An invitation to stay in the tough conversation…
WOW!!!! What a month June 2020 has been. Our world is inviting us to stay in the tough conversations with our restlessness for things to start opening up, racial killings in the US that captured the world’s attention, protests happening everywhere united around the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, and the recent removal from our parliament of an MP who stood up to racism.
Through it all I watched and listened. Not sure what I wanted/needed to say until now. You see I too have lived a life of privilege. Some of my experiences include:
- Growing up in a mostly French speaking, middle class predominately white neighbourhood on the South Shore of Montreal.
- Attending schools that had children from many different ethnic backgrounds,
- Opportunities to participate in sports, arts, and clubs (Brownies/Guides) and never felt the colour of my skin was a deterrent to whatever I wanted to do.
- Counting on one hand how many times I encountered circumstances where the colour of my skin was the reason someone treated me a certain way.
- Wearing my hair in acceptable styles, relaxed, braided, weaved.
And then COVID hit.
“Normal before COVID19 was sooo many things swimming in the undercurrent of our everyday.”
I’ve had some tough conversations with myself and others. I let some things go…shifted how I engage with others, and began to see what I couldn’t see before. Many conversations double back to “wanting things to get back to normal.” And, I’ve found myself asking, “what does that mean? What’s normal anyway?”
Normal is defined as:
- conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
- free from disease or malformation.
- the usual, average, or typical state or condition.
- in accordance with scientific laws. normal(adj) being approximately average or within certain limits in e.g. intelligence and development.
Normal before COVID19 was sooo many things swimming in the undercurrent of our everyday. Drummed out by the hum of everyday living. Then there was quiet, and the things we chose not to hear or see, rose to the surface. Talk about uncomfortable. In the last two months I invited you to consider your natural rhythm, and to be open to staying in the present moment. Today I’m inviting you to consider “What is normal?”
Is your ‘newnormal’ looking over your shoulder to see how close someone is standing to you? Is normal involuntarily stepping away as someone approaches you? Or reaching in for a hug then abruptly stopping? Is your normal teaching your kids to put their hands out if another child approaches them? Are you wary of public transport? Do you think twice when you enter a book store to browse the books? These are all examples that I have heard from people I’ve spoken to.
What do you want to create?
It hasn’t taken very long for us to acclimatize to this new way of being. Will this become our ‘new normal?’ The bigger question is, “is this the normal I want to create for myself and my world?” I’m not saying don’t follow the rules. I’m asking if you’re willing to trust your internal cues? Are you willing to go back to that place of quiet inside yourself and check in? To see what feels right for you.
One of my favourite exchanges from the movie Cloud Atlas is:
“No matter what you do you’ll never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.” The response…”What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?”
Normal is whatever we choose it to be. We are being given an invitation. Go back to what was, or create something different. Each of us represents the multitude of drops that make up an ocean. That is where the power is!
Until the next time!