Do you spend so much time chasing what your ideal, preconceived view of a normal life is, that you have lost your own identity in the process? This is a common issue for women who are trauma and sexual abuse survivors. Today, I am saying to you, normal is not a state to be striving for!
You grew up in a home that was so different and far away from the outward appearances of the homes of classmates and friends. Now in your adult life, you have spent literally years in a cat and mouse game with this preconceived idea of “normal”.
Normal. What is that? And who are the people that make the declaration around what that is?
Normal… conforming to the standard or the common type.
I know for myself that’s all I wanted. That’s all I prayed for. I just wanted to be normal. I wanted a normal family. One where love and support were a given. I wanted relationships where I wasn’t having to be constantly vigilant of being eaten if I sat still too long. I dreamt of what I saw or thought I saw others having. Their lives comfortable and stable. We build a whole lot of pictures around what that should look like. We acquire the perfect house and the perfect car. We have had all of the right education. We have a job that on paper looks great. The money is good. (But…) Normal! Check out this video where I speak about the problems with striving for normalcy.
In reality what are we chasing? By definition, normal is common… average… ordinary. Ordinary. In any other facet of our lives do we strive to be ordinary? Do we strive to be average in our accomplishments? But we try to fit the entirety of who we are and why we are here in the framework of normal. Is that what we want for our children? Where are the Beethovens or Michelangelos… in that? We were designed each with our unique piece of the puzzle. Each and every one of us is here with a job to do. A job that only we were designed to accomplish. We don’t find what it takes to “become” in the realm of normal. We don’t create Einsteins in the realm of average.
Our amazingness comes in ways that we don’t often recognize. It sneaks in with what we do easily and naturally. Our gifts lie in the activities that bring us joy. Now let’s be sure… I’m not talking about watching Netflix.
It’s sad and amazing to me that in my practice one of my first questions is what do you like to do? What activity can you get lost in? Where you lift your head and hours have past? Often I get back “I don’t know.” Or they give me names of television programs they like.
What I am speaking of here is those activities that you loved when you were young. Those things that you sooooo wanted to be when you grow up. Did you dream of being an artist? Were you the happiest with a paintbrush in your hand? Did you love to make things? Build things? Or to bake? Could you be found off in the corner with a book… dreaming one day of writing your own? Have you always had a love for numbers? or music? In spite of your circumstance.
Many of us have abandoned our dreams for normal. We have abandoned our passions for average. We have jumped or have been transplanted into someone else’s dream. It is the underwhelming or overwhelming expectations of parents. Many of us have been tied to unsatisfying jobs for 30 years. Jobs that have trapped us in the golden handcuffs. Or we stayed in a unsatisfying relationship because it goes against the norm to want more. All because of the illusion of normal.
We live our lives merely functioning chasing an illusion.
What if normal is just swimming around and around in a pond? The water temperature is fine. The scenery is fine …or maybe not fine. Maybe, it’s just all you know. Maybe, you have never had a moment outside. You have always wondered what it might be like up on the shore.
What our society sees as successful is a human that meets the expectations of graduating college. We then snag a job. Stay there for the next 60 years. The occasional vacation was thrown in there, if they could find time between work schedules. Retire and… oops. We miss the kids growing up. We are lucky if we can find a night or two a week to sit down to a meal together.
We came here to explore… to experience.
I love when I see young people moving around. Changing jobs… Changing careers. Their beliefs flexible with the capacity to expand. They dive in and learn things. When the learning stops, they move on. I love it. I see them in a school of their own. Each activity a class. Some experiences need more time than others. They walk away with tools in their pockets that will be necessary to carry out their end game.
What makes you glow on the inside?
So what if rather than flakes, they are just really fast learners? Maybe above average. Maybe they don’t need 30 years in one activity to learn what they need to know.
Maybe your insides want more than average for YOU too.
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