More often than not I hear this uttered with a bit of resignation or powerlessness… coming through when people feel there’s nothing they can do about whatever “it” is. Or people use it to dismiss something that they don’t really want to talk about or look at deeply.
And for that reason, I’m not a huge fan. I am a big believer in acceptance of what is, of not being at war with reality, but not staying stuck in the muck or avoiding uncomfortable topics.
As a Possibilitator and coach, I’m always looking for opportunities and possibilities. OK, this is what’s here… now what!? As a meditation practitioner, can I sit with what’s here, even if it’s uncomfortable? As a student of life can I be curious about what I might learn? As someone who does not want to live as a victim, let me think about what influence I can have. As someone who knows I am always evolving, I wonder what might emerge from this current state.
I have a t-shirt that says “It is what it is. It will become what you make it.” This I like. This empowers us to remember that we do have a choice in how we respond to what life presents. We don’t just have to accept bad circumstances as eternal. Things are forever changing, as we talked about in our C post on Change, and we have the ability to impact our experience in life. You are not powerless. You have impact. How you show up and what energy you bring matters.
The other issue I have with this phrase is that it’s dependent on our lens – how we see the world. Each of us could look at exactly the same situation and have completely different interpretations and feelings about it. A big snowfall – one person looks out with awe and wonder, taking in the beauty, can’t wait to go snow shoeing. Another sees nothing but cold, bleak weather that is going to force them to stay inside or break their back shoveling this sh#@!
Remember, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
– Wayne Dyer
So, the truth of what it is is subjective. Do we see something as a problem or an opportunity, an ending or a beginning, tragic or hopeful, unfair or simply a natural consequence? Did the thing that person said or did really mean what you thought it did? So much room for interpretation once we start talking about other living beings! So much depends on our attitude, viewpoint, perception, and beliefs.
So, yes, it is what it is. What do you make of that? What does it mean to you? What do you want to do about it? Is there an “it” that you’re currently feeling this way about? Can you broaden your view? Consider a different angle? Sometimes even things we feel certain about look different when we look at them differently (think of optical illusions or mirages). Things may look different after we’ve had some rest or distance. And sometimes things simply aren’t what we thought they were. Remember when you jumped at that stick on the path because you thought it was a snake!? Oh, maybe that was just me… 🤣🤣
Can you really be sure that it is what it is?
Today's musical support: Life's What You Make It!