"It Is What It Is" Can Become What We Never Imagined

"Good Morning" (BeyondPaisleyPhotos.)

This phrase keeps coming up in the last two days: "It is what it is."

I've heard it numerous times from friends and family members trying to process longtime struggles in their lives. Then I said it myself in my ventish essay on school reopening. Just a few minutes after I hit "Publish," I checked my email and in came the daily devotional from church. Title and topic: "It is what it is." Even Michelle Obama, in her DNC speech: It is what it is. 

Acceptance, not denial. There is some serenity in accepting things as they are, but not all things we accept are things that cannot change. So we do not stop there. 

In a time of so much uncertainty, so much mettle is required. Things are happening beyond our control. So many are anxiety ridden, but the ones who get an A in the "thrive" category are the ones who have high marks in "acceptance of uncertainty" but who then move forward accordingly. 

The power of "it is what it is" comes in how we use the phrase and then what we do with it. "It is what it is" can be a gross abdication of responsibility - an excuse for inaction, for ineptitude, for laziness. Or, it can be a survey of the now, an assessment of what can be changed and what cannot, and then a springboard for action. 

It is what it is. Yes. So whatcha gonna do about it?  How ya gonna make some good?

I don't know about you, but these days I'm finding that it's a discipline to continually remind myself that there is always room for hope. "It is what it is," Diana Butler Bass writes. "We needn’t like it or approve of it. But we see it. Acceptance, not denial. And then act. What is can become what we never imagined." 

What is can become what we never imagined.

Refreshing words to think on.