I used to think that the expression”It is What is Is” was this really great “zen” saying. You know, like you can’t change things, no point in stressing over things that just are… and I jumped on the bandwagon of “It is what it is” and found myself saying it all the time. People would tell me a particular situation and I would just nod and sagely say “Well, it is what it is…” thinking that I was talking about the unchangeable externals or a mindset that couldn’t or wouldn’t be changed.
I’ve come to have a change of heart regarding this particular saying…it’s lame; and here’s why I think that:
It really is NOT what it is…it’s what your perception of IT is more than anything else. It’s very easy to get lulled into this false sense of just “going along” because of this mindset of thinking “it is what it is”. I think it becomes a dangerous sense of acceptance and attachment when you embrace this mindset a little too much.
Let me give you a quick personal example: I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the doctor prescribed the medication lyrica, which worked pretty well. My insurance won’t cover it until I try some other medications first, so I’m trying something that really isn’t working. Is that “what it is?” Do I just accept that…hell no! I’m going to try accupuncture and some other alternative therapies and see how that goes.
So let me see if I can explain this intelligently to you (in makes sense in MY head, but that can me hard for you to see;-)!)
I accept that that is the condition, but I don’t have to accept the outcome or the expected outcome. It’s kinda of like getting old…yea, you know it’s coming, but it doesn’t have TO BE “it is what it is”, like you don’t have to have blue hair and be in a walker;-)
So be careful that saying “It is what it is”…doesn’t lead you into a false sense of acceptance or denial over a situation. Remember it’s your thoughts that control what IT is and not the other way around! What do you think? Do you use that saying a lot? What connotations does it have for you?