The Counselling Shed
How would you feel if someone said that they found you to be a bit ordinary?
Not great I would imagine. It sounds like a bit of a put down.
I hate it when politicians use this term: for example they often refer to ‘ordinary working men and women’, or to ‘the ordinary family’.
I find it so patronising.
Defining people as ordinary against what? Supposedly other superior and therefore extra-ordinary people. Really? To me it sounds as though there might be some class discrimination going on here?
Recently, I read on the cover of a magazine about the ‘ordinary’ home that Paul McCartney grew up in. What does that mean? According to the author it was ordinary because it was a two-up, two-down house. Ok, so it was a small house. A lot of us live in small houses – does that make us all ordinary? To have raised a future Beatle, I would have though that this home must have been pretty extraordinary.
My dictionary defines the word ordinary as something or someone that has ‘no special or distinctive features’, something or someone that is ‘commonplace or standard’.
When we think of the term extraordinary then, I find it quite confusing because if we are extra-ordinary i.e. if we are even more lacking in special or distinctive features then we supposedly suddenly become extra-ordinary which the dictionary defines as being remarkable. Can any linguists please explain this to me?
Sure I have days when I feel pretty average. Pretty run of the mill – I feel, well, sort of OK.
But in the therapeutic movement work that I teach, I am then often so moved by simple exercises such as giving your hands a little bit of attention – allowing a little bit of time and space to explore how your hands feel. How do your hands want to move. Just give them some time to do their own thing. If you want to give this a go then here is a good music track to use:
The fact that we have hands, the fact that we can move them in so many different ways, the fact they are so useful… if we pay them a little attention in this way, then often it can suddenly dawn upon us that our hands are pretty bloody amazing – they are extraordinary.
And we can extend this form of attention and appreciation to every part of our body. We are extraordinary. We are infused with a spark of magnificence; a spark of divine intelligence we might say.
And yet so often, we forget this. We forget how amazing we are. We get caught up in a mindset of old and/or limiting stories about ourselves that tell us that we are not good enough, not this enough, not that enough – and rather than appreciate the extraordinariness of the life that we already are, we feel bereft, numb, bored, unsatisfied, hopeless, frustrated, lost.
Being a mature individual takes balance though, because if you go around telling people about how extraordinary you are then they are likely to think you are a being a bit big headed – or they might label you as being a narcissist. Because whilst we are all extraordinary, we are no more extraordinary than anyone else.
People that come to counselling with an inflated view of themselves – people that we might think of having big egos – often need help in being grounded in a sense of the collective. Maybe such people find getting on with others difficult or they have difficulties in making intimate relationships. Their extraordinariness needs grounding in a sense of collective ordinariness.
However, my experience is that most of the people that come to me for counselling are not like this. Most of my clients come to me with complete unawareness of the ways in which they are already extraordinary. They come with low self esteem and with a sense of somehow not being enough. They are unaware of the inherent gifts and qualities that they already have. Often their qualities have been hidden because they have been living life on other peoples terms: the reason why they have been feeling that they are not enough is because they have not been evaluating their lives on their own terms.
Look, if you have been feeling bereft, numb, bored, unsatisfied or hopeless about your life, if you are feeling that you are somehow not enough – whatever that means for you – then I can help.
Get in touch now and let me show you how extraordinary you already are.
M: 07757 859650