Over lunch today, a friend and I discussed the concept of normalcy - in particular, what defines a 'normal' person. We concluded that a normal person would:
a) exhibit little or no emotion, except of course in the context of a sporting event
b) dress similar to others, nothing to stand out from the crowd
c) have a 9-5 mediocre, yet acceptable, job
d) be satisfied with an uneventful (possibly boring) life
e) have no emotional or mental health issues
f) if asked 'what's new?' might respond with 'not much' or 'same old, same old'
g) most likely be married with a kid or two
h) wait for life to begin after retirement, and then complain about being too old to do much of anything
Is this what you aspire to be, or think that you should be like? Who defines what's normal anyhow?
This is a perfect example of how our minds continually compare and evaluate ourselves with others, based on misconstrued notions. We strive to be better than but often fall short of our idea of what this might look like. On some level, we believe we're not pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, wealthy enough, young enough. Simply not enough.
What if you knew the truth: that most people are believing the exact same disparaging thoughts as you are? Wouldn't that just throw our critical minds for a loop?!
When we examine what constitutes normalcy, we discover that there is no normal. It's not only an unrealistic attainment, but a myth that leads to great suffering. Freeing ourselves from this fallacy is liberating, not only for ourselves but for also for everyone we come in contact with. We are giving permission to be our authentic selves.
So the question becomes: how do we free ourselves from this myth of normalcy? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section so we can all learn from one another. And stay tuned for part 2 of the Fallacy of Normalcy!