While having an Esoteric Breast Massage (EBM), it dawned on me in the middle of the session, – that this healing modality might not be considered by some as normal!
I lay there imagining what someone might think if they burst in on my session. Considering our modern day society, I feel many of us would agree that a woman massaging another woman’s breast tissue – even performed gently with no sexual connotations –may not be considered as ‘normal’. And so, because the outcome of every single Esoteric Breast Massage I have ever had has always been exquisitely supportive and has felt like I was giving myself the gift of clarity and wisdom, a truly self-loving experience in many ways, I began to ponder on what actually is ‘normal’.
The Oxford dictionary defines normal as being that which “conforms to a standard: usual, typical or expected.” (1)
But doesn’t what is usual, typical or expected, change from person to person?
What we do because we are told it is ‘normal’ can be quite shocking. It is normal to see a fist fight outside a pub at midnight. It is typical to drink alcohol every day of the week. It is expected for many Muslim women to wear a veil over their face. It is normal to see men and or women sleeping around; it is typical for people to expect the doctor to always be able to fix their medical problems; it is expected that mothers put their children first, before themselves. And it is definitely not normal to express how amazing we are.
What this very basic insight highlights is that these are behaviours that not everyone does or would even consider doing themselves, yet they are ordinary, commonplace and quite conventional actions for some people.
So the definition of what is normal cannot therefore be normal as there actually is no set normal for everybody. And yet in our society we accept and even champion behaviours based on what we deem is normal.
How does something become normal in society? New behaviours are performed by a group of people and when enough people are exhibiting that behaviour, it can then be accepted. It doesn’t even have to be the majority who either exhibit the behaviour or who accept it. However, it is considered normal because it is a behaviour that is typical or expected by a particular group. Once behaviour is repeated, it easily achieves the ‘normal’ tag.
Is it possible we have it all wrong? Are we using ‘normal’ as a definition to allow ourselves to get away with something?
To get away with a behaviour that says if enough people do it, then by virtue of the numbers of people doing it, that then can become the new normal. But who ever said ‘normal’ was what actually serves us, is what is true for us, or is even what is good for us?
Is ‘normal’ what we should be aspiring to?
If we are so fixated on being normal so we can judge others and ourselves and establish where we fit into society, then it is most decidedly time to create a new normal. Yes, the world dictates what is normal, but should it be this way? Should the world be allowed to name, assess, criticize, judge, disapprove and then condemn so-called normal behaviours?
Is it not time to develop a new normal? A true definition of what is normal?
What if what is truly normal is what we quietly (or sometimes, actually very loudly) feel inside ourselves that feels right, feels true and is evolutionary in our growth as human beings?
What is Normal For Us needs to become the new normal, regardless of whether we’re the only ones doing it and whether it is typical or expected behaviour.
By Suzanne Anderssen, Brisbane, Australia