Maya - Defeats

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What is "normal"?

It sometimes irks me to hear things like this, when folks say that they tried to be normal.

Normal is relative. It is relative to the situation and circumstances that one might be in (like a traumatic event changing one's life with a whole new array of emotions). Sometimes, folks have no idea what is considered to be normal because they were raised in that particular environment -- like childhood abuse or a child with parents in a domestic violence relationship. Until they get to know other children and see how their lives are, they don't know any different and/or have any comparison whatsoever.

As we get older, through education/family/friends/Church/etc. for instance, we learn what is considered to be societal norms. One could live in a commune that has a criminalistic behavior within it and that would then become the learned "societal norm", but not fit within the greater society norms/mores/beliefs are truly are. Until they explore outside the commune (if they are allowed access to outside the commune), they will never know any different.

For those that experienced the 911 trauma, or even in todays terms the families that are presently affected by the unknowing whether or not their loved ones are alive or dead, the immediate moment of the crisis because their new norm. Whatever they once knew to be the norm was drastically changed/altered/askewed that very moment/day. To this day, many 911 survivors (including their families/friends) will be forever impacted and the norm that they experienced in the past will never be the same. While they may have moved on, there may be certain triggers that they will experience that will briefly take them back to that moment in time (along with varying degrees of that emotion). The difference in them is now how they handle those moments which will determine how well healed they are in the process and how much further long that they can continue their lives set in full steam motion to carrying on their life as near as possible as they could, had that experience not altered their lives.

A lot of what has helped them to heal is receiving some counseling - victim counseling, coping counseling, etc. When something happens in our lives that shakes up the norm, whether or not they realize it at the time (and/or realize that others norms may not fit into our picture of our present norm for ourselves), it is okay to accept where you are at the time and work through some healing practices to get where you can "forgive" what occurred (although you might never forget), and work on some goals that one has.

It's really important to realize that what may have happened in your life (1) doesn't necessarily define who you will be for the rest of your life, (2) there are some coping skills that you can learn to "let go" of your past to move forward, and (3) it is okay to take your time to grieve and process all that has occured (the timeframe is not set in stone and you are allowed to take what time you think you need). Preferably, if you feel that your norm may not be the norm that should, you should seek help through counselors, depending on how deeply rooted you think that might be.

Acceptance of who you are for who you are is important to the step of healing. Speaking up to some friends/family/counselors can help you to realize what path(s) may be available for you to heal and may lead to some help that you haven't thought of before. Whoever you seek help from should be non-judgemental and accept you for who you are and the place of time you are at; if someone doesn't fall into this, you might need to seek another resource to get help from.

The addage that "time heals all wounds" is true, but only if one seeks the help to guide one to that healing journey. It begins with you, as well as the step of not being too quick to pigeon yourself into what you should be without examining the assests and talents that you do have. Take one step at a time. Allow time for wounds to heal. You didn't get into the "norm" you are presently living in (for the most part, excepting in trauma situations like 911, etc) and you won't likely be able to shake it off in a day, a week, a month, and/or maybe a year (especially without the guidance of a counselor of some sort). Give yourself time to explore what your new norm may look like, and don't be too quick to presume that you can try a new norm for a brief moment in time and not expect to have some uncomfortableness to it.

What is normal to you? What are your preceived notions of what normal should be? How does your normal fit into an aspect of the new normal, as you continually strive for that healing journey?


  1. Great post :) I agree accepting who you are and that your past trials have helped to shape who you are, is very healing and freeing.
    Thank you (y)