I read some comments today about the use of the phrase “It is what it is.” Not all commenting saw the meaning of the phrase in a positive light. Some referred to it as being lazy, or depressing, and I suppose some took it to mean surrendering and giving up.
I don’t see it like that. When I use it, I’m using it as a positive statement. But then again, I often see everything in a positive and optimistic way. I really don’t know how to do it much differently. It’s the way I am. As I have read Adam Lambert of American Idol fame, say, "I am who I am." I like that. It’s nice Adam has figured that out at such a young age. I believe I spent a number of years of my life being more of who others thought I should be. And I refuse to do that anymore. Not everyone in my life may like it. But I do, and that is where it counts.
“You cannot please everybody, but to those souls who cross your path, give kindness and love.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
I have used the phrase “It is what it is,” of late, but in my use I am acknowledging and understanding that some things we cannot change, but we can only change our perception and reaction. And also some things just don’t matter and are not worth wasting energy on, worry, anxiety. And that can be a challenge. So for me personally, there is nothing at all negatively intended by using that phrase, It is what it is. I can’t help but think of the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
~Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)
I’m also reminded of the phrase, “rollin’ with the flow.” Not the flow of a follower of public opinion or whatever, but the follower of the flow of life, moving forward and not stuck, and doing it in a special and unique way.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” ~Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
I know I’ve often heard a different drum beat. What about you?
Charlie Rich singing Rollin’ With the Flow