Lately, in an attempt to soothe feelings of disappointment, I’ve been saying “it is what it is” to myself.
You know, expectations cause such trouble! In my case, I had not just a simple expectation, but an entire string of expectations. And, as is their nature, my expectations were a set up. I set myself up. How much less wrenching it would have been if I had had curiosity about the situation, rather than dreaming up a whole story (a novel!) about how the situation would unfold.
But I digress. We’ve discussed expectations plenty in the past. Enough of that for now. Back to “it is what it is.”
What I find when I say “it is what it is” is space. I find open-hearted, present-time space. I find space that makes room for wonder, for appreciation, and for gratitude. I find respite from my nattering, recriminatory mind. I find ease. I find a balm for my sad disappointment. “It is what it is.”
A reader writes about gratitude, and a great way to fall asleep:
I like to write gratitudes in my journal just before bed, but often, like you, I forget to do it.
So after I’m luxuriating under the covers and feeling great gratitude for my pillows and sheets and wonderful mattress, I remember about gratitudes, and then I recite the things I’m grateful for that day/night.
Helps me fall asleep.
I want to feel gratitude more frequently in my life, but it seems that I just forget to do it.
I drive a lot. Running errands, I’m in and out of the car a lot.
So I combined gratitude and driving. Now, whenever I get in the car, and before I put it in gear, I close my eyes and think of two things I’m grateful for. Then, since I understand that all form as sentient, I imagine that the things I’m feeling grateful for receive my gratitude and like it.
I like my new practice.
We were in the Boundary Waters for two weeks. Wonderful.
The Loons sang us to sleep, and the White Throated Sparrows sang us awake.
Deer moseyed into our campsite, paused to look, and moseyed out again.
Birds pecked for seeds at my feet.
I loved that the animals did not see me as a threat.
The stars blew my mind.
The weather was chilly but wonderful. Oh, it was truly awesome.
Big waves and whitecaps on the paddle out! Exhilarating!
We’re eager to return.
I will be off the grid and out of touch for a while.
I won’t have access to email, voicemail, phone or text.
I will have access to water, sky, trees, and campfires. And Walleyes.
I’ll be canoe camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — an extended trip.
It’s a bucket list kind of thing.
I’ll be back around the 1st of August. Maybe before, maybe after. I’ll let you know.
Can you be happy?
Well, what’s keeping you from it?
Do your automatic, ingrained responses to life’s situations and circumstances cause you to feel happy? Yes? No?
If not, change your response. It is easily done, it just takes practice.
If you can think one thing, you can think another. If you can feel one way, you can feel another. If you can believe one thing, you can believe another.
Can you be happy?
Choose your solution.
I’ve heard a lot of laments lately — the state of the nation; the state of the workplace; the state of relationships.
But for every lament there are solutions, and they are legion.
Here’s one solution I like: become what I desire.
Do I desire peace? Then find ways to be more peaceful in my daily life.
Do I desire to be appreciated? Then practice appreciation as I go through my day.
We will always come across things to lament. But staying mired in lamentation does no one any good. Lament, then choose a solution.
And tell the rest of us about it!