Week 20 – It Is What It Is…
In an attempt to describe a current situation she was experiencing, a woman stated “it is what it is, there’s nothing that can be done now”, insinuating that the current situation she was experiencing could not be altered and things were/are the way they are, nothing to do about it. She felt she was merely just stating the fact, the reality as it stood. And although this may have been true regarding the situation, nothing could have been further from the truth regarding the statement that there was nothing that could be done about it.This may seem like a simple phenomenon but it has profound implications for how we think and how we conceive of the world we live in. It is what it is. The phrase indicates resignation, a sense of acceptance that something isn’t up to par. When people use this phrase, even when I have used this phrase, it is usually an admission that the problem or issue at hand was too hard and a suppression of the attitude that would otherwise lead to creative, unseen solutions.
Looked at literally, “it is what it is” is called a tautology. It’s a statement in which you say the same thing twice, yet appear to state two different things. For example “boys will be boys” or “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Of course, things are what they are. But, it’s nonsense unless you’re implying an underlying message. And therein lies the issue. We need to be aware of the deeper meaning behind these words. The message suggests that things are what they are. Accept it. Don’t expect things to be any different. That’s life. It is what it is, live with it.
Of course there are obviously times where we have to come to grips with unfavorable circumstances. There are times where we do have to simply acknowledge that we are where we are and where we are is okay. Like, yes I should have never have made that investment, it cost me a fortune I really didn’t have, it is what it is. Or yes, I wish like heck you would have been upfront and honest with me before we entered into this agreement, I guess it is what it is. But here’s the other way to address these same two scenarios; yes I should have never have made that investment, it cost me a fortune I really didn’t have, but is it what it is, so let me figure what to do now to recoup the loss. Or, yes I wish like heck you would have been upfront and honest with me before we entered into this agreement, but it is what it is, let’s start exploring our options now for how we can reconcile the issue.
We should never give up our own God given power to seize and take responsibility and control over a perceived bad situation. We are the creators, the realizers, the perceivers of our own realities. We have power, innately to change and alter circumstances. As creators, it should never be “it is what it is” and that it! There is always, always a way out, around, under, over, or just straight through any situation.
How about “it is whatever I choose for it to be.”
The real reality is it can be whatever you choose for it to be. It does not have to be the way it is presently perceived – EVER! Let’s say you’ve received some terrible news regarding your health and the doctor compounds the situation by pronouncing a term on your life. Now this is an extreme example but one in which I will use as a means to illustrate concisely my point. You get the horrible news and right then and there is where you could say “it is what it is” and let that be it. I’ve been given this terminal diagnosis, there’s no cure, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll just prepare to make my transition. Now this approach sounds pretty bleak and hopeless. And certainly this would be your choice and absolutely an okay decision to make. But just understand there’s always another way to perceive anything.
How could a person turn this situation around and choose an entirely different perception? Well, you could say “I’ve been given this terminal diagnosis, it is what it is, I think I’ll spend the time I have left traveling and spending time with the people I love.” Or you could say, it is what it is, I would like to continue on with my business, or on my job and continue making a difference for as long as I can. Or maybe, it is what it is, but I’m choosing to live everyday day that I have left with the highest quality of living, doing the things I love most. These last three statements have far greater power than the initial statement.
The point here is that you do not have to lie down and accept something just because it may be out of your direct control to change it. Here’s the thing, you have a greater capacity and potential to effect a change on a condition, even on a health condition, when you make a decision to look through a different lens, when you decide to look through the lens of you inner being. You may or may not be able to change the final outcome of a situation. It’s been said that we choose our death long before we actually die as well as our pains and sorrows long before we experience them. So it may be inevitable the course you’re on. But one thing is for certain, you can absolutely, no shadow of doubt, change the way you allow the condition to affect your present now moment.
It is what it is, is never usually is what you think it is, and rarely all there is. You are the ultimate decision maker as to how your real reality is going to be. You are the chooser of the way you will handle any condition or situation. You get to decide how things will turn out. How about changing it is what it is to, it is whatever I choose for it to be!