And maybe you followed that comment with, “Whatever normal is.”
Did normal ever exist? Is there such a thing as normal anymore?
And is abnormal the new normal?
Take even a few moments to watch the news, you know, normal life doesn’t exist anymore—if it ever did. We have all been affected by the changes brought about by the COVID pandemic, and that was not normal…not by a long shot!
But that’s not all.
Notice the weather. What was once normal is not normal now.
Look at the economy, the environment, and the way people—even our leaders— behave. Unfortunately, these are not normal either.
- The January 6, 2021 attack on the capital
- The war between Russia and Ukraine
- The Great Resignation
What’s normal about any of that? Nothing.
We live in an abnormal time.
Everything Changes All the Time
Indeed, things have changed…dramatically…in so many ways in a very short amount of time. Therefore, it’s no wonder that people are behaving differently as a result.
But we need to keep in mind the fact that everything changes all the time…including the so-called “normal.”
That’s why there really is no such thing as normal…ever.
Unless, of course, you live a very comfortable, unvarying, predictable life and don’t notice—or get involved—in the constant change happening around you. However, I believe it’s impossible to live oblivious to the changes that occurred over the last few years. Everyone’s lives have been impacted in at least some way.
Lack of Acceptance
But do we accept the fact that there is no normal? Typically, not.
We often fight against change because most people don’t like it. We want everything to stay comfy and secure. We like our lives to be predictable.
But that’s actually not the way to live a charged life or one where you are firing on all cylinders and feeling alive, vibrant, and excited about every day. It’s not a means to learn, grow, and live fully.
And a lack of acceptance of the “new normal”—constant change—makes us unhappy, frustrated, and angry. Obviously, these negative emotions make it harder to be happy, peaceful, and fulfilled.
Maybe you can relate…
If you’ve fought against any of the changes that have impacted your life in the last two years, consider how your lack of acceptance made you feel and act. Did you like feeling and acting that way? Be honest…
No Need to “Sit Back and Take It”
I’m not saying you need to sit back and take all changes in stride. Change is challenging.
Nor am I saying you shouldn’t stand up for what you believe. You should. And you may not agree with the changes happening around you or being required of you.
But you will become miserable if you can’t get to a place of acceptance of the things you can’t change or imposed changes. And that’s not a healthy emotional place to spend much time.
In fact, the longer you remain in a state of unacceptance, the more likely you will feel the impact of this emotional state on most areas of your life. And that includes your health, relationships, and work.
A New Use for the Serenity Prayer
So, how can you approach the lack of normality in a manner that creates peace and happiness? How can you accept the things you cannot change…or approach your attempts to change them with equanimity?
Use the Serenity Prayer.
The Serenity Prayer has been used in Alcoholics Anonymous circles for ages. But you can use it even if you have no addictions. As a result, you might become more able to let go of trying to control everything, so it stays the same.
Here is the prayer:
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
If you don’t believe in God, Replace “God” with Source or Creator, for instance. Or you can use this prayer as an affirmation. For example, begin with “Grant me…” or “I grant myself….”
Know the Difference
The key to this prayer is to “know the difference” between what you can and cannot change. When you fight against things you cannot change, you are bound to feel angry and frustrated. After all, you are basically hitting your head against a wall…continuously.
That’s no way to find serenity, is it?
But if you accept that there are some things you can’t change…and let them go…and boldly step up and attempt to change the thing you can, you will feel satisfied and fulfilled. You will live into your values and make a difference. And you will feel serene.
The world needs change. No doubt about it. And you can lead change. Anyone can.
But forcing change where change is impossible is a recipe for unhappiness. And it’s not a good way to lead anyone—including yourself.
When you instigate positive change, you negate your ability to experience “normal. After all, any change results in a new situation or environment—a “new normal.” But don’t let that deter you from attempting to alter what you can.
Accept change as something positive. See normal like like the passage of time. Just as each moment leads to another and another. The same is true of normal. What is normal flows naturally into what is normal in the next moment and the next.
Accept that abnormal is normal, and you will find more happiness and peace.
Do you believe normal ever existed or exists now? Tell me in a comment below, and please share this post with a friend or on your social networks.
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