I am not a t.v. watcher as I find most shows to be ones that break down, not build up. For this reason, I have DVR service so I can tape shows that inspire, make me think and challenge me to get up and do something to change the world, no matter how small.
One of the shows I regularly tape is Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I recently watched the show featuring Timothy Shriver. Timothy is the chairman of Special Olympics and wrote a book called Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most.
He had many interesting and eye opening things to say. One of which struck a chord in my heart. He was talking about the ‘shame’ families feel when a family member is different and does not have abilities according to the standards society sets. He said, and I paraphrase, “‘Normal’ is the cancer of life.” This shame is not only one families feel, but individuals as well.
How many of us are extraordinary in our views, what we wear, who we are? And yet, because of our differences, our handicaps, our not following the ‘norm’ our culture expects, we are ostracized, treated like dirt, looked at with raised eyebrows, believed not to be smart nor beautiful nor worthy. How many of us have differences lurking inside but are afraid to let them soar? Instead, the door is slammed, locked tight and we live a life where we tiptoe around, never really happy, always seeking something to fill the gap because we have thrown the key away and no longer allow ourselves access to the deep true essence of who we really are, no matter what society or culture or someone else thinks we should be.
In all my years I have never been ‘normal’ at least as defined by society. As long as I can remember, I have looked at life through eyes of wonder, seen through the package to the heart and fit in better with those who beat their own drum rather than with those who changed themselves to be accepted by the so called ‘popular’ crowd. I mean think about it, those of us who lived outside of the box were creative, dressed funky, thought for ourselves and never worried about having to impress someone so we would get invited to the latest party or be seen with the handsomest guy or prettiest girl. I think that is the most important one of all.
Today, I don’t live a life to impress. I don’t wear makeup. I get my hair cut according to the way I like it. I dress in clothes that are comfy, yet professional. And because I have found the key and unlocked the door, leaving it wide open, I am able to live my life as me, not a carbon copy of me. As for acceptance from others? Well, I have learned not every one is going to like me nor get me. And that is their problem, not mine. Because to me, fitting in and being ‘normal’ is no fun, way too much work and way too judgmental. It is not worth the stress, nor the anxiety nor the cancer.