"It is what it is"...this is the phrase I often hear myself say, to myself, to my family and to other caregivers when asked how I cope with the ups and downs of life and the challenges of taking care of parents with end-stage dementia. It is the same phrase I recently heard my heartbroken friend say as she mourned the loss of her beloved Polo, her big, beautiful 15 year-old dog. It was exactly the same thing my best friend said when she reluctantly realized her marriage is irretrievably broken and she begins the heartrending process of divorce proceedings. "What do these situations have in common," I thought. Grief...acceptance...what else?
I hadn't really considered the power of these words before I heard them said repeatedly during the course of a week by my grief-stricken friends. I pondered (yep, pondered) this synchronicity (I believe all coincidences have meaning) and began digging for the gold that I suspected was waiting to be discovered. When life hits us with the brutal force of an F-5 tornado, either physically, emotionally or spiritually, at first, we wander lost in shock and grief. At some point, we must make a choice, a choice to move forward or not. It takes guts to get back into the flow of life. Simply acknowledging, IT IS WHAT IT IS, lets the healing begin. Why are these words so powerful?
Sound vibrates. I believe that the vibration sent out into the heavens when we say "IT IS WHAT IT IS," sets into motion the Power of Grace, which resonates and returns the sounds back to us as a heart song, a very subtle but powerful symphony for the spirit that heals the heart of the heartbroken. Like alchemy, transforming base metal into gold, "IT IS WHAT IT IS" empowers us to fully embrace our grief, to honor our pain and advance towards healing, turning misfortune and sadness into compassion and wisdom and above all, a return to love.
A word of warning, here. This magic only works when accompanied with the powerful energy of acceptance, or "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." If these words are spoken from a place of "victim" mentality - we just stay stuck - in grief, anger, pain and misery, believing life is the enemy that beats us down. The good news is if we have the courage to state this with faith, and then TRUST and ALLOW that IT IS WHAT IT IS, we begin our own hero's journey. These delicious words offer each of us an opportunity to heal our broken hearts, to move forward, and thrive in the flow of life.
Try it yourself. Feel the Power of Grace. Yeah, you will still be faced with the ups and downs of life, but you will learn how to balance on your boogie board and ride the waves of life victoriously...cause, you know, IT IS WHAT IT IS...and more...oh yeah, baby, so much more!!