What is Normal?

Feb 09

What is Normal?

Scott Routon is a certified life coach and relationship coach. He wants to help others realize their dreams and potential at ultimatepossibilitiescoaching.com

Normal….Is there really such a thing?

I hear it a lot in my profession. “Scott, I want to be normal!” is the embittered cry of my clients. I understand their motives, the underlying stressors that could persuade a person to choose to believe that way, the perceived “need” to be different from how we are now. So let me pose a question to you – what is normal? And who gets the privilege of setting that standard? Webster’s definition, paraphrased, goes something like this – “ Normal is the accepted standard or average of a large group.” So is this definition true for you?

What is normal for me may not be normal for you because I am a one-of-a-kind individual with likes and dislikes, needs and wants uniquely my own. And even though I may be different from you, I am still normal. Why? Because I exercise my birthright as a human being to write my own definition of normal and declare it as true for me.

Currently I wear reading glasses and walk with a cane. This is normal to me because its what I have to do to work and get around. I enjoy reading stories of science fiction and fantasy. This is normal for me because it’s what I enjoy doing in my off time. The way I style my hair and choose to dress are all normal. Why? Because I choose to write my own definition of what is normal for me instead of allowing others to do it for me.

Now, please understand that not all that is normal for me is pleasant. I have certain physical issues, as I have preciously mentioned, that I would certainly like to be rid of. As this is not possible at this time I have had to make certain modifications to my definition of normal to maintain my self-esteem and self-worth. I am different from what I used to be, but what I used to be was normal for that time. I am normal for me at this time as well.

Let me give you another example to help you grasp the meaning here. The person who suffers with diabetes or who must use a wheelchair to get from one place to another or who has thyroid problems certainly would like things to be different. The truth of the matter is that given their immediate condition and/or circumstances – they are normal. The diabetic’s body will function normally for one with diabetes. Their lifestyle and routine is normal for one living with diabetes. The same thing is true for anyone living with any injury or disease. They will do what others with the same condition will do. It is extremely unfair and unrealistic of that person or anyone else to set a general standard for all when all are not the same. Because I walk with a cane it is unrealistic for me to compare myself to a long distance runner. The ability levels are at opposite ends here. However I can say that for a man of my age and health I do a very normal job of walking with my cane.

The truth I want to convey here is not that we need to compare ourselves with our peers to define normal for ourselves, but rather to simply see and accept ourselves as normal for who we truly are. No one should be allowed to label another person as abnormal simply because they are different. So, the next time you find yourself thinking you are not normal because you don’t look a certain way or were not gifted with certain talents or abilities, consider this – if you are not measuring up to others it could be that you are using the wrong ruler.

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