Self-Care Tip #82 – Have courage to go for what is lovely to you in life. Be a friend to yourself.
Pretty, blond, about 5’6″, slender, in her 30’s, mother and wife, no funny shapes or movements but Britt still asked me, “Am I normal?” It takes guts to ask someone that.
I just finished this heart-squeezing book, “Waiting For Normal,” by Leslie Connor. (Yes! I finally read a book! It took me 5 times as long but it was no less pleasurable.) Connor tells us about pre-teen Addie who grew up on the waves of her bipolar mom’s chaos, salvaging bits of wreckage along the way to survive. Addie is the life-preserver her mom uses for life. Addie’s own buoy through it all is her hope of one day finding normalcy. She uses all her smarts to avoid the thrust her mom’s messes force on her. It requires her full attention. Addie must have looked pressed for something because her Mom finally asked her
What’s so special? What are you chasing after?!
Addie was fisting optimism when she answered
I’m not chasing after anything. I’m waiting. Waiting for normal.
Later Addie explains to her mom
Normal is when you know what’s gonna happen next. Not exactly what because probably nobody gets that. But normal is being able to count on certain things. Good things. And it’s having everyone together – just because they belong that way.
My son used to have shaggy hair with curls that flew at the world around him. He came home the other day and told me he wanted it short. I finally figured out that because none of the other boys in his class had longer hair, neither should he. He showed me pictures of what his hair should look like. The whole process was too cute.
We are all looking for normal.
Putting aside defining normal, for now I am content to just contemplate the largeness of the effort to find it. The journey, the process, the coming into such a thing reveals the beauty in one’s character and essence. It is that, rather than the “hair-cut” that makes me say, “Wow!”
When Britt, my patient, strove towards her health and normalcy, her intent in context was lovely. She seemed to me, in those moments we shared together, as one of the great heroes of our day. A woman of courage.
Self-Care Tip #82 – Have courage to go for what is lovely to you in life and appreciate the beauty in your heroic self. Be a friend to yourself.
Question: Have you struggled with the question, “Am I normal?” Please tell me your story.