What Constitutes Normal
The idea of normal from a neurological stand point simply means the known and familiar.
It is the experiences and expectations we are use to, personally, culturally and worldly. The idea that the planet is a round ball flying through the universe as part of a larger galaxy and a smaller solar system is classified as s normal way to perceive our place in the universe. Unless your religious beliefs reject this idea and then it becomes not normal.
Culturally, in Australia it is “normal” to breast feed our children for between 3 months and 1 year of age. Any more than that is classified as not normal. Yet in many countries around the world it is completely acceptable and normal to breast feed until the age of 6 or 7.
It is normal in Australia to eat a lot of meat and the idea that you can get all the bodies required nutrients from a plant based diet is considered not normal. Yet in countries like India where the majority of the population is vegetarian this idea is ludicrous.
It is normal in this country to believe that to be successful we must work long hours, put our happiness on the line and sacrifice our families needs. Yet in countries like Sweeden this idea is not normal and has been rejected by both the masses and the government where they have established the normal experience of happiness being the gage for success and a reduction in not only work hours but school hours too with incredible results. You can read some info on this here
The idea that love is only normal if its between a woman and a man is another damaging belief that is being challenged culturally thank god.
Personally, our childhood experiences significantly determines what is normal experience. A child who has been raised in a state of fear and domestic violence will be more likely to see the behaviour as normal and not only allow it in their adult experience but at times, subconsciously seek it out. Where as the person who has not experienced such experiences as a child will be less likely to accept said behaviour or experience.
I have had the experience of people trying to normalise such destructive behaviours as an inevitable experience in relationship to defend their own acceptance of the experience and/or a person they love. Yet this is not in my “normal” and so I reject it.
What is in my normal is adventure. To travel at the drop of the hat is my normal. Yet as a single mum of three children, this version of normal is not always possible and so creates tension in my mind as I seek to experience my normal.
We all construct what we believe to be normal simply by what we know, have experienced or have been told repeatedly is normal.
The truth is – that doesn’t make it normal or abnormal, simply known or unfamiliar.
Perhaps its time for a perception shift of what is possibly based on what we believe to be normal. How does your normal constrict or expand your experience?
What normal do you want to cultivate? Which normals do you want to let go of? And how can we use this truth to expand our understanding, and let go of judgements of another persons normal?