web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



‘It Is What It Is’

Share Button

         Just the other day, I was commiserating with a close friend about how my life had not gone the way I had envisioned way back when – when I was young and my head was filled with sweet visions of what would be. My conversation was peppered with “if only” and “what if” and “why didn’t I” It was saturated with unrequited curiosity about what poet Robert Frost so aptly described as “the road not taken.” I expressed regret at some of the “roads” that I did take, the ones that lead to nowhere at best, misery at worst.

 

         My friend patiently let me vent for a few minutes, and then uttered five simple words that opened my eyes and shut me up. She said, “It is what it is.” This simple but straightforward statement had a tremendous impact on me, for its words conveyed an obvious truth – dwelling on yesterday is pointless. Deal with today, with your “now,” with the hope for a fulfilling future. What is – is! Acknowledging your reality and utilizing the resources at hand – your intelligence, your community and connections, your determination and hard work to make the best of what is currently “on your plate” – is the only way to move on. Otherwise you will be mired in sadness, weighed down by grief, immobilized by guilt – and go nowhere.

 

         While it’s good to examine one’s past in order to identify and learn from mistakes that you don’t wish to repeat, there is nothing to be gained by crying over them and getting angry at yourself or blaming others who may have influenced your bad decisions. After all, hakol min haShamayim (everything is from God) and though it is sometimes extremely difficult to understand why He designed your life this way, as religious Jews we accept that which we don’t understand. We twin that belief with the faith that it is ultimately for the best, and what doesn’t currently make any sense will one day be very clear and beneficial to us.

 

         “It is what it is” permits me to believe that the true measure of a successful life is appreciating the realities we are blessed with – good health, kind friends, a loving spouse/parents/children. Or even something as universal as opening your eyes and seeing.

 

         Chances are that as “bad” as your reality may be, and as difficult or painful the “hand you were dealt” might be, there is someone who would very gladly trade places with you in a blink. There are those who have no clue what flowers look like. They have no inkling of what “red” is. They cannot grasp the concept of a rainbow.

 

         Yet they can hear the chirping of birds, the melodious music of a symphony, the tinkle of a child’s laughter. And theirs is a blessed reality, for there are those who cannot see or hear. Yet they can walk, touch, reach and communicate. And their reality is one some would welcome, for there are those who cannot see, hear, move, or make their needs known.

 

         “It is what it is.” And all of us have the choice of mourning what is lacking in our loves, or appreciating what we have. We have the option of letting anger, resentment or sorrow permeate our daily lives, thus holding us back from enjoying what we have – or we can have feelings of hakarat hatov for “what is” and be joyful and hopefulfor that.

 

         There is nothing wrong with wanting more, with wanting it all. There is always room for improvement in our lives – a shidduch, children, better health, more parnassah - and it is natural to feel deprived, and acutely want what you feel is lacking in your life. But just as important to your well-being is being aware of, and not taking for granted, what you do have.

 

         Perhaps that is why we have so many brachot to recite. From waking up in the morning to going to the bathroom to eating, etc., Hashem, in His wisdom, wants us to constantly remind ourselves of the many good things that constitute our reality. “It is what it is,” and we should be truly grateful, feel blessed and consequently be b’simchah.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “‘It Is What It Is’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abbas and Hanieyh on poster, next to a picture of Arafat.
Kerry’s Talks Achieve Peace Between Hamas and Fatah
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/it-is-what-it-is/2007/06/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: