Embracing The New Normal
"Get back to normal, whatever your normal is" Tylenol
I understand what Tylenol is trying to sell us with their current add campaign about getting back to normal, but I think they've completely missed the boat.
People waste so much time, money, and energy trying to chase down a return to how things used to be.
Instead of this societal obsession with lifting, tucking, buying, spending, counselling all to try and restore what was and turn back the hands of time... why are we not throwing off everything that entangles us and striving to MOVE FORWARD and embrace the situation we find ourselves in?
THE NEW NORMAL!
Many times in my life I have encountered serious challenges and ALWAYS my approach is to try and escape the situation, make it revert back to old normal. Being sent to boarding school, going through divorce, having a father with cancer in his 40s. All of these situations I started out with the mindset of how can I get out of this, change the situation or make like it was before.
My time, energy and money was wasted each and every time. Instead of railing against the situations I was in, I should have been investing all I had into making the new situation, my new normal. Learning to excel within my new reality. This would be energy well spent.
Does the name ring a bell?
For many of us, one of the standout moments in the 2012 Olympic games was the race run by Oscar Pistorius. Even if the name isn't familiar, the site of him running with his prosthetic "blades" is still etched on our minds.
He had double leg amputation when he was 11 months old, so while we see quite a strange sight, looking at the blades, for Oscar, it is his normal and has been for a long time.
Oscar understood that he had to deal with this as his new normal. He made the most in his state and rather than railing against it, he learned to adapt himself to excel and fly within the situation he found himself. Time/Energy well spent.
Many of us have these kind of experiences in our lives where something life altering happens but yet it isn't visible to the naked eye. (Think death, divorce, abuse, mental illness, broken relationships, unemployment.)
When we find ourselves facing something like this, rather than fighting against it, embrace it.
Embrace the new normal. Learn all there is to learn from this new situation. Learn to apply yourself and excel in it. In fact, learn to rejoice in it. It will build you and your character if you let it.
A friend of mine and I had an exchange on Facebook a couple days ago that brought me back the perspective that I needed:
Me: Indeed. The divorce kinda feels like a slow death. Pretty hard to know how to feel.
Friend: You just enjoy each moment as you never know when may be your last.....perhaps you are the luckier one to learn this so early in life - we should all live every moment this way!
Obviously my friend TOTALLY gets it. Seemed strange for a minute that someone could say that me going through a painful divorce, was LUCKY, but my friend was right on the money.
I'm only lucky though, if I stop resisting it and let the experience grow me, stretch me, mature me.
So when you go through your next trials and tribulations in your life, don't resist, let it in and learn from it. It will grow/mature you if you let it. I'm walking that painful road myself right now, but finding that it is far easier to go through these things if I can keep the perspective where it should be.
Check out this wild verse from the Bible that is completely counter culture. Ponder it. If you can get it, it'll change your life.
I know it's changing mine.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."