This topic has been burning in me for a while now, but sometimes I know it’s best to sit on topics for a while before I teach and/or bring them to the catalog.
That intuitive feeling never steers me wrong in this area.
Today, I stumbled on a new teacher I really really like (I watch hours and numerous videos of new teachers before I share them with you) who has a wonderful short video on this topic today; The myth of normal in our modern society and how we can stop admiring people for the entirely wrong things.
This is close to my heart.
I know when people look at me, they see a paradox, so I’m a great example to use to introduce this concept and paradigm shift with today.
I’m a person who yes, has slightly expensive taste in some things, loves nice things, and likes to lead a certain kind of life – quiet and luxurious, if you will. I definitely have my comforts, but I don’t totally identify with them. I have no shame in admitting that, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
I have a resolved balanced mentality I’m still working hard to cultivate.
What I had to shift in within my own mind (and am still working on shifting) is admiring other women who produce or consume more than me, and here’s exactly what that looks like (in women in current society – I’ve heard all of these with my own ears and/or experienced them):
- She bought the same bag I did (ugh!)
- I posted ___________ on Facebook, and she had to go post something that out-did it
- She’s copying everything I do on my website
- I wish I had her _____________.
- How does she pump out so much content or get so many readers?
- etc, etc, etc
You get the point. This goes far beyond competition. There is a deeper root in our modern culture that feeds these thoughts.
That root is that we have been conditioned over the years that “normal” looks one way, and “abnormal” looks another.
And especially now, we actually believe someone’s Instagram or Facebook is their ENTIRE life on the daily. How narrow-minded of us, friends. It’s just not so!!!
So with all this societal conditioning and using our egos to see ourselves as “separate” from other people because what we SEE is that they have or produce more, we can subconsciously disconnect from them because we see ourselves as ordinary or normal and that these people have somehow surpassed normalcy – as if to say they’ve arrived as a result of producing or consuming more than us on a regular basis.
We can also find ourselves valuing another person solely based on the fact that they are valued by others.
“Well if ______ likes them, I do too”. Without any inquiry about how their business, belief system or life values can and should be filtered through our own.
This isn’t to say we should totally discredit someone’s hard work, effort, success, achievements, etc.
But…..it shouldn’t be the sole factor we base our connection with them on. Referrals are nice. Vetting is better.
What ELSE do they do besides buy & acquire nice things (consume) and then post, share, photograph, etc. those things they consume out into the world (produce)? If you can’t answer that with things like:
- They give back to society
- They honor their friends enough to tell them the truth and not be a “yes woman”
- They work hard
- They live a joyful and full life and help others
- They ask how MY day was too
Then that’s a person or relationship worth examining. It’s possible your connection is based solely on what they produce and consume and thus, what you feel is “normal”.
FROM this conversation then, flows another one about the natural separation that’s happening in our culture where we classify someone as “abnormal” or “off” if they no longer have the mental capacity to hold a job, make money, or even spend money to consume what we consider “normal”.
What an incredible concept for us to contemplate. I can tell you I had never viewed it this way before.
My guest today for this article speaks to this myth of “normal” and why human connection has to be made priority again as being a preferred way to get rid of this mindset.
Not only that, I love that he pulls in the need to have a spiritual connection and that, if we’re ignoring it, we’re ignoring an “essential part of ourselves.”
Dr. Gabor Mate is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and is also widely recognized for his perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health. He has authored four books exploring topics including attention deficit disorder, stress, developmental psychology and addiction. He is a regular columnist for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail and even has given his own TED Talks.
So what is the point, Tamisha and Dr. Gabe?
We have to – MUST – seek more in someone than materialism, what they “produce” in the world, or what we consider “normal”, of which there is no such thing.
It’s my belief that, as women, we have been the champions of establishing what is “normal” in our immediate circles because we set the tone for our homes (often times), how it’s nurtured, and are heavy influencers in the world via our families, friendships, and places of work. And, if we hold that kind of power to influence normalcy, we also then have the same power or a higher level of power to break modern societal beliefs about what normal looks like.
I recently had lunch with a friend who told me, “Tamisha, I tell my daughter – if you see a little girl sitting by herself at school, you leave your friends and go sit with her.”
THAT, my ladies, is not only leadership and conscious parenting. It’s breaking the cycle of “normal” we have accepted. I am getting chills thinking about it.
My questions I am asking myself (and you):
- What do I for REAL admire in people? What actually matters to me about who they are if Instagram, luxury name-brand labels didn’t exist for them to sell or buy, and they lost their income?
- What are our misconceptions about “normal” and who “fits” into that space according to how we think right now, today? If we let go of those misconceptions, what is possible in our human connections?
I hope you enjoyed this topic & article – I know it’s deep. If you do, like it and share it with your friends. And as always, thank you for reading & subscribing.
Photography by Srinivasa Luxton