The Cambridge Dictionary definition of “it is what it is” is the recognition that a situation cannot be changed and must be accepted. When we face problems with no obvious solutions, humans are subjected to a great deal of stress. If we accept situations that are irreconcilable, our lives will be more rewarding.
The greatest stressful situation is the loss of a loved one. Accepting the new reality affiliated with the untimely passing of someone we care for should be the last step of the mourning process. It is the moment we are ready to move on and once again live our lives to the fullest and not grieve any longer.
Our personal demise is the most traumatic event in our lives. The moments preceding the transition from life to death are usually sad times for the individual who will pass and his or her family. The angst affiliated with passing can be untenable.
We need to spend productive time recognizing and accepting our mortality. It is not something that should take joy from us. But it cannot be ignored as we age and approach our final days, hours, minutes and seconds. It is what it is. Everyone is born and dies.
What should we do as we age and become more fragile? Physically our doctors can cure our minor and even major problems that occur with the passing of time. But often little problems become more difficult to deal with and are not curable. It is these situations that cause great stress to us as we get older.
I believe that stress is a large contributor to the loss of life. It would be impossible to live a life without some hardships and sad moments, but we must not allow these situations to overwhelm the happier aspects of our life. We should compartmentalize our problems. An individual can have several positive moments mixed with several negative moments.
Personally, I have decided to work diligently to decrease the amount of stress in my life having reached the 70s. This effort entails a concerted desire to not let minor incidents upset me for any length of time. It can never be a foolproof effort because life is a continuum of happy and sad moments. Those of us who are able to set aside minor distractions will likely have a more fulfilling life especially in the later years.
After experiencing some debilitating medical challenges, I was in a dark place. Lethargy caused by excessive concern about my health was dragging me into a state of depression. This had a meaningful impact on the people who care for me and who love me. I needed to find an outlet that would enable me to be more upbeat and look at life more positively.
Two of the things I did that helped me accomplish my objectives were to begin to take yoga classes and to meditate multiple times during the day. It has been a wondrous adventure to gain control of my emotions and to reconnect with my family and friends. I am surprised that medical doctors and therapists do not forcefully recommend these practices in cases of minor to moderate depression.
When I informed my doctors of my new life with yoga and meditation, they were very excited and enthusiastic. I strongly suggested to them that they recommend yoga and meditation, especially in situations where life experiences are affecting their patients’ happiness.
A second project, which is a longer term, is recognition of my mortality. It’s not comforting to think about what occurs after death. But since every person who has been on earth previously has been subjected to death, it’s a subject of great relevatnce. The question is how does one prepare for the end of one’s life? This query becomes more relevant to humans when they are in middle to old age.
One thing that many millions of people do to deal with the specter of their afterlife is to pray to their God. I think religion and spirituality are important tools enabling humans to deal with the end of their life. It certainly is refreshing to believe that life after death is somehow similar to life before death. This may be an unrealistic perspective, but it seems to be one of the most common methods to deal with impending death. Being with God in the afterlife is a comforting thought.
I have casually spent time thinking about mortality in a more philosophical manner. What we leave behind is very important. In essence, our legacy is a critical element in determining whether we have led a successful life. Some people think of success in terms of money and power. I think of it as a human being measured by how they deal with problems facing them during their life. It’s easy to be a great person when there are few hardships.
And so, we return to it is what it is. We must accept and deal with events with maturity and strength to live life to the fullest.