With the devastating impact of the coronavirus that has led to disruption of life for billions, life has changed for a very long time. This has led to conversation after conversation that uses the word “normal.”
- What will it take to get back to normal?
- Boeing won’t be returning to ‘normal’ anytime soon
- Antibody Tests: key to returning to normal?
- Trump coronavirus guidelines will get us back to normal and safeguard public health victories
- American resident of Wuhan says life getting back to normal: ‘The situation is greatly improving’
But as a counselor, I have a very strong opinion on this word ‘normal.’
Why Do I Have An Issue With Words?
The concept started quite awhile ago with the R-word with a close cousin of mine who has a developmental disability. In that time, I came to understand the difference through his life of how a word can come to define you if you let it.
It evolved with mental health from the previously mentioned slur to simple adjectives such as “the autistic kid,” “this criminal,” or “that addict” where I find these terms to attempt to put an individual into a box. The reason is, we don’t want to understand the autistic kid or we can’t or we don’t have the time. So instead of calling them by their name, Sam, we call them by that one feature to define them by it.
Normal come to play when we assume that there is this status we need to meet. Of course, there are clear holes in this with “Keeping Up With the Jones” or understanding that it’s not about normal as much as it is to feel safe and comfortable. We say we don’t want to get into a rut, but why are we so quick to rush back to this false security of normal?
The Spiritual Implications of Believing in Normal
To take this issue up one more notch, God calls us to rely on Him. I am in no way, shape, or form saying that God caused this. I think He hates our pain as much as we do too. But our reliance on our own strength, whether medically, financially, politically, or relationally fuels our pride and takes away from our relationship with God.
In no way do I hope this pandemic continues. But we have the ability to strengthen our reliance on God. But instead, we want to go back to normal? What does that say about our faith?
We Are Not Going Back To Normal
We are not going to be going back to normal and that’s okay. When I see client’s who have experienced trauma, one of the unfortunate conversations I have with them that what normal was before may never be the case again. That trauma they experienced, it’s part of their story.
They can’t go back in time and change it, but they can move forward. They can grow from this. They can become more resilient. They can learn to appreciate life and people more than ever before. They can learn to overcome their negative trauma symptoms and live life in this new chapter in life.
But the old definition of normal is gone and we have a new one. We may need to grieve. We may need to process. But we must accept it to be true or we will continue to live in pain and suffering.
What are your thoughts on society’s goal of going back to normal?