it is what it is

someone i know once got their hair chopped off, and when the initial cuts went a little shorter than previously expected all the hair-dresser kept saying was "it is what it is." now this might not have been the most concerting thing to hear for the person actually getting her hair cut, but it was the truth and there was no changing it now. still it might mean a little more coming from the person who had to live with the consequences of what "it is."

there's really something to that statement though. it's the plain, bare truth without any spin or cushion. there is great power in being able to call things as they are. it conveys a trust in the person that they can handle the reality of the situation for exactly that--the reality. so often we want to try to make things look good, or just a little better than they actually are. or we want to build it into something that makes for a grander story, perhaps in hope that it will make our lives feel like they have a little more meaning. we all of us for the most part color our lives and situations for others in hopes that they'll see us a little better. then they'll like us.

even worse perhaps is the way we do this to ourselves. i think with others it is quite a bit more understandable. but why do we allow ourselves to make the subtle twists in our own minds or hearts? why do we allow what is really a form of self-deception?

it is what it is. i just don't care enough about it to put forth the effort. i actually don't like that person. it was a mistake. he said no. a broken heart.

sometimes things happen and we can't seem to let ourselves accept the reality of them. we fight against deception and try to figure out what's really going on. some things we can easily know and say what is the truth, if we would allow ourselves. but so many other things are just too complex to be able to truly name. the label does not do it justice. the language is insufficient. but we have to make sense of it somehow, right? so we come up with some sort of story because we are unable to live in the tension that is created by the fear of the unknown. in this way we try to control our lives. and if we tell the story well enough we can usually get ourselves to believe it. it may even actually be mostly true.

but is it better to leave things unnamed than to fill in the blanks? or is that what we must do in this fragmented life full of mystery? would we get anywhere if we didn't close the gaps and push on ahead? but then it creates such a strong tendency to paint those missing parts in the colors we want, transforming the picture to look a lot more like we want it to look than perhaps it actually probably is in truth. and in that way we live a lie. but it's just a little white lie right? when were those ever so bad?

it is what it is. i want to name the things in my life. i want to be able to name things in others' lives as a gift, not a burden. i don't want to let deception flourish. i want to be ok with living in the tension and the pain of the unknown. i don't want to soften the blow. i don't want to protect myself or others when it is really not trusting them or myself. i want to be genuine. and i don't just want others to see me as genuine but i want to feel it myself. i want to let the gaps be gaps and the darkness darkness and the foolishness foolishness.

oh give me the eyes to see with this sort of clarity.

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