Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Being "Normal"

To be perfectly honest, I have always considered myself an 'odd' person. There are many things about me that I don't think are 'normal.' I think differently than most people I know. I like very different things from most normal people. Many things that most people tend to like don't do a thing for me.

This used to really both me. I used to feel that I was some sort of 'mutant.' I still, at times, feel a bit like an alien!

I'm coming to understand, however, that each of us is unique in a variety of ways. It's not just me. The truth is... this is a GOOD, GOOD thing!

The world is far more interesting when it is filled with diversity. Life would be incredibly boring if all people looked, though, acted, and spoke the same way.

Still, sometimes I think that we all 'yearn' to be 'normal.' Sometimes it would feel good to be like every body else.

As teenagers, fitting in and being 'like' our peers is all important. It's a part of the growing up process. We yearn to belong AND we are so unsure of who we are that it is safer to 'go with the crowd' and be like everyone else.

As we mature, however, I think one of the gifts available to us it to come to see ourselves as unique and special, rather than finding our characteristics to be 'odd' or 'wierd' or 'strange' in some sort of undesirable, negative fashion.

I have, at times, beocme deetermined to 'be normal.' This usually ends in some sort of disaster. I try to be like people I like and admire - but when I'm in the 'normalcy seeking mode' that motivation is coming from an urge to fit in and be accepted by others. It isn't coming from a good place.

I have a button I was given a long time ago that says, "Normal is a setting on a washing machine!" I love this! Normal is overrated and isn't meant to apply to the incredibly diverse tapestry that is humankind!!

A minister I like, JOyce Meyer, tells a story of how she went through a phase where she didn't feel like a 'normal woman.' Because she spends so much time studying and preparing lessons and talks, she doesn't have a lot of time for more domestic types of activities. She doesn't really enjoy a lot of those activities either! Still, she started to feel very different from all her friends, and longed to just be 'like everybody else.' Her very funny story is about how she decided to plant and grow her own tomatoes one summer. She and her neighbor planted their tomatoes at the same time, on each side of the fence that separated their yards. They had the same soil, used the same seeds, watered the same way and fertilized with the same things at the same time. The other woman's tomatoes grew strong and gorgeous. She harvested a bountiful crop. Joyce's tomatoes on the other hand, did not do so well. They got some sort of disease. They had bugs all over them. In short... it was a disaster! She complained to God about this one day and heard a firm answer. "I did not ask you to grow tomatoes!"

the other woman grew tomatoes because she loved doing it. It was one of her tasks in life that she felt called to do and she did it well. Not everyone can grow tomatoes!

Joyce, on the other hand, is called to speak and teach. Not everyone can do that either. Joyce is called (and is annointed, as she puts it) to teach spiritual principles out of the Bible, and it is fun and easy for her!

We aren't all given the same gifts or the same purposes in our lives! We need to appreciate other people's talents and abilities, AND embrace our own as well.

There are many things about you that are unique and wonderful. There is no one else exactly like you! If you compare yourselves to others and try to squeeze yourself into their image - you will be miserable, and you will probably not get very far.

We are meant to be ourselves! There is NO NORMAL!

Go be the very best YOU that you can be and embrace those things about you that make you one of a kind!