I hear it all the time: “It is what it is.” All of a sudden, not only do I hear it all the time, I catch myself actually saying it. So when something is so contagious, there must be some sort of truth behind it. Of course I investigated (internally). This is what came to me: It’s sort of the “Que sera sera” of the ‘60s. (What will be will be..) That was a time that definitely had its challenges, but we’ve taken stress to a whole new level, and nobody can bring it down but us.
Since I’ve been reading Martha Beck’s Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, I’ve been trying to “drop into wordlessness.” That’s basically to stop thinking and trying to find words and labels for everything that we see, feel, encounter. Dropping into silence is not easy, and I’m not very good at it. What I realize is that there are probably some people who can get through their days and minutes without keeping a mental commentary. That's what I want to do. Because all that thinking and interpreting does little more than fuel our internal dramas. Even if we’re rerunning pleasant conversations, we’re setting ourselves up to juxtapose them to not so pleasant ones. We simply think too much. We stress ourselves out by following any lead our busy minds put in front of us.
There is a real peace that comes when I don’t try to figure out every little thing. I don’t have to keep my mind fixed on what every nuance means, wonder about how the weekend will turn out, or how the students will behave in class next period, or where my guests will want to go when they visit next week. There's a time for all of that, but it's just not all the time.
I’m learning to sit and look a little vacant sometimes, or wait until something passes, or let a comment just dangle in the air. Because, probably, 9 times out of 10 it simply is what it is. So what’s to think about?