“I just want to get back to normal”
A sentence that I hear all the time. But in this instance what truly does normal mean?
Normal for most of us means a time in our life when we felt things were easier than what we perceive them to be now.
Normal is before the accident.
Normal is before the grief.
Normal is when I didn’t feel this pain.
Normal is when I didn’t feel this anxiety.
So many versions of normal.
The thing about normal is that it can only ever represent the best of before. Normal, then, can only exist for us as a comparative; a state of being that we have landed on as the ideal when we compare it to our library of experiences.
Comparison is the love child of a system that is sitting in sympathetic. When we compare, we automatically activate our emotional brain. When we activate our emotional brain, we pull ourselves into the past. From that place, “normal” can only ever be the repeat of an experience that existed before.
So, if you find yourself wishing things were how they were before, remind yourself of this. A new normal is possible for you. One that your body and mind has yet to experience. And in order to allow yourself to step into that, you have to be willing to let go of every other normal that came before.