It is what it is, but we aren’t

There is a phrase I enjoy using, “It is what it is.” I started using this phrase when a friend kept going from one bad situation to another, and each time she let it drag her down. A situation is a situation and if you are in it you did something to be in it, or some other events happened to place you there. Either way, you are there, that is the situation, and freaking out over it will not alter the fact you are there. To me, the phrase is dismissive of the current situation so you can focus on what’s important: putting yourself in a situation you find desirable.

That friend had used the phrase on me a few times, but today another friend used it. This jolted me and made me think about the phrase more. She was having a bad day, she had no desire to do anything. When I told her to find the energy, she said it is what it is. I couldn’t figure out why hearing a person say it that way bothered me so much when I had heard other friends say it, so I spent my morning commute to my meeting contemplating this.

She used it to describe her attitude, her lack of energy. That’s what bothered me. “It is what it is,” was used by me to show your situation is and there is nothing you can do to change where you are, only where you’re going. When you say it about your attitude, you can’t change where you’re going either. You end up with stasis, a static position where there is no change. When you’re somewhere you despair and you let yourself stop changing, that is death.

In the end, you are never what you are, but you are what you make yourself. Other circumstances can put you where you are, but only you can accept that as truth. Only you can decide you don’t want to move on from there. Only you can push yourself out of it and into something amazing. The butterfly fights to get out of the cocoon it’s trapped in. The cocoon doesn’t just open up for the butterfly. Push forward no matter the circumstances. Only you can give up on yourself.

4 Comments on “It is what it is, but we aren’t

  1. Sometimes it’s okay to just be unhappy, or lack energy though. Without downs we can’t have ups. How can you fully recognize a moment for what it is unless you let yourself be in it?
    Sometimes it just is what it is, for now.

    • I understand recognizing a situation sucks. That often is what drives our spirits to rise above it. There are a lot of people though who don’t rise above it. They don’t start moving forward. It’s a trap! As the good admiral would say 😛

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