“I wish I had more money.”  “I wish I was taller.”  If only I was prettier…” “I wish life was not so hard.”  “You know what I would do if I had a million dollars?”  Well, the answer for all of these questions and more is, “It is what it is.”  Granted, as you hear this you may be asking “what does this mean exactly?”  For some this statement means “forget about it” to be all Billy Crystal about it.  For others it means acceptance of what is-the way things are- and its consequences even if you don’t like what’s coming.  Still for others it is a one finger hand gesture at the life circumstance.  Read the picture to the right and maybe you don’t know what to think about it and you say, “It just is what it is” and you move on.

I would like to pose another option.  This statement could mean I accept what is…pure and simple.  I can observe it and describe it without opinion and experience it without having to pretend to like something that I really can’t stand.  However, I “accept it”.  I am not fighting with it any longer.  There is no internal argument in my mind with which I can’t let go.  To boil this down…let’s just say that it means I am fully present, living in the moment without internal resistance.  This is not a comment on the future action I may take. It is a comment that I accept the now, this current moment.

Living fully present without internal resistance means that you can now ask the sincere question, “Where do I go from here?”  Or, “what do I want to do…now?”  By accepting the moment you actually free yourself to face what’s next without bias, fear or predisposition.  You have created a place of neutrality with your internal self that allows you to consider the wide range of possibilities before you.  (FREE Coaching-click here)

Perhaps…A More Sophisticated Explanation

OK, I am glad you are still reading past the sign above.  It’s just a “stupid” sign.  I don’t even know what it means except that it is a comment on perception and not “what is”.  Forget about it.  Enjoy this article from the Huffington Post.

“By trying to avoid mistakes and trying to do the “right” thing, we are using a set of personal commandments of what should and should not be. The problem is that by accepting one part of reality and rejecting the other part of reality, we are creating two realities out of one: one being the reality that you approve of, and the other being the reality that you reject.

This dualistic, dichotomous perspective results in two truths. This, here, is perfect. And that, over there, is imperfect. But this and that are part of one and the same reality! Katz (2007) writes that a view of the world as one, not two, is what “describes our relationship to truth” since “the nature of truth is not two” (i.e. non-dual).

And, indeed, when you and I look at one and the same object of reality, say a hat, and you think it is great looking and I think it’s heinous, the only thing that both of us can agree on is that “it is what it is” — and this “it is what it is” is the only truth that allows both of us to be right. By proclaiming that “it is what it is” we both rise above our subjective aesthetics and acknowledge the objective suchness of the object that we were previously trying to judge. We are acknowledging its true nature — that it is the kind of hat that you see as perfect and I see as imperfect. Thus, this hat is both great looking and heinous, depending on whose mind is appraising it, and, at the same time, this hat is neither good looking nor heinous (when no one is looking) but is a “thing in itself,” such as it is.

All truths are relative, i.e. related to one and the same truth, the truth of suchness, the truth that “it” (whatever the “it” may be) is what it is. But to say that something “is what it is” is to say nothing. Functionally, the phrase “it is what it is” is a form of interpretive silence, a form of informational silence. In saying nothing, we are saying nothing false — and that is, perhaps, the closest we come to expressing that ultimate (one, non-dual) truth that we can all agree upon!” (Dr. Pavol Somov from www.huffingtonpost.com)