What is Normal?
All people have a greatness within them. Don’t believe me? Well, then I challenge you to do the following 5 things and see what you can learn about yourself.
With the powerful messages from the media we get inundated with each day, of perfect looking people always happy, it sends the message that unless you look like them you won’t really be happy.
This is ridiculous because every person has weaknesses, short comings, unique likes and thoughts, the ideal of perfection unattainable. The media tells you what you should think is attractive, what beauty you should aspire to reach. No person on the face of the Earth can live up to that expectation of perfection.
When you look at yourself with complete objectivity and recognize that you have unique physical characteristics, thoughts, and talents that make you uniquely you, how could you possibly exist any better than that? You are you and there is a beauty in being imperfect that should be celebrated and not chastised or ignored because it is not what the media perceives to be perfect. The truth is that there is no such thing as normal. It is time to recognize your greatness!
1. Don’t Judge Others
Every person evaluates and judges things every day. That is how we keep ourselves safe, and moving in directions that we feel are good for us. Judgments are a part of being a human being, the skill is to help you determine safe situations from harmful ones. However when your judgments start to label the value of people, then they tend to force you into isolation and make your experience in life less fulfilling. This is because if you start to judge someone else’s behavior or beliefs. We tend to look at the world through a tainted lens, through which we judge others. Unfortunately, we tend to only see a part of yourself that you don’t like and are not willing to come to terms with. For example, if you judge poor people as bad, perhaps it is not the people who are “bad”, “lazy”, or “free loaders”. Perhaps it is your own fear of poverty that creates these judgments and forces them to be expressed through your judgments.
When you look at someone who dresses differently than you, it is easy to criticize them as strange, but really inside of yourself, you may feel exactly like they look, and don’t have the courage to do anything about it. We all live with the fear that people are going to “find out “ what we are really like and therefore reveal ourselves as the “strange” dudes and dudettes we are.
The secret is that everyone is strange. This results from the fact that we are all individuals with unique experiences that are ours alone. That is why we all have unique ideas, thoughts, and feelings about everything. I believe that when you start accepting others who have different views and lifestyles than you that is a significant step towards accepting yourself and all that you think and feel. All people are strange, unique and different, and so are you. Accept it and enjoy life. When you judge someone else you are really judging yourself and your own fears.
2. Look for the Gold
In these differences we all possess, you may focus on how strange someone else seems to you. They may have different religious views, cultural influences or lifestyles, it is up to you to learn what you can from them and find the attractiveness of their situation. That doesn’t mean that you have to accept their beliefs as true, it simply means that you understand why the thoughts and behaviors are what they are.
Too many times, I have kept people who are different at arm’s length or dismiss their thoughts without consideration, because it is much less scary to reject something than to investigate it and consider the validity it contains. I was afraid of being wrong or having to change.
All people have value and were born with an inner light. The experiences of life sometimes cover this light and often make it difficult to reach, but if you really look you can find gold in everyone. Nobody was born into this world to be poor, or neglected or to be chastised or cast out. Look for the talent in everybody and you will most often find it.
3. Be Kind To Yourself
Of all of the judgments we make, the harshest are saved for ourselves. Why is it that people are so hard on themselves? How many people go through a day, a week or a month without thinking about how great they are?
The answer is many, many people. There is a critical voice in our heads that works to help us survive, and if you listen to those thoughts exclusively you will never be satisfied or happy with who you are. (Ego) How often do you look at yourself in the mirror and see a unique talent that is you? Or do you only see the weakness, the age, or the imperfections of your physical self? Personally, there were many years where these thoughts never even entered my mind. I never saw my strengths, weaknesses or talents as a part of me, I only saw them as I thought others observed them, good or bad.
There are talents I have that are unique to me, as you have talent that is unique to you. It can be scary to look and see this, because then what do you do? You will have to develop it in some way. Being kind to yourself is a great place to start. If you don’t treat yourself with some understanding and really love the things that you bring to the table of life, well, who will?
4. Be Better Than You Were Yesterday
Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others, in behavior, actions, talents or weaknesses. This is a slippery slope that will only detract from your own talents and stop you from reaching your own potential.
You can always find someone who can write better, think sharper, jump higher, run faster, is stronger or whatever than yourself. That is not the point of having talent. You have an obligation to appreciate what you can do, and to do that to the best of your ability. Your talent is yours and is meant to be exactly what it is, and your only responsibility is to use it. Comparing what you do to someone else will only lead to you judging your talent or their talent as better or worse. Look at others and appreciate their skills, but don’t compare them to your own, it is a waste of time.
You can evaluate something objectively and learn from it without comparing yourself to it. There is no reason to do this other than to either make yourself feel bad because you don’t perceive that you measure up, or to build yourself up by trashing someone else. Be the best, most original you that you can and that will have to be enough. Focus on being a better person than you were yesterday.
5. Embrace Your Uniqueness!!
There is only one you in this world and regardless of what has happened in the past, or what anyone else thinks, you should be proud of who you are. You should be glad that you are you and have all of the great talents both physically and mentally that you possess. Your gifts will offer something to the world that can’t come from any other place.
You always have the choice to explore these talents or to let them lie dormant and waste away. That doesn’t mean that you will always be perfect, or always make the best choices, it simply means that you will share the talent you have to offer with the world, be uniquely you and let the chips fall where they may.
There is a beauty in this imperfection that makes you perfect. Being “Normal” is overrated and boring, being you is an exciting adventure that will last you the rest of your life. Be the best you that you can imagine!