Loosening the boundaries of our concept of normalness changes everything. We all become blank canvases, adorned with unique colors that have never before been blended together. Who are you? Tell me about yourself. Do you even know who you are? Or are your colors emerging in real time, changing with the chemistry of your body and the people and experiences you encounter? What lovely freedom there is in exploring the nuances of your being here on earth. This flesh has such range and capacity, it is so dynamic and in process. What a gift it is to allow this body and this being to continue to unfold and evolve, with no preconceived notions. And that is such a challenge for all of us who have been conditioned to believe there is only a right way and a wrong way, a good and a bad, a black and a white. Our insistence on holding those lines does such damage. It creates conflict between what is and what all the shoulding says there should be.
The battle is not between the normal people and the abnormal people; the conflict is inside each of us. It’s a battle between our own shaming parts and our ashamed parts. Those shaming parts will either wreak havoc inside of us, or they will turn outward and shame everyone else, to keep attention away from our own notnormalness. Often the shaming parts succeed at doing both.
In my lifetime, I hope to continue to soften to my own notnormalness. I send more and more interest and compassion back, toward the younger parts of me that felt ugly, impoverished, inadequate, like the only one who was this bad. I feel for those younger versions of myself now and see them as precious and suffering. And as I look out of these eyes, that have been conditioned by ideas of normal and notnormal, I recognize their limitations. When I look at you, sometimes the bias creeps in. When I talk to you, sometimes the bias is here and I’m trying to fit you into a box. And there’s an awkwardness here as I stumble over my preconceived ideas, looking to understand this one-of-a-kind that is you. I’m sorry. I know I’m trying to fit you into a box that you don’t fit in. And I know that’s my own problem, not yours.
I want to see your colors and understand more about you.
Written by Jessica Sorci, LMFT, PMH-C