Motivational Speaker Visits Chicktime To Meet The Chapter Leaders – Beautiful Women Doing Beautiful Things In Their Community – Linking Arms To Change the World
I'm a motivational speaker, and one of the very best parts of my job is meeting people and hearing their stories. Sometimes our meetings are brief – but sometimes I get to stay a while like I did this past weekend at the Chicktime leadership retreat in Bandera, Texas. (For more about Chicktime, go to www.chicktime.com) Be still my heart, I loved these women. I love their mission to serve their community by linking arms with other women to change the world. I loved their hearts. I loved Purple Sage Ranch where we stayed. And I loved sitting around the pool on Saturday and just chatting the way women do – exposing our dreams, our fears, our quirks, and our hearts – laughing and delighting in the joy of sisterhood. There is something delicious about sitting beside a woman who has led a completely different life from me – struggling through different challenges, yet sharing the same desires and ambitions. I always walk away with a different perspective, and the ability to see the world through someone else's eyes.
Somehow we fell into a conversation about crazy people in our family, and entered into an unspoken contest to unearth the craziest family. The more we shared, the more we realized that the crazy outnumbered the normal – and in fact, we couldn't find someone whose life was normal. I won't share the stories, but it provided for some serious entertainment that day, and left me with a profound realization – at least profound for me.
There is no normal. We are all just different shades of crazy.
When I think back on all the people I've met and the stories we've shared, I have yet to hear someone with a perfectly normal family. I don't know why I'm surprised. People don't have the ability to be one hundred percent perfect – it's not in our DNA. Every family has a touch of crazy. And perhaps so does every person.
I don't know why this makes me feel so good, but it does. I think it's because many of us look outside our own life and think we are the oddball, and that everybody else has it together except for us. And we let this bring us down, thinking that we are less than by comparison. When the truth is that the other families have their issues too. And some of their crazy makes your crazy pale in comparison. And what you see is not always what really is.
We all have our own definition of what we think normal should look like. And I would imagine we don't even agree on that. We all have our own ideas of right versus wrong – shoulds versus should nots. And I think I need to remember this as often as I can, so I won't be so quick to force my normal on someone else – so I won't be tempted to think my way is better.
So I have come to the conclusion that there is no universal normal. There is only our normal. And, yes, it can be changed, and sometimes needs to. Just because you grew up with hatred, doesn't mean that has to be your normal. And just because you live your life a certain way, doesn't mean that I should. And if you're looking out the window and wishing you were more like your neighbor – the "normal" one – be careful. Chances are good that they, just like the rest of us, are just another shade of crazy.
Sorry if these deep reflections don't make sense. This not the way I normally think.