"Just act normal." "Why can't you just be normal?" Normal.  It seems like a simple word, but it has great depth. Likely each person strives to be normal just to fit in; and normal looks different for each person depending on the stage of life. One thing that is constant is change and with change brings a shift in life. This shift can be good, bad, or indifferent. High school graduation, marriage, a newborn baby, or death bring about these changes each of us need to adapt to. Filling in the blanks or trying to fit it all in; it's all making a shift in life to adapt to something new. 

A disease diagnosis affects everyone who is close to the person effected. A shift in direction takes place. A death of a loved one creates a hole where that person once stood. A newborn baby crowds the family with time and energy, and a shift must happen to accommodate this bundle of joy. Likewise a new marriage can be a huge shift as the one becomes two. Each of these new stages can be both challenging and joyful and new purpose comes into play. Life is a journey, and we are not to become stagnant.

Finding the new normal can happen each day, each week, every month, or yearly. We are all walking this journey together as brothers and sisters in Christ. He walked our paths before and He knows what steps we need to take to find the new normal. Sometimes getting through difficult times means taking things day by day.  Other times it's minute by minute.  

This culture pushes us to be a part of the crowd.  Peer pressure influences us to take risks we may not otherwise partake in. Is it really necessary to fit in and be normal? 

Will that bring us to our full potential? The dreamers of our society certainly were not normal. They were risk takers and thought outside the normal ranges of most people. They were probably the weird ones in school. The nerds, geeks, socially awkward, or strange classmates. Yet, they rose above the labels and became entrepreneurs, leaders, and inventors. 

So what would it mean to fit out?  To not go along with the crowd, or be abnormal? How would that make you feel? Some people will never fit in and they should not. It's not for them. Trying to fit in could trigger stress, anxiety, and low self esteem. 

Each of us are called to do something special in our lives. Some are gifted speakers, writers, mechanics, doctors, artists, mothers, etc. What is life calling you to be? What comes to mind when you are relaxed? How could those thoughts be a part of your future? Try journaling or writing down some key words that come to mind during the drive to work or while in the shower. Often times those deep thoughts come through when we are relaxed. Try writing down words or phases for a few days or weeks. Then go back and review what is written down and you may discover your path.

Health bite: Embrace your individuality