Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Where Has All the Normal Gone?
You hear a lot of people just now saying how much they miss “normal” America.
Just this morning, I read somebody’s comment online wherein she was remembering fondly the adventuresome experience of walking home alone from first grade all by herself one day when her big sister was late picking her up from school.
Something in that event elicited enough warm nostalgia for the “good old days” that she savors the memory still, the memory of a safe time in America for such adventures, not like the current era where, it seems, a pall of fear and danger hangs thick over every neighborhood.
Another commenter wrote how he missed the Saturday morning cartoons that were just fun and entertaining (not predictive programming, wokeism, or darker-themed).
Many write of sitting at the feet of a loving grandparent learning lessons that guide them still.
Contrast that with the division between generations ginned up nowadays and reinforced with constant reminders that older people are just too old-fashioned and out of touch, or worse, anti-progressive and even some kind of terrorists if they believe the opposite of what the current govenment and its conquered media declare is real science or truth or anything else they want you to believe instead of God, a range of experts, or wise elders.
Many also compare this loss of a sense of normalcy with the grief associated with the death of a loved one, the loss of a friendship, the demise of a dream, or any other kind of loss.
People everywhere wonder how/if we will ever get back to normal.
And we search for ways to cope in the meantime.
On Coping: 2 Perspectives
- Believers learn to draw closer to God, others, perhaps on the edge of pursuing that relationship, receive God’s gift of salvation and begin that journey* that leads from here into eternity.
- But for those who haven’t yet chosen a predominantly faith-based perspective, there are other places to search and find at least some help, comfort, and answers, if only in the temporal realm.
Today’s guest feature, below, presents a good perspective, I think, from that realm on the reality versus the fantasy of troubled relationships through the work of relationship coach Alan Robarge.
I am applying Robarge’s general principles that apply to people in dysfunctional relationships to our relationship with the current government of the United States of America.
A relationship that, at least in the “free world”, we presumed would always provide us with the undercurrent feelings of safety and lawfulness this nation has been known for.
But a great awakening has taken place in the past decade or two–and not in a good sense.
Where we once felt a sense of safety in Ameria even as the nation worked out its flaws, we now gird ourselves for trouble.
Where we felt represented by the people we elected to power, we now feel betrayed.
Where we used to be sure the grown-ups in DC would win the debates, we now see many of the politicians hiding from debates, whether the “hideouts” are of a rhetorical nature or, literally, just being somewhere else during town hall meetings or formal televised events.
And too often, the people we elected to preserve our Constitutional rights and protections seem to have been, more often, using their power and influence for personal gain…
Those who would still hold onto past beliefs about America are perhaps engaging in what Robarge regards as fantasy thinking…and maybe it’s time to grieve our losses.
In applying Robarge’s key points about a dysfuntional “other” person or family to the “other” being this nation’s leadership, I believe there is insight to help us cope and move on to a new normal and to adapt accordingly.
But as he suggests in his context, everybody has to get involved in this context, too–in what ways are available to us via all of the Constitutional mechanisms at our disposal–while recognizing and tending the grief over what isn’t working now.
See what you think.
I hope it encourages you, too.
Note: the first half deals with the definition of Robarge’s thesis, the second half how it is applied in relationships.