Can We Just Get Back to Normal?


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A few weeks ago in yoga class, with 8 women present, I asked who feels like they are in a period of “normal” in their life right now. After a moment, only 1 lady raised her hand. I found that very interesting, in light of the fact that I think most of us would prefer to be living in what we “feel” like is a “normal” state. So, I looked at the lady that had raised her hand and said “yeah for you!” and she said, “Oh, I I’ve got crazy swirling right now, but that’s just normal for me!” And – BAM – there it was, confirmed proof from someone else of what I had been thinking about this past week as I prepared to take on this subject.

I had basically already come to the conclusion, that in my own life, there have been many periods where I have struggled to get myself back to, or maybe forward into this magical place of “normal”.  As I dove into contemplating and preparing this week’s inspiration for you, I knew that this subject was staring me back in the face, calling for some major self-study and discovery. While walking through my own set of crises right now, I’ve found myself yearning longing, achingly and often with much angst to live in the land or “normal” again.

In the middle of the night, several days ago, this epiphany came to me… I am ACTUALLY living in the land of “normal” right now! The dictionary meaning of normal is… standard, usual, typical. It doesn’t say that they standard, typical, usual is going to be great, exciting, comfortable or fabulous. And so, I realized that sometimes – normal, standard, usual, typical in our lives, can be awesome, good or comfortable, but it can also be kind not so great, or downright super sucky! Whatever it is, it is the normal of that particular period of your life.

So, if that feels a little depressing, possibly, I’m going to ask you to consider that it is just the opposite. What this brings us to, is that ALL phases of life are transitory. This physical life we live in is ever changing. When we happen to be in a phase of awesome, good or comfortable as our “normal”, say HALLELUIAH every day and give many thanks for this period in your life! When we are in the not so great, or very, very hard times, let’s take comfort that this time is temporary, and it certainly will not last forever. In time, a new normal, will take over.

And so that begs the question how do we get through those more challenging normal periods? I think we have to break this down into two parts. Is your challenging time due to things within your control or more out of your control? If it is in your control, i.e, – you are working a job you hate, you are suffering from a temporary illness or injury, you are in a damaging relationship, your teenager is making you nuts, etc. In those situations, you can move toward a better state of normal by tacking action. Such as looking for and securing a new job, making healthy lifestyle changes, doing physical therapy for that injury, getting counseling for your relationship or possibly getting out of it, or therapy with your teen. This is not to say that any of these solutions would be easy, but these are things that are within your power to improve!

The more difficult situation is when we sit in those periods of gloomy “normal” and we are mostly there because the circumstances are beyond our control. Things such as, serious illness to us or a family member, loss of a loved one, job loss of a spouse, relocation due to job change, again the list could go on. So how, do we get through when we find ourselves in this place? Step one, keep reminding yourself that things will get better, that’s not to say that you can bring a loved one back, but over time, we will not live in the same period of agony as we did when the situation was fresh. In all challenges, life will evolve, and things will change, they will get better, and they must for our mental well-being! Step two and three are huge – gratitude and attitude. In the midst of every challenge we face there are ALWAYS, ALWAYS, things we can be grateful for. That is where we need to focus. I know it is so easy to fall into woe is me, complaining to others and feeling sorry for yourself, but don’t let that rule your life. Yes, we need to have the occasional breakdowns, a cryfest with ourselves or confiding in a friend or family member to let out the emotions, but constant whining, complaining and mental focus on our problems is only going to serve to make us much more miserable. As a personal example, lately when I’ve been feeling down about my mom’s cancer and my husband’s unemployment, I turn my focus on the excitement of my new grandbaby! When I’m needing an extra boost, I text my daughter and say I need a Cian fix right now! It always helps to boost my mood. Think about what your personal positive triggers and reminders can be when you need to be uplifted. By concentrated focus on gratitude, our attitude will natural shift.

Sometimes we are going to be lucky that things naturally shift into a more positive “normal”, and again for that, we are thankful. But very often it takes work! It’s work to change our normal! It’s work to change our way of thinking! It’s work to change our attitude! The result, however, is worth it! By putting in the work, you win, because you aren’t as miserable! Everyone around wins as your energy shift changes and creates a positive ripple outward.

So, if/when you are in the not-so-great or the down-right-bad normlas. I wish you resilience and hope for you that it will be a short period. May your comfortable, good and great normals bring you great joy and peace!

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