It Is What It Is…


Today I woke up full of beans.

I did some great work yesterday –  I solved someone else’s problem plus a few of my own and now I am raring to continue my superhero ways.

I have my list of things to do and bottles of water by my side; I am set.

I even have lunch with a friend to look forward to.

It hasn’t always been this way as, of course, it never is for any of us but I learned something recently that has been extraordinarily helpful.

‘It is what it is, now what can you do about it?’

This a phrase that I keep repeating as a kind of mantra.

The theory goes that we are most unhappy when we compare our present situation with one from the past or we are in a worse position to one we were expecting to be in at this point. In other words, we look back instead of forward.

Byron Katie is someone who has made a name for herself (and probably a tidy penny in the process) expounding on this topic. I have found her advice trite, simplistic and simply plain impossible in the past when I just couldn’t resolve a problem; I closed her book and sent it back to the library only narrowly avoiding throwing it across the room because it didn’t belong to me.

Eating Words

I have had to eat my words though. This is good advice especially when stuck. Looking forward, not back. Not comparing, making baby steps has helped me in those situations that require me to move out of the swamp of grief and onto the dry land of acceptance.  Once there, it’s much easier to sprint unencumbered.

Have you ever got stuck in the mire? Or do you find the wherewithal to accept what is and move forward? And if you do, how do you do that? Let me know in the comments!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Green Bean
May 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

I do find myself a bit mired when I compare my life to what I thought it would be or what it used to be. Never good!!! Live in the moment and try not to think about those other things. For me, anyway, they always bring me down.
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Alison Golden May 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I hear ya, Green Bean. It can be depressing when we compare what we have with what we’ve got. I think the key for me was the ‘and what can I do about it.’ People telling us to think of people worse off than ourselves or it isn’t so bad is rarely helpful for long. Moving from inaction/tolerance (often with gritted teeth) to action puts an element of control onto the situation and works best.


Donna S August 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Boy did I need to see this one today! My situation seems helpless right now and I have only been focusing on the bad…not the future…not the end of it…and there will be an end…only the problems! That is NOT helpful and tomorrow I will wake up and look on the bright side! Thanks!


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