One of the most commonly used words in our society is normal. I hear this word a lot from my clients. It mostly comes out as, “I just want to be normal.” I think all of us have said this to ourselves at one point in our lives. The problem is….there is no such thing as normal. Normal is constantly changing. It changes with society as people adapt their culture and beliefs about the world and those around them. We can never really grasp onto normal. Dictionary.com defines normal as, “serving to establish a standard.” We use this word to divide society into those that we think are “normal” and those that aren’t. Unfortunately, we make this division within ourselves and often put ourselves in the “not normal” section leaving us feeling lonely and isolated from the rest of “normal” society. Seeing it in this perspective. Do we really want to be normal? Always changing to what people expect us to be and conforming to the standard. I don’t know about you, but it’s exhausting to me. It also never works the way we want it to. No matter how hard we try, we will always let people down. If we put our self-worth on the line with people, we will see ourselves in the pit of our failures until that’s all we can see. It’s dark in this pit. We can’t stop thinking about our failures and shortcomings, and we feel we don’t have the strength to get out.
Instead of using the word normal. Lets change it to “healthy.” Therefore, when we tell ourselves, “I just want to be
normal healthy.” It gives us a little bit of hope and a direct path to go on to get there. For the most part, healthy living doesn’t change from culture to culture. There might be some differences here and there depending on the society, but there are some things that are just universal healthy living. Attachment is one of them. Regardless of the culture or society you are apart of, attachment (the emotional bonds between two people) is a necessary part of our happiness as human beings. We are hardwired to connect no matter where we go, and no matter what we tell ourselves, we need people. We need to love and be loved. We need to feel safe.
In spite of hating the word normal, I do use it on occasion. There… I said it. Sometimes I have clients ask me if it’s “okay” that they feel what they feel. A common phrase is, “I want to want to change. Is that okay?” I usually reply, it just means you’re normal. In other words, “you are exactly where you need to be at this point, and there is no difference between you and everybody else.” Sure, everyone has their own unique backgrounds, and some people have more talents than others. Although, in the end, we are all pretty much the same. We all struggle. We have all said to ourselves, “I just want to be normal.” We have all told ourselves at one point in our lives that we are not. I really believe that. This is why normal just doesn’t exist….because we are all technically normal.