Questioning Our Normal

I’ve been doing a lot of musing lately about what my “normal” was growing up.

My whole life, I’ve assumed that what was normal for me was healthy and good. I didn’t know any different, and I was constantly hearing that if others lived in any other way then they were the ones doing life wrong.

I had no objective way to understand what healthy looked like until I began to ask questions and left what no longer worked for me; I discovered that relationships can be different from my “normal.”

How utterly shocking it was to me to discover that my normal wasn’t good. How disorienting to discover that doing life another way leads to a healthier and happier existence.

It’s not healthy to have to walk on eggshells around family members to keep the peace.

It’s not healthy for a child to have to manage the feelings of their parents.

It’s not healthy to grow up largely isolated from the outside world with only your immediate family as your one consistent source of companionship.

But I didn’t know that. This was the world that my family lived in for decades.

I’ve had similar revelations about evangelicalism since I left that world.

Perhaps you have too?

What is “normal” in that culture often isn’t healthy.

I didn’t realize that it’s not healthy for people to spend their time gossiping or wondering about the possible sin others may be doing behind closed doors, always dressing it up as a prayerful concern.

I didn’t know how unhealthy it was to impose hierarchical structures to maintain control within relationships.

I wasn’t aware that it’s not healthy to police others’ bodies or speech.

I’ve been out of that system for the better half of a decade now, and I’m still constantly amazed at some of the things that I never thought deeply about before.

It was our normal, so why would we question it?

But imagine how much could change if we did start to question our normal? It would be a world-changing revolution.

(Originally posted on the Ezer Rising Facebook page on Jan 5, 2022)

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