I keep hearing the phrase, “it is what it is,” spoken by so many people. Its become a popular idiom.
It seems that in making a statement of fact about what is going on within them and their lives or in the world they are saying it is an unalterable condition. Is this a form of resignation, and /or a kind of acceptance, even apathy, or an “its not important to me” kind of attitude? Or perhaps the person is saying it’s not worth his or her time to think about it? Or is it a feeling of helplessness? If you have said it is what it is, what are you actually saying? What do you mean when you say it?
When someone says it to me I always listen carefully to the tone of voice, and watch the body language, the facial expressions. These elements of communication speak reams about the real thoughts and feelings behind the expression so when I’m in a position in which I can help, I speak to the real meaning for that person. However, in so many situations I hear it as an off the cuff kind of remark and it’s not my place to enquire as to the thoughts and feelings behind it. I’m sure it means different things at different times to those who speak it.
There’s no denying that what is in our experience at any given time is the reality we are dealing with. Denying or resisting the facts of life is naive and often dangerous. However, arbitrary acceptance of certain situations and conditions is more like giving up, throwing in the towel so to speak…i.e. physical pain, illness, disease, poverty, and many other things we human’s are heir to. Had our ancestors had that attitude we would never have evolved, medicine as we know it wouldn’t exist and we would still be living in caves and running from saber tooth tigers.
At a workshop I did for HOPE * last Sunday, I met people who were struggling with fibromyalgia. If they all believed that it is what it is and nothing could be done about it, they wouldn’t have been there, nor would they have been seeking help through whatever resources are available to them. Yet one young woman with whom I demonstrated (with biofeedback) the mind-body relationship, said, “It is what it is” when the instrument indicated that she is adapted to stress. True in that moment, however, it was my endeavor to help her and the others there realize their power to change what it is for the better. I want people to know that they have inner resources to help them overcome all kinds of physical mental emotional and behavioral problems. I love awakening people to their personal power teaching them in my Mind Mastery course and in my hypnotherapy practice how to access and employ those resources.
It is what it is until we decide to make it different: When we take action…when we choose not to accept the idea that we are helpless in the face our difficulties we achieve what might have once seemed impossible… that is, before we became aware of our personal powers and decided to use them.
Of course there are some things in this world and life that we cannot change, no matter how we rile against them. We cannot and should not try to change others, unless they seek our help to do so. The key to living and being better and being at peace within ourselves is learning to recognize what we can change and what we cannot and employ our conscious determination to bring about positive change when we can..
Long ago I developed a personal philosophy, it’s very simple, “I accept what I cannot change and what I cannot control and exercise my personal power to control within myself how I deal with those things.
It is indeed how we choose to deal with whatever life presents that makes the difference between struggling and stressing about things and having a realistic approach to life and experience.
The sad fact is that all too many people are not in touch with their personal power; they feel like leaves in the winds of time; succumbing to what they believe is their fate, their lot in life: To say to yourself and others “it is what it is” without careful consideration of your potential to change things is an expression of ignorance about your personal power and your ability to take control for yourself and your life. It also implies a lack of repsonsibility.
Yes, the weather is what it is, yet we dress accordingly, and air conditioning and heating equipment has enabled us to live more comfortably through all the seasons. Cancer is what it is, but it doesn’t have to kill you; you can fight for your life and win in many ways. Being jobless or having money struggles may be a fact of your life at the moment, however, you do all you can to change that situation, unless you think yourself incapable of doing what it takes to overcome the problem. The latter is usually, “I am what I am”, kind of thinking, i.e. I’m a loser, which is another issue we need to address in another blog.
It is what is in many instances i.e. that there is no consensus about anything, politically and religiously. These kinds of immutable facts of life indeed need to be accepted. However, to arbitrarily accept the negative, the difficult, the challenging, and the undesirable as if it is predetermined and must be lived with as it is naive and unnecessary.
So before you say “it is what it is” think about it. This is the pre-determining moment …this your opportunity to decide if what it is at that moment is unacceptable or undesirable and whether or not you want to keep it as it is; it’s your moment in time to decide to take action to make it something else if it is not what you want for yourself and your life. And if you are like many activists, you will do what you can to make a difference or at least support others in their endeavor to bring about positve change.
If you are in pain, or stressed in some way, you don’t have to accept it, you have the ability to relieve and heal yourself.
And here’s another crucially important point to keep in mind at all times is that your subconscious accepts literally your conscious mind’s directives, It senses your attitude, your feelings and expectations; so to say that it is what it is tells your subconscious you choose to maintain the status quo. Is that what you really want? Is that your choice for yourself?
Think, and then decide what to do about what it is.
TTFN and all the best from Elaine Kissel
* HOPE is the organization that helps people suffereing from Fribromyalgia.
So what were the photos of in my last blog? Did you figure out what they were? Here’s the answers.
They are all winter scenes. Picture one, picnic tables stacked up for the winter . Photo two, boat docks in the snow. Photo three, trash bins covered with snow. Photo four , parking lot barriers in the snow.