"You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking."
~ Maya Angelou

January 11, 2013

It Is What It...

You ever heard a saying and it just didn't register with you as perhaps it should?  Now, move forward some years, with some living, awareness, and growth achieved, and the saying is crystal clear. This is exactly what has inspired me this week, and as I do I am honored to bring it to all those that can hear me.  I have transitioned into 2013 with intention, purpose, and action and thus I am in a good place to express into these words.

So, getting back to the saying in question.  I had heard it over the course of time, but I really began to embrace it in my latter adult years, as the result of a truly special relationship I was given.  My grandfather JJ would of turned 99 in just a few short weeks.  He lived 94 great years, and the relationship that I had with him showed me what it meant to carry yourself with respect, integrity, and an unconditional love that demonstrated how to live it and love it!  He was a very simple man, but the lessons he modeled didn't need too many words.  What he was able to model with his actions, character, and presence said it all.  Whenever we would connect he would convey another learning opportunity for me, I am sure many that he never realized were happening right in front of him.  Often, after our talks he would say "It is what it is" as to bring the lesson into context, at this point the nod of the head signified that we both understood, and the learning was transferred.  You can interpret this saying in whatever context you choose, but what I want to share is something that was often shared with me...

You can resist, avoid, and challenge yourself at the detriment of you own well-being, or you can accept the opportunity.  This is what I gained from this saying after an evolving learning process that would take me through many challenges, obstacles, and barriers that I often created for myself.  "It is what it is" allowed me to put my challenges into context, showing me that acceptance, understanding, and ownership to them, would only move me forward and toward a better day!  I was able to reflect on just that this week after an appointment with one of my providers. I was engaged (and asked to share) about "my recovery process" and how I was able to get to the place I find myself at today.  I told my doctor that it began with a choice, that was brought to me via an extremely intense experience.

It was followed by a commitment to change some ways, leave behind some substances, and work, work, and work some more.  I told him that it is the hardest work out there, and to be well, it is something that I have to commit to every day for the rest of my days.  I have surrounded myself with the necessary support, and I do my homework with out any resistance.  "It is what it is" represents my commitment to my wellness, it inspires me because of who and how I learned its true meaning from.  It empowers me because after all these years I have found my way, with no need to mask, suppress, or stay in the shadows.  I am front and center with my story, embracing the vulnerability that will always be around to teach and guide me.  I own the experience, and by working towards progress I am able to help others in a positive, effective, and sustainable manner.  Once again, let my words take to you to a place of thought, reflection, and hopefully the process that leads one towards opportunity.  2013 is going to be a great year for all of us, as long as you believe that you can do whatever you determine is possible! 

Until we meet again, may this lesson find you well.  Whatever you choose to do with it, please choose wisely, you always have a choice.  Head up and heart open!

Wherever it is, it is up to you to find it!

 About Author


Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email
Founder oCan You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC. Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process.  More about the man behind the mission ⇢

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