• 98th International Peace Meditation “It Is What It Is”

    “It Is What It Is”

    February 6, 2005-Stress is a constant reminder that we are alive. Stress is both helpful and harmful, according to various experts. Stress helps us to meet deadlines and keeps us on task. Stress stimulates our immune systems causing challenges for those with autoimmune diseases. Stress is the anticipation of harm, whether psychological, physical, or emotional. Stress causes us to make poor decisions at times, and good decisions at others. However, it is often stress that defines the high and low points of our daily lives.

    I recently was reminded that stress can be long term and subtle, yet real. When a recent doctors appointment for my grandson revealed that the long-time awaited possibility of surgery was not necessary, the relief on his parents and me was immediately evident. Tears of joy, of relief, pointed to the stress that had been present those last several months. That morning, as I was driving to be with them the following day for the appointment with the doctor, the words that kept going through my mind were, “It is what it is.” I was left to reflect upon the meaning.

    What I began to realize was that the outcome was already with us, but we hadn’t had the appointment to learn what it was. The progress toward healing had already been occurring. All of the efforts of my grandson, his parents, and healthcare providers, in conjunction with the healing energy of the Universe, had already combined for success. Surgery wasn’t necessary. The outcome was there. We learned the outcome at the same time as the physician, at the time of the appointment. Stress was the result of anticipation of what we did not want him to have to endure, although it would have been another blessing had the previous efforts been unsuccessful. Stress was in the waiting and the wondering. “It is what it is.” Perhaps if we could let go of fear and dread, and accept these few words, our stress would be lessened.

    We hear this idea expressed in other ways. “Let go and let God” is helpful for some. For others, that may be interpreted as avoiding our responsibilities. I once knew a woman with several children who seemed a little too nonchalant about their safety for my comfort. She told me that she believed that each had an Angel watching over them. I wondered if she believed that she didn’t need to be responsible because of her beliefs. I don’t question the idea of out-of-sight oversight. I do question whether we have the right to abandon our responsibilities. Angels, for those who believe, should not become excuses for neglect.

    Our stress may increase when we feel that we alone are responsible. Those of us who may have the tendency to feel totally responsible even for things we can’t control, might benefit from the realization that we are never alone. In our darkest moments may come our greatest insight. Sitting beside the bed of a seriously ill loved one may put us in the mental space to acknowledge that we are only a partner in the healing process. We cannot control all of the possibilities. Perhaps doctors and nurses know this best. At some point we make peace with what we can and cannot do. This is a journey, and not something to criticize ourselves about if we haven’t reached this point. It is coming to terms with our own capacity in any area that may give us great challenge and growth. “It is what it is” means that we are ready to accept what is. While it may mean that control is not completely ours, it may also mean that the outcome is there even before we know what it is.

    Another time we face stress is when awaiting results from medical tests. We wait, simultaneously wanting and not wanting, to know the outcome. When it is what we want, we are happy. When it is not, we brace ourselves for the next steps. In both cases, “it is what it is” already applies. It is only learning the outcome and accepting it that waits.

    Our society seems to move faster and faster. Technology helps us complete some jobs more easily, but technology is in itself a challenge. Those who work using technology, and that is probably most of us in one way or another, need constantly to be updated. Our cell phones and computers seem to need frequent replacement. The way we do business changes continuously because of technology, and we have to remain current to remain relevant. With new applications for technology come new viruses and dangers to our privacy. Those who don’t keep pace can easily fall victim to new scams. Technology, once seen as a way to create more free time, has also created a new source of stress regarding the need to train and study to remain up-to-date. New jobs demand new skills, and those skills frequently involve technology. Thus the stress relief we may have anticipated has not necessarily been realized.

    It is what it is. The medical test results are there before we know them. The medical situation was there before the tests. “It is what it is” is true in many instances. It may also be true in relationships.

    Consider your relationships with people when you knew from almost the first moment whether they would or would not work out. The signs, the cues, were usually there from the first moment. Sometimes we avoided knowing what we “knew”, and had to find out the hard way. Sometimes we gave up on relationships that had the potential to work. Stress was often increased because we went against our internal knowing, and acted otherwise. Much stress in our lives could be avoided if we each trusted our gut, and acted upon what we “know” instead of what we want.

    Stress makes us feel alive, even when it is detrimental. There are times when letting go of the outcome, trusting God, Love, Universe, Allah, or by whatever we are most comfortable could help us eliminate stress. This also requires that we be ready to accept the outcome. It is our desire to control the outcome that promotes stress.

    It is what it is. There is much to explore about this idea. It is one which the individual sojourner works on much of a lifetime. It is what philosophies and religions ponder, debate, and teach. It is what human life is about. How much of our lives are already planned, how much is a matter of chance, and how much we can control by our actions is all part of our developing faith. We ponder; we experience; we learn from our experience. Letting go of our responsibilities and leaving the care of our children to Angels may be neglect, but worry and fear lead to high levels of stress. Throughout our lives, we each will work for balance and learn to control what we can, and let go of what we cannot.

    The well-known serenity prayer that teaches us to change what is within our power to change and accept what we cannot change is a path to serenity, or putting stress in its place. Stress can help us achieve great accomplishments and contribution, and it can make us ill. It is energy that is neither positive nor negative; it just is. And what we do with it makes all the difference.

    This 98th International Peace Meditation is dedicated to all of those who contributed to the victims of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. The horrible stress of seeing the helplessness of others provided an opportunity to extend great humanity toward suffering. Blessings to all who assisted by their caring thoughts, prayers, and actions.

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. collected and contributed $1,000 to the tsunami victims. The funds are being distributed through the 2004 Asian Tsunami Fund of Lions Clubs International Foundation. For more information on LCIF and its aid, see www.LCIF.org. Thank you for living the way of unity and peace.

    We hope you will visit our web site at www.humanempowerment.org and participate in this important mission to bring empowering messages and beliefs to everyone.

    Please consider contributing to the mission of the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. Please give so that others might more fully live.

    Sue Kidd Shipe
    Executive Director

    You may contribute online via PayPal:

    Or send your contributions to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York 12203 USA
    Please make checks or money orders out to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is a
    501 ( C )( 3 ) tax-exempt organization recognized by the United States Government. Your contribution within the USA is tax-exempt.
    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P. O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York  12203   USA
    (518) 393-9491
    sueshipe@humanempowerment.org
    www.humanempowerment.org

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