Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Peace in Symmetry

When I was in Virginia in May, I spent a few hours with one of Mom’s friends. Actually, she’s my friend, too. I’ve known her for as long as I have memory, and she’s a wonderful conversationalist.

She shared with me that she and her 40-year old daughter had spoken on the phone recently, and the daughter said something that struck her: “It is what it is.”

Ain’t that the truth.

I shared with my (and Mom’s) friend how peaceful I find that sentiment, and how it need not be limited to such a generic word as “it.”

…About eight years ago, I was deep into an incredibly content chapter of my life. I felt free of financial worries, and my social activities were as relaxed as they could possibly be.

Everything was just so very easy.

At the time, I remember acknowledging how frequently I thought in symmetrical terms. I was involved with a man who filled my heart, and when I would become a little frustrated by his behaviors, I would simply say, “Nick is Nick*.”

Similarly, “work is work.” “You can only do what you can do.” “It happens when it happens.”

And so forth.

… I try to hang on to this formula for peace.

It’s not only helpful in forgiving others, but it’s also a good way to be kind to oneself.

Because I’m not a perfect person (news flash, huh?), I like to give myself some slack. I like to remind myself of the symmetrical truth: I am who I am.

And life is life, and we get what we get.

We do what we do.

We earn what we earn.

We deserve what we deserve.

We love what we love.

…And that, my friends, is that.

*not his real name


Sioux said...

It goes along with that serenity prayer. "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..."

cj Schlottman said...

Katie, Thanks for this wonderfully written reminder. You have the wonderful ability to write fluidly and so smoothly.

Michael is always saying, "It is what it is." I, on the other hand, still have to remind myself that I can't change most things in my life. One thing I can change is this lop-sided relationship we have. Strange that this morning, I composed a text telling him basically, "It is what it isn't," going nowhere. I am going to read this post over and over until I work up the nerve to send it.


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

True! And hand-in-hand with that is, don't sweat the small stuff. My dad used to say that all the time (long before a book of that title came out) an it seemed like good advice. There is plenty we can change; for the things we cannot change, best to find a positive way to cope.

Martha Mawson said...

There are certain truths in life that we can't avoid. When faced with something life-threatening and serious, what are our choices? Our only real choice is to accept what we cannot reject. As you say, it is what it is. To think otherwise is simply fooling yourself and not facing reality. The thing is, do we then change the reality?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, "what will be will be". Many times I have calmed myself and others down with such a sentiment. My favourite of the sayings you quote is, "I am what I am" maybe because my brother played that song over and over years ago. It just shouts acceptance do beautifully. Another great post for wednesday! :-)

Anonymous said...

P.S. 'do'? I am sure I typed 'out' oops another typo...

Linda Medrano said...

My best friend uses that phrase "it is what it is" and I find it so delightfully "neutral". It seems to acknowledge imperfection but not bitch about it or judge it too much. I think we sometimes get caught up in judgmental rhetoric and that is fine, but letting the world do what it does is actually better for me. I don't need ulcers.

Lauren said...

So true!

Forrest Gump: My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

And I would add: Sometimes you get nuts, sometimes you get the gooey stuff in the center, but at least you always get chocolate.

Deb Shucka said...

Mmmm. I love this post. Lots to consider here. Such simple acceptance, yet so challenging to practice with any regularity (at least for me).

Jayne Martin said...

Yep, it is was it is and it ain't never gonna be what it ain't and we screw ourselves up in such knots when we don't just trust the Universe. Good and bad are just labels we use. In truth, everything holds a lesson. I love "All I can do is what I can do" and after that "what will be will be." All these things have been tough for the control freak in me to embrace and even now I slip up. Thoughtful post, Katie.