Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Normalcy

Is there such a thing? People have their own definition of what normal is. It’s such a vague description. Normalcy: to not be crazy? Have you ever been through a breakup or a messy divorce that went terribly wrong, and your ex just didn’t know how to contact you like a human being? Any contact that they did make was erratic, emotional and off-the-wall insane and sometimes even irrational? It’s a proven fact that when you have a very bitter ex on your hands-- any contact, whether positive or negative (and they usually choose option 2), will be satisfactory for them. They’ll do things ‘out of the norm’ just to get your attention. Then again, what is “the norm”? I have a track record for dating attention getters (minus a very good friend I dated, H), who seek attention whether it is positive, yet mostly negative. They love to push your buttons to see your reaction.

There’s nothing wrong with being an attention getter in my opinion: it’s how some people’s genetic make up are set. I just don’t see the positive result in resolving or discussing issues with such anguish and animosity. I guess I’m the type that likes to see a happy ending, regardless if the relationship was one or not. I prefer to settle things civilly and ‘making nice’, instead of emotionally beating one another up. It just doesn’t make sense to me. The relationship is over. Let it go. Let all that wasted anger and resentment go. It’s so unhealthy.

Here’s what I’ve learned through a couple of bad breakups:

*Forgive that person completely, to the point of forgetting.
*Forgive everything that has transpired throughout the course of the relationship.
*Forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made and things you’ve done to hurt the other person.
*Pray to God for forgiveness for both parties.
*Pray for love, health and happiness for the other person that you’ve ended ties with.

With these steps, I found myself to be set free. I can’t stress enough how important it is to forgive other people in life. I’m not saying that what they’ve done or what we’ve done is “okay” to do again, but just realizing that your heart is opened to forgiveness and wishing them happiness is a huge step to emotional freedom. There are so many people walking around with bottled up emotions and resentments from their past traumas. Usually, when they get into another relationship, they have a huge lack of trust and underlying anger that’ll resurface within that new relationship. It’s not fair to the new person and it’s also so unhealthy for the person who cannot forgive their offender(s), as well as themselves. They usually walk around “bitter” and cynical towards everything. They become sarcastic and poke fun at every single thing that resembles love. I’m sure you already know some of these people.

I almost got that way. I was discouraged over people and my lack of trust from being betrayed trickled over into thoughts of, “Everyone else will do the same thing.” Just because one person either cheated on you, lied to you or emotionally and/or physically harmed you, it doesn’t mean the new person will do the same thing. But how can you know this for sure? So a huge wall is built up for emotional protection and the resentment stays within. When I finally reached the point of exploding due to my pent up resentment, I was always sick, achy, depressed and full of anxiety. The day I decided to let go and forgive completely (for my ex and for myself), I can’t even tell you how free I felt. I finally started sleeping 8 hours per night, exercising regularly and actually feeling “human” again-----“normal” if you will.

This is what worked for me. I’m no relationship expert, you can talk to any one of my ex’s – believe me, but I can definitely tell you what to do afterwards in order to help you feel better again. I know the term “forgiveness” kind of falls out of the mouth too loosely, but if you can just picture yourself setting the person free and really accepting them for who they are, with all their flaws, imperfections and the things they’ve done that have hurt you deeply, hopefully you’ll find that there are healthy relationships out there, as long as you keep that mindset.

One day, maybe you can find that sense of “normalcy” again. Maybe normalcy means hope and love. Maybe normalcy is a personalized definition for each individual.

Remember: you don’t need forgiveness from the other person. You need to be able to forgive them and be able and willing to forgive yourself. Afterwards you’ll receive the freedom that was missing in your life. I promise you!
EDIT: While reading Cruel Virgin's blog, she included a prayer that is so helpful in recovering from a past relationship. I am taking a tiny excerpt out from her post.
"It is a prayer to the Archangel St. Michael, the one who is believed to have defeated Lucifer in his rebellion. He is an angel of protection, and he holds what is called the sword of truth. I firmly believe that we are surrounded by angels who guide, protect and help to heal us, but only if we ask. Here is the prayer:
'Blessed St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host, I ask that you use your Sword of Truth to sever the etheric cords that exist between myself and ____ (state his full name) in all Space and through all Time so that I can move forward with my own emotional healing and so that _______ may be free to move forward with his/her own soul’s evolution. Amen.'
The love that existed between the two of you will always be there. Nothing can separate that, not even death. The truth of the relationship is eternal. But you can start to move on."

