“We’re all quietly aching for something to celebrate.”—Mark Nepo
I just ordered Gabor Mate’s new book, The Myth of Being Normal, and can’t wait to read it. The nearly 80-something physician argues that society trains us to suppress our own needs and authentic selves in order to fit in.
I always called it following rules and cultural paradigms and I’m proud to say I spent most of my life avoiding the biggies.
I refused to take on a job that had no meaning or purpose just for the sake of money. I refused to believe that having a ginormous house or a fancy car would make me happier or that the celebrities on Instagram were worth emulating. Even on my recent travel assignment to Lake Geneva, I couldn’t help but look at all the Gilded Age mansions and wonder, “Don’t all those big yards and 28 thousand rooms just separate you from other people?”
Disconnection, after all, is the exact opposite of freedom when you no longer trust others or the universe or the life force that thrums through us all.
As Mate points out, we evolved as communal creatures in close contact with each other. But now, because we live in an economic system that depends on growth and bigger, better, faster, we’re running roughshod over our basic human needs. Loneliness is at epidemic proportions.
But the biggest diversion from “normal” are my views on death. Tomorrow would be my daughter Tasman’s 29th birthday. Yes, I’m sad that she’s not here in physical form (we reveled in a lot of pretty amazing Tasmanfests over the years), but all the real things—the love, the closeness, even the conversations continue. And, as my friend Martha Creek pointed out, sadness is just a disguise for love.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, as a culture, we celebrate a lot of things that aren’t good for us. In fact, a lot of what we think is desirable is flat out dangerous. And when celebrations of wealth, manufactured, one-size-fits all beauty and what’s billed as safety is considered “normal,” it resists scrutiny.
What I’d rather celebrate today is creativity, connection, having conversations that matter and that all the love we so long to enjoy already inescapably exists.
Have the very best weekend of your life, my friends. #222 Forever!
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).