It Is What It Is

So many new catch phrases! So little time! This new one has made the rounds and is becoming philosophical implying acceptance of things as they are. I’m inclined to believe that the clever devil that came up with it meant for it to mean things you have no control over. It was supposed to be the Millennial’s modern version of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. This is an awesome prayer and has stood me in good stead for many decades. The first time I heard “it is what it is” I thought how helpful that would be to those who didn’t really know or utilize the Serenity Prayer.

But the other day someone I love dearly was sharing with me her normal every day problems in being married to a socio-path, a narcissistic man who is verbally abusive, emotionally abusive and economically abusive. She has outlined to me many times all of the ways he has trapped her and what it would cost financially to rid herself of him. He has burned his bridges with all of his family and her family refuses to have him in their home as his rage rants and verbal abuses at family gatherings are too much. Her cross is so heavy I worry that she will never learn how to lay it down. When she ended her conversation with, “It is what it is”, for the first time I hated that saying. I wanted to scream, no it isn’t what it is. You are in control of your own life. You don’t have to be a victim.

I understand. I so totally understand as I was once upon a time married to a narcissistic sociopath who was physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally abusive, a man so sadistic that at times I thought I would lose my mind. My counselor, halfway through recovery told me I would not survive his abuse. One time when he came after me to brutally rape me I pulled a butcher knife out of the kitchen drawer, threatened to kill him if he didn’t leave. He knew I meant it, packed his clothes and left. A week later I took him back. I spent time in a women’s shelter determined to rid myself of him. It didn’t work. What did work was five years of REPAIRing my life, five years of 12 step program, of counseling, of prayer and five years of domestic violence support group meetings. I rid myself of him and became the happiest person I know. Had I been telling myself “it is what it is”, I would either still be living in hell or I would be dead.

I pray every day that my friend who is so fond of this saying will stop being a victim, will find the courage, will reclaim her power and learn the true meaning of the real Serenity Prayer to rid herself of her abuser. I love her a great deal and one day want her to be the happiest person she knows.

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