19 comments:

jennifer said...

Beverly Johnson (I think that is her name) wrote a book called "Normal Is Just A Setting On The Dryer". I don't remember what was written in the book, but that title has stuck with me. Because I think it is true.

Relationships are hard. I believe that I am right where God knew that I needed to be. Married. I pray that I stay that way, with this man :) til death does the parting. I feel for anyone searching for love these days. Not so different from the 60's and 70's, and intimidating to me just the same.

And yes, forgiveness is important in all of life's experiences and all relationships. My father was a great father. But I found that as I got older, I recognized some of his short comings and ways that he shirked his responsibilities to me, thus leaving me unprepared for life - in some ways. Open to some poor decisions. I also realized that I had unforgiveness in my heart for him and that was why our relationship had suffered.

But God can forgive through us when we struggle with it, and he is a great healer, of the physical and emotional. I am thankful that He is working this out for me!

Deb, it is always so nice to hear from you. I followed the links you left in a comment the other day. That blog was wonderful, a very RAW, non flowery way to talk about our Faith, and it was good! Just what I needed to hear!

Be blessed.

Jennifer

Shannon said...

Wow! That's all I can say~well, not really, but Wow!

One person's normal is another person's crazy, you know? I prefer to think of myself as normally crazy:)

Relationships are tough - isn't that an understatement? I don't know if I'll ever understand the one I'm in. Thanks for posting this.

グラント said...

FYI - still alive. I can stand on my own, but I can't do stairs unassisted. I know this is somehow your fault. :p

LarryLilly said...

What is a weed?

My wife grows milkweeds, and some other odd "weeds" that most people would cut down in an instant. But what is a weed to someone? Its a flower in the wrong place. In a weed infested abandoned lot, its "normal".

Normal is relative. And never static. We should rejoice in non-normalcy, as it is the true sign of one to be free, and of the rejoiceer to recognize they cherish life in ALL of its showings.

When i lost my daughter, soon after I was in a position at the place where I worked to be able to accept a "non-normal" (by the "normal" people of life) person to my section. The previous section could not get past the visible and found it too much to handle so the chief asked me to take him/her in. The loss of my daughter gave me the insight to hold ALL life precious, and this was clearly a test which I meet with open arms, and guarded the person with intense protection from all manner of persecution.

Years later, while I no longer work at that place, i call this person from time to time, and we reconnect to that point in time when normalcy was not an option for most, but it was for us.

Enemy of the Republic said...

So Grant visited you too.


Thanks for mentioning the prayer. I needed it for a relationship that had ended through death, but I see how it works with all types that need to end when it has its claws in you. There is love and then there is stagnation from love. That is one of the things the prayer has helped me with--getting on with my life. It can be so hard to let go.

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Jennifer: A lot of people’s “shortcomings” can have a great affect on how we deal with a lot of situations. The thing is: we can’t blame or point fingers for how our lives ended up, we can only acknowledge it, as you’ve done so well and leave it in God’s hands.
I never heard of that book, but the title itself is enough to draw you in to purchase it. Normalcy. (ha) The word is comical.
Thanks, Jennifer!

Shannon: Normally, I am crazy. ;) I think the differences between people, the way they handle certain things and especially the way they were raised has a lot to do with the outcomes of various relationships in my opinion. I think that’s why no relationship is ever perfect.

???? (Grant): Were you in Tokyo? Forgive me for stalking you so dearly.

Larry: ”…I was in a position at the place where I worked to be able to accept a "non-normal" (by the "normal" people of life) ,”---amazing huh? It has to be an art and a heavy-duty degree in psychology to analyze what’s normal and what’s not. We connect in the human level; the level to which normalcy doesn’t exist, but the heart does. That’s where most people meet in the middle. I’m glad you’re one of them. :o)

Enemy: My blog wouldn’t be a blog without a visit from Grant. I truly believe that breakups are much like death in a way. The only other factor that goes into it is, the other person is out there choosing to either be angry, bitter or resentful toward you---unforgiving in some cases, while the deceased sees the bigger picture and knows the true meaning of life…finally. Prayer has helped me a great deal. Thank you for letting me use your prayer!

kathi said...

