I remember it was a pivotal concept for me that there was no "normal".
I tried as a teenager to wrap my head around it. I always heard I was weird and it hurt. I didn't feel like I had a normal experience in life in general etc.
The other night I heard a kind friend tell a little girl she was strange. He was of course joking and the little girl skipped away. Like a bolt I was a child again, being eccentric and expressive and hearing similar remarks and the dull ache was still fresh.
And I had a realization.
There truly is no normal. No normal marriage. No normal friendship. No normal home life.
Because honestly who could define that anyway?
But there is healthy.
Under that heading add the subheading of functional. You can quantify and know if you are healthy. Is your marriage healthy? Are your family relationships functioning?
What does it matter?
This matters because it takes away the abstract concept of "normal" and focuses on the specific health of relationships. The people that are part of them aren't permanently flawed in such a way that can't be fixed... rather, all relationships are in varying stages of health. And health can be worked on and improved.
That "health" looks different for different cultures, socioeconomic groups, ages etc. But we can know if our upbringing, current friendships, marriage or family is healthy.
And we all have the power, resources and ability to make them healthier. Today.
For some reason.. this little "aha" moment meant a lot to me.