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May 2017

What if in our conceptualization of spiritual, emotional and mental health, we moved to a common definition of the word “normal” as “usual” or “understandable”?  What if we stopped using “abnormal” as a weapon against ourselves and others? What if we got real about what it means to be born into a lifetime of struggle and developed a new and expanding idea known as “New Normal”?

What happens to us in life as we navigate the trails, tribulations and multivariate experiences of life?  If you fall down a set of steps and break your arm, we say that you injured your arm. We do not call you abnormal. My question to us all then is why can’t we be that simple, sensible and real with regard to sadness, psychological pain, overwhelm, anxiety, inner turmoil, and the other commonly occurring and understandable events that members of our human family face? Can’t we stop calling them problems, diseases, negatives, or worse and calling ourselves “abnormal” for experiencing them?  How about an evolved sense of things?  How about allowing new understandings to venture into the common discourse?  How about an ethos of love pervading what we say and do.  I’m for that, how about you?

Isn’t it time that we stopped being held hostage by those dominating forces that want us to avoid looking at the reality of our human condition?  I'm talking about the totality of the human condition. If we could do that, if we could adopt a “New Normal”,  that allows broader human experiences into our definition of normal, we could begin to create a way of speaking and practical strategies for living that supports the living reality of the human condition in ways the lift up, hold dear, maybe even espouses love.

“Normal” would now include pain, difficulty, and especially struggle. We would possess a “new normal” that has caught up with our understanding of who we are and how we got here. If you believe that our species has evolved and racism, gender inequality, homophobia, and any of the other isms that separate us as a human family are finally on the way out and that we have begun the long march towards wholeness and acceptance then it’s time to get on board with what’s new.  Our denomination is changing.  This is no longer a bastion for highly erudite white men to discern theological conundrums.  This new normal has Women in the lead, POC in positions from high to low and people of all stripes, orientations, genders and realities helping to shape our UU community and our world.  I hope to see many of you this month at UU Verdugo.  We are in the business of growing the “Beloved Community”.  Won’t you come be a part of it?

In faith,


Rev Gordon

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