Every person is unique. There are no two identical fingerprints, palm prints, retinas, heights, weights, shapes, gut biomes, neurological pathways, etc. As organic beings there are so many differences between each of us.
It is a myth that there is a normal out there, in anything.
Normal is an idea built and perpetuated by our fears.
We think of normal as comforting, something to attain.
What happens to us if we feel we are not measuring up to normal? We live in a space of self-doubt. We identify with something else, established by other people. We don’t know how to be comfortable in our own skin.
I choose to think we are all our own version of normal.
Imagine we are built like an abacus with lots of rows and beads on each row. The beads shift from right to left or from more to less. Each row and each side represents a different attribute or trait unique to us.
Say the circumstance is we arrive late to work because of an accident. The red row of beads represents our feeling of anxiety about this circumstance. Some people have low anxiety (the two beads to the left) and some people respond with high anxiety (the eight beads to the right). The two different anxiety levels are normal for each person!
Now say the blue row toward the bottom represents what is normal for the people in the above circumstance to do when they see doughnuts in the lounge when arriving late.
- A person with low anxiety doesn’t eat a doughnut (no beads to the left).
- A person with high anxiety eats a doughnut because the sugar, fat content, and taste “comforts” them by giving them a dopamine hit to counteract the anxiety (10 beads to the right).
We are very interactive beings. Our brains have evolved to unconsciously filter information and quickly make sense of things to get things done. Our primitive brain is also constantly on the hunt for low effort sources of pleasure to counteract our pain in life. This is why we respond to circumstances the same consistent way each time. I have a “tough” drive to work so I deserve a doughnut!
However, if we want the beads to move in the direction we WANT we have to take a stand with our neo-cortex against our unconscious brain!
If I want my anxiety less I need to think a different thoughts about getting late to work. If I want my eating food to comfort my anxiety less I need to plan ahead and give my unconscious mind a counter direction to go, opposite from the usual direction of just being anxious and mindlessly eating food.
I want to organize my beads on purpose! I don’t want doughnuts, people, things, or places pushing my weight loss beads around!