Why We Normalize Social Injustice
Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as ‘normal,’ and become taken-for-granted or ‘natural’ in everyday life. (Thanks Wikipedia!)
Normalization, itself, isn’t inherently good or bad. But, when we experience trauma, one of our biggest survival strategies is to normalize what we experience.
For example, when a very young child is abused, the child is dependent on their caregivers to survive. Therefore, they may subconsciously absolve the abuser and internalize that they are the one that caused the abuse.
But, all that internalized blame and normalization takes its toll. Just as it becomes normal that dad comes home angry and drunk, or mom slaps us when she is frustrated, we collectively normalize social injustices—because they become extensions of our own, personal, injustice. But normal doesn’t mean ok.
In fact, a lot of what is normal and acceptable, on this planet, is exactly what needs to change, in order to have more peace, health and balance (assuming that interests you).
And many people have internalized a lot of traumatic things, in order to go along with this current socialized normal.
And it’s hurting us.
ALL of us.
Maybe not consciously…but we see the effects of that pain, on the planet, every single day. There’s that saying that “hurt people HURT people.”
So, how do we stop the cycle?
When I work with individual clients, I help them wake up to a different perspective, so that they can release their wounded parts and return to wellness. And often, this process includes sifting through that which we once called “normal.”
So, as I witness all the madness in the world today, I am aware that much of what is happening is making us collectively face what we have once considered normal. Perhaps we are waking up.
We are no longer willing to internalize our collective trauma. But, in the meantime, what I witness are a lot of projections onto others—onto family, onto strangers, onto certain groups of people who are “different” than we are. And we will project everything onto them, as a part of our own healing. But, at the end of the day, we must each hold ourselves (and each other) accountable, for real healing to occur.
Many people will not consciously choose to heal their wounds until they hit rock bottom. After all, the return to wellness is sometimes more painful than continuing to ignore the inner hurt…until, of course, it becomes impossible to ignore.
Have we collectively hit rock bottom?
I don’t think so, actually. But, we do have a political and social climate that is a representation of a traumatized collective.
Could our current climate be asking us to sweep the crumbs out from under the rug? I have come to a point in my life where I try to see every shitty thing as an opportunity for growth. That, in itself, is a survival strategy. So, I feel that, in this moment, we are poised for growth.
We can continue to accept that which has been normal, but abusive, to remain so, or we can address it head on, in our own individual lives, and as a collective, and create a new normal.
I don’t know about you, but I’m for creating a new normal.
And that starts with me.
And that starts with you.