For over a year the world has been desperate to return to normal. It’s all that has been spoken about, the new normal, the way things were. One of the interesting things is that for most people normal means totally different things and yet it’s now discussed as a collective desire. Whilst it may seem harmless, that obviously ‘normal’ is just a way of saying safe and happy, there is the very real chance that its ambiguity is detrimental to what’s really needed. By pouring your energy into the same pot as those wanting a return to hiding who they are, visiting family out of duty instead of love, or attending unfulfilling board meetings, you are missing a real opportunity for change. You are wasting a chance to focus on something else entirely, the life you truly want, instead of a mediocre version of the past, in which your normality was actually the problem.
It may be worth considering that what’s motivating this collective cry for normality is really the fallout from people losing their comfort zones. These same people who once felt something was missing from their lives have now been frightened into settling for what they once had, simply because it’s better than what is occurring now. They are thinking backwards instead of forwards. They are missing a moment to take all the information pre 2020 and use it to create real and lasting growth. This type of action extends beyond doing what governments and authorities are telling you; this is about thinking for yourself and deciding what it is you want to change and accomplish, going forwards.
The reality of it is that a lot people have been experiencing a pandemic of sorts their entire lives and they don’t even know it. For years, there are thoughts and parts of themselves that have raged against the negative environments they tolerate, the soul-stifling people they desperately seek approval from and the toxicity they let leak into their bodies. All of these things have caused people challenges; headaches, nausea, depression, all manner of physical and psychological symptoms that come, go and sometimes stay. But still they make no changes. They continue to remain surrounded by others who are also suffering from an obvious sickness of dissatisfaction, unhappiness and disloyalty to themselves. The solution? To mask it with alcohol, drugs, TV or, other equally temporary distractions. People pray for a saviour to swoop in, to rescue them, present them with the shot to make it all okay, hand deliver them the result they believe they’re not strong enough to create on their own. They buy into not having the power to decide on their own what is possible, worthwhile and aligned, with their ultimate goal of being free and happy.
There is a pandemic of epic proportions raging inside people’s lives and they have ignored it for decades. So much so that when the external could no longer protect them, when the threat truly came from the outside, there was nowhere left for them to go. And yet still they look the other way, watching the world as though this is something new.
So, here’s your chance. I’m asking you to take a few moments and really reflect on how great your life actually was back then, as a whole. Not compared to 2020, but in its own right. Think about your job, your career, marriage, friendships, health. If 2020 had never happened, what is it about your life you would have changed, in a heartbeat, given half the chance? More than questioning whether you really want to go to the pub for a drink, or to that friends party, this is about breaking down entire experiences and deciding a) whether your friends are actually people you want to be with, people you still resonate with b) if that particular activity is something you genuinely want to do c) if particular environments, or establishments, are the type you truly enjoy and which serve your end goals.
Most of us are taught our whole lives that there is no such thing as normal and now everyone is scrabbling for a collective version of it. Think first, before you skip so gaily back into your past.