious conversation in a location that has a lot of background noise.

*Using a charm or totem to remind yourself to remain grounded when the world is too much. It can be anything, even a button or a piece of ribbon.

*Try to turn the noise into a song, if only in your head. This is especially helpful when the sounds are rhythmic, such as a ticking clock or a beeping noise.

*Sing a playlist of your favorite songs to yourself.

*Do something creative, or turn what you’re doing into something creative. Our sensitivities can disappear if we’re having fun, if only temporarily!

*Do something physical with your body, such as dancing or repetitive exercise.

*Tell those around you that the noise is getting to you, and they might try to help you drown it out.

*Mimic the noise. This sounds counter-intuitive, but it can help you to take away the power the noise is holding over your mind!

*If it’s another person annoying you, try to synchronize your actions with theirs. That way, you’re mostly hearing your own noises, and you can begin to mentally downplay theirs.

*Try to associate your most problematic noise triggers with a positive memory, and use that as a starting point for changing your emotional ties to that noise.

Take a look at these classifications and see where you fall on the misophonia spectrum:

Misophonia Test

If you have any other suggestions for coping strategies, please suggest them in the comments, or on the LLI page on Facebook


Originally written and published by Natalie Marsh on

The Energy Sponge Toolkit

Everyone who has Low Latent Inhibition is highly sensitive, but not always to emotion. We all experience an astounding amount of stimulation every second of every day, but what we take in and how varies from person to person. There is a delicate balance within the LLI community between intellectual, emotional, and spiritual endeavors.

Those who have been labeled as ‘too sensitive’ or ‘overly emotional’ throughout their lives are often unaware emotional energy sponges. These individuals regularly take on the energy (emotion) of those around them – which is often negative – without realizing that it’s not their own. This can result in the belief that they are bundles of emotional chaos, which is something very few people understand. Without reciprocated empathy, these people suffer.

How, then, should one go about improving upon such a miserable situation? There are many steps that can be taken, and the path is going to be different for everyone. The first thing an Energy Sponge should do is accept that they are always going to experience more energy flow than other people. Acceptance has to be the beginning because, without it, you will be flying blindly.

From there, it is important to become aware of conscious and subconscious habits. Until you know how you’ve learned to cope with the bombardment of energy, you will not know how to improve upon your current Self. Most of us tend to Depersonalize and create some sort of shield around ourselves – often excess physical weight. We might also withdraw socially and become reclusive. Be critical of yourself so that you can discover these habits, but don’t forget to forgive! Coping mechanisms are perfectly natural, and we all have to learn how to improve at some point in our lives.

Depersonalization Disorder

A spiritual perspective on Depersonalization Disorder

What should you do to pinpoint these habits? Quiet time, meditation, and the practice of being present in each moment will help tremendously. Simplify your life as much as possible, including your diet. Plan out your interactions with difficult people as often as possible and pay close attention to your reactions and the way you feel during and afterward. If you’re having trouble keeping track of these things, keep a detailed journal. You will probably feel overwhelmed at some point, and that’s okay!

Once you have mapped out your coping mechanisms and when they take over, you can begin to improve upon them. Continuing with quiet time and meditation will certainly give you the energy and presence of mind you will need to tackle this problem. Practice Mindfulness techniques as long as you can every single day. If you aren’t familiar with this, read about it here:

Four Mindfulness Techniques

Mindfulness Exercises

Optimizing your physical body is going to be an important step as well. Do whatever you can manage for exercise, even if it’s only 5 minutes of yoga per day. Moving consciously will not only improve your body, it will also have a positive impact on your mind. Recommended gentle exercise, aside from yoga, would be swimming and Tai Chi – both of which can be done in a lake, pool, or river!

Change your diet if you haven’t already. Too many of us eat and drink things for pleasure, or out of habit, which are detrimental to our health. Don’t ever forget that your gastrointestinal system (Enteric Nervous System) is your second brain! Once you’ve learned to eat for sustenance, you will experience a new sort of pleasure when you take your meals. Nourishment becomes its own reward. One useful tool for determining what sort of diet you should try out is Ayurveda. You can find out which is your dosha and learn about it here (If you aren’t sure about some of the answers, ask someone who knows you very well.):

Dosha Quiz




In the event that Ayurveda just doesn’t resonate with you, there are other options. For instance, if you’re prone to blood sugar issues, you can follow a low-glycemic diet. If you have cardiovascular problems, you might benefit from becoming a vegetarian. Buy more fresh produce and reduce your consumption of highly processed foods. Switch refined sugar in your meal plan to healthier alternatives like honey, xylitol, and agave nectar.

Low Glycemic Diet

Vegetarian Diet

Tips for Cutting Out Refined Sugar

Benefits of Xylitol

Where do you feel the most relaxed? Many people would answer beach, forest, tropical climate, desert, etc. Do you need to be near water frequently? Identify which environment is best for you and make an effort to put yourself there, even if it’s only in your mind. If you enjoy nature but happen to live in a city, try walking around barefoot on the lawn. Feel the bark of trees as you pass by. Stand under the shade of a tree for a few minutes. Grow some rosemary, which smells very much like a pine or fir tree. Desert can be a bit more difficult, but you can always keep a jar of sand nearby that you can run your hand through, and cacti aren’t difficult to grow.

Grow Rosemary

Grow Indoor Cactus

For those of us who need water but aren’t near any real source, we do have options! Shower as soon as you get home. If you need salt water, make yourself a saltwater bath. Buy yourself a fountain to put by your desk or bed, and a CD of running water that you can play in the background during your quiet time. Even a squirt bottle full of fresh water can help with your mood. Just squirt your face or the back of your neck whenever you need a pick-me-up!

Indoor Fountains

Water Noise

Most importantly, you need to learn to say ‘No’. When you’ve become aware of how and why you’re taking in the energy of others, you can readily recognize situations in which you shouldn’t be their dumping ground. We all want to help others, but you have to be aware of your limitations. If you’re already soaked, so to speak, it’s alright to say No! They will find another outlet, and you won’t have to hide in a closet from the world.

Say No

To recap, here are our steps to freedom:

  1. Meditate
  2. Quiet time
  3. Mindfulness training
  4. Exercise
  5. Diet
  6. Environment
  7. Learn when to say ‘No’

Originally written by Natalie Marsh and published on in April 2013.