“It is what it is” has become a conventional saying. The true meaning, however, has been twisted in common parlance. This phrase is now, generally, used to convey the same emotion as an exasperated sigh. Seldom do we recognize the value of this statement as a direct pointer to life experienced as freedom.
Often, what we are really saying is the way things are should be different. We are expressing our assumptive belief that the universe would be better run if it conformed to our egoic ideals. We cannot change the present moment by force of will or the desire for things to be different from what they are right now. Living in conflict with the present moment is the path of suffering.
We use the phrase as though we are surrendering to Truth in the present moment, when what we are really expressing is our egoic dissatisfaction with what is. When we drop the believed egoic story, drop the someone wishing this or wishing that, we open to the direct experience/recognition as Peace amid the apparent chaos, joys, suffering, and adventures of life.
How then do we come to terms with and live as Peace with what is? To live as Peace with what is we must first be at peace within ourselves. We cannot be at peace within ourselves if we do not know existentially what we are.
The present moment is exactly the way life is now. The present moment is not what we are experiencing, it is what we are. We are eternally the present moment. Nothing but the present moment exists. Anything else is a concept, and even these concepts exist in the present moment.
The phrase, “It is what it is,” points to this Eternal Truth. It leaves no wiggle room.
Superficially examined, the phrase, “It is what it is,” is a simple redundancy. On that level, it does not seem a profound pointer to Truth. We would suggest looking even deeper. The recognition of the obvious truth of this redundancy requires an apparent someone or something to make that recognition. We seldom, if ever, stop to notice what makes this recognition possible.
Who or What am I?
Simply stop and look. From where does this recognition, this knowing, this awareness arise? The direct experience from which knowing/awareness arises is Self-Realization.
Viewed as Awareness, there is no conflict with the present moment. As Awareness, “It is what it is” is the expression of the eternal now.
The next time we hear or say, “It is what it is,” we might pause, reflect, and rest as Awareness.
Peace, Bec and Steve