Life's too short to be angry. Doesn't resolve anything, definitely doesn't make you feel better. I honestly don't know why we hold onto it so much...well, yeah I do, I think it's mostly our own pride. Not so much anger at the other person, but more like 'how could they do that to ME'?? I know, been there and done that. But letting it go is freeing. The norm? Sadly, nope.
Thankfully, my norm isn't what it use to be though. :)

~Deb said...

Pride is definitely something that gets in the way of all forgiveness, acceptance and unconditional love. With pride, the concept lacks the ability to treat others humbly as humans, and people we once loved or still do love.

Thanks, Kath!
+++

Advizor said...

I've come to believe that "normalcy" is an irrelevant term. For years I struggled to fit-in, be accepted, and find my place, or pick any other cliché you’d like to use, but in the end, the only clique I need to fit in with is the one I see in the mirror each morning.

Normal for me is getting out of bed without a cloud of gloom following behind. It’s getting to the gym to run until I feel better, or soak in the hot-tub until I feel calm. It’s being able to get through the day without flying off the handle at those close to me, and deal with my boss in a rational manner, without screaming, or anger that never gets expressed.

A normal day, if normal = typical, is filled with struggle and grief. A happy day, is far from normal, and makes me want to stay up night talking, having sex, and being with the woman I love.

Normal is letting go of past hurts to they don’t drag you down today. It’s being able to forgive and forget the hurt that tohers have brought to you, and to forgive, while not forgetting, the hurt you have given to others. Normal (good) is getting yoru work done and going home. Normal (bad) is staring at the work papers on your desk and hating yoru boss for her latest assignment while feeling powerless to do anything about it.

For me normal (good) is about having control and making progress, which usually involves letting go of control and redefining progress.

I don’t know. Maybe I just need to adjust my meds.

:-)

Curlz said...

Know someone who is like this...? I have days where I AM that bitter person, and days where I am making positive strides for change. I am learning that love draws others in, and bitterness repels. Thank you for sharing your life experience in such a unique way that others can glean from it.

Matt-Man said...

Another keeper Deb. I know so many people close to me that would benefit from this...

Especially the "forgive youself part."

Ha. I am actually one who took awhile to do that some time ago.

Cheers!!

SJ said...

Great post Deb. Forgiving oneself can be hardest thing to do at times.

Unfortunately I wasn't born wise had to learn on the go.

~Deb said...

Advizor: So, in your definition, normalcy is life whether sane or crazy? I like it! Don’t adjust the meds, I like the way you think!

Curlz: You’re right. Bitterness is a repellent, and those who are attracted to bitterness, are bitter too. Sometimes, bitter and sarcastic people are funny, but you can only take them in small doses, because after a while, that bitterness will surely rub off on you. When you’re clear of resentment and anguish----people can definitely see that light within you and are drawn to it. Thanks for your input!

Matt: It does take a while sometimes to adjust to that type of thinking. I know, I was there too my friend!

SJ: Learning on the go is the best way sometimes, don’t you think? Oh, by the way, I love this new photo of you!

Charlene said...

a very powerful and thoughtful post~~ my husband committed suicide 18 months ago~~so this post really touched me

~Deb said...

Charlene: Wow, I'm sorry to hear that ----that's terrible. I hope this post has helped in some way.

DaBich said...

Normal is over-rated.

What is normal for one isn't normal for another.

Just my crazy thoughts.

Letting go of anger and sorrow is hard, but MUST be done in order to go on enjoying the joy life has to offer.

I have a sister who is terribly bitter about life in general. There is no making her happy, so I gave up. I just tell her I love her anyway :)

Charlene ~ my prayers are with you!

~Deb said...

Bitter people are walking heart attacks---I truly believe that.

Ricardo said...

Yeah you're right. It's better to forgive and get that weight off your chest to move on and get on with things. I leaves you ready for the next person you meet and you'll have a clean slate of sorts. No one wants to meet a downer and carying the anger around will do that to you.