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5 rules on how to be normal

Many of my clients have asked, at one time or another, “What is normal?”

In an effort to save time and energy, I am printing out these rules on how to be normal so that all of us can be on the same page. These rules, attributed to Father Tom Westin, were originally published in Anne Lamott’s book, Operating Instructions.

Rules on How to be Normal

  1. You must not have anything wrong with you or anything different.
  2. If you do have something wrong with you, you must get over it as soon as possible.
  3. If you can’t get over it, you must pretend that you have.
  4. If you can’t pretend that you have, you shouldn’t show up.  You should stay home, because it’s hard for everyone else to have you around.
  5. If you are going to insist on showing up, you should at least have the decency to feel ashamed.

Instead of aiming for “normal,” perhaps we should talk about what it means to be healthy…which includes living with honesty, authenticity, integrity, treating others with respect, and having good boundaries.