it is what it is

zen wisdom from unexpected places

Hubs and I had a number of improvements done to the exterior of our house a year or so ago. We needed a lot of siding and rotted wood on the outside of our house repaired, so we worked with a contractor to get the work completed and then have our house painted. While the finished work looks amazing, the process in getting there was anything but steady.

The owner of the company would tell us the inside work should be complete by a certain time but when that time came, the “completed” work needed to be redone. Two windows were due to be replaced on a certain day I stayed home for the work, but one of the windows turned out to be the wrong size. My precious hydrangeas were blasted and burned to a crisp by the bleach water runoff from the process of preparing the siding to be painted. After each setback, the contractor would sometimes apologize but would always utter the phrase “It is what it is.” While in this case this phrase served as a responsibility-dodging statement, it was also an unlikely source of wisdom.

The present moment is the result of a million decisions.

I found this statement particularly comforting while working my way through a DBT Workbook on how to handle your difficult emotions. It gives you a number of acceptance phrases to choose from that help you come to terms with the situation you have just found yourself in. These situations are a result of decisions that you and everyone else have made over time. It is what it is. We need to accept that current state and move forward from there. That doesn’t mean we can’t speak our truth to someone who disappointed us on the way there. But we still need to accept the current reality.

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