“It Is What It Is!”

“It is what it is!” Have you ever noticed how many times we use this in our everyday conversations with each other? Honestly, I have to admit that I tend to cringe whenever I hear that phrase.

“This traffic sucks, c’mon people let’s get a move on it! Oh well, it is what it is!”

CRINGE!

“Man, this weather is crazy, one day blistering heat, the next day it’s freezing! Oh well, it is what it is!”

CRINGE!

“Damn, I can’t get this stain out of my shirt no matter how many times I wash it! Oh well, it is what it is!”

CRINGE!

 Why do we use this saying for so many things?!

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think it’s just another way of people trying to find acceptance with less than desired circumstances in life, especially when they appear to be totally out of their control. Which ironically, is a subject that seems to be the main focus of much of my life (and my writing) as of late and probably the very reason why I find myself so annoyed any time I hear someone using the “It is what it is!” phrase these days.

The very fact this saying keeps getting under my skin as much as it has been recently led me to believe there was probably an underlying reason for that. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if maybe the Universe was trying to remind me of something my 1stsponsor introduced me to when she had me read a paragraph on p. 417 in the 4thedition of the Alcoholics Anonymous big book a ton of times. It begins with nine very eloquent, yet quite simple words…

“Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today…”

Nine words that seem to keep showing up in my life in far too many ways lately to be just a coincidence!

Nevertheless, learning acceptance is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in life. While I’m pretty good at doing that when it comes to the things that don’t have much of a direct impact upon my life, like with drastic weather or congested traffic or even a stain on my shirt, I’m quite awful with it when it comes to the things that I feel closely tied to, like with my yard and its present state of being fungus and insect-riddled. And when I don’t practice acceptance with things just like this, I generally exhaust myself in repeated attempts to find ways to fix it or remove it from my life.

Unfortunately, trying to fix or remove all those unsettling things from my life has only ever hindered my quest towards spiritual enlightenment, solely because each of those attempts to do so merely caused my faith to be more in myself than in something Greater. Sadly, I lived that way for a long time, the result of which only led to sheer exhaustion and pure frustration on a daily basis.

So, while I might indeed not like whenever I hear those cringe-worthy words, “It is what it is!”, I’m choosing to believe that maybe they’re actually a gift from Source to take a deeper look at the very thing I’ve avoided the majority of my life, that being acceptance of what is, no matter how unsettling it may appear to be. Because the alternative, of placing my faith in my ego to find a solution to fixing it or removing it from my life is only going to leave me feeling entirely miserable and distant from God, two things I most assuredly don’t want to happen…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question To Ponder For The Day

If you HAD to pick only one of the following abilities to have, which would it be?

  1. Having the ability to read people’s minds and thoughts
  2. Having the ability to control people’s minds and thoughts
  3. Having the ability to master your own mind and thoughts

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Every now and then I come across a story that reminds me that God really is there watching over us and today I’d like to share one with all of you for a very special Grateful Heart Monday entry, a day where I begin each week writing about a single piece of gratitude I have from my life.

This story begins with a guy I helped a few years ago in the 12 Steps of recovery for an addiction that was extremely hard for him to shake. But before you read any further, I just want to clarify that I did receive permission from him to share this with all of you.

Nevertheless, it took me about a year and a half to walk this gentleman fully through the steps and I saw much progress within him by the end of it. Unfortunately, the addiction he had been fighting still had a slight foothold within him that took any icy grip back onto him towards the end of the summer during the same year we had finished doing our recovery work together.

After a few days of relapse, he returned to recovery and doubled his efforts to remain sober and would go on to remain that way for another year. But sadly, at just about the time he was going to pick up his one-year medallion for a second time, his addiction took over again, this time for almost a week.

At this point, I wondered if he was going to be one of those people who spend their lives in a vicious cycle going around and around with periods of recovery and periods of relapse. When I asked him if he wanted to truly remain sober, I wasn’t convinced with his answer and so the only thing I could do was pray and turn it over to God. And believe me I prayed, a lot actually, for God to help this man find true recovery from his addiction that would last.

When another year rolled by and brought him into the present summer, I began seeing the same restless, irritable, and discontent individual showing up again. I was seeing that same someone who appeared to be itching for a relapse. When I asked him what it was going to take to end this insanity, he said he honestly didn’t know.

Of course, I told him about the “Yet’s” that tend to occur after repeated relapses, “Yet’s” such as losing one’s health, relationship, job, money, or even children and other loved ones. I reminded him that God had been good to him, giving him a beautiful wife, children, and even the dream job he always wanted and how none of these things had happened…yet. Of course, he responded with what most people say to this every time I bring it up, that being the “I know, I know…”  So, once again, I had to turn it over and leave it up to God with my prayers.

People say that God doesn’t answer prayers quite a bit these days and sometimes I find myself even saying that, especially when my pain levels are ridiculously high. But, what happened next with this man is precisely why I’m starting this week of with gratitude, all because of an experience he had with God.

I only found out about it because he called me up one day in a state of shock. In all truthfulness, when I heard his quivering voice on the other end of the phone, I assumed he had relapsed again. As I prepared myself to offer my best unconditional love and guidance like I had the two previous years, he shared with me something I didn’t expect.

He told me that late one night the other day, he was sitting in his house, while everyone else was asleep, when his 4-year-old daughter suddenly emerged in the room where he was sitting. It was apparent she was sleep walking, except she appeared to be fully awake. When she approached her Dad, she said nothing but four words, “Daddy, I’m more important!” She repeated this statement three times and said nothing more than that, and then returned to her bed, promptly falling right back asleep.

When my friend told me this, I had no doubt whatsoever that this was a message coming from Source. You see, my friend is one of the most skeptical people when it comes to God, but when his 4-year-old daughter said those four words, everything changed for him.

Somewhere deep within him, he knew she was talking about his addiction and reminding him how it’s not as important as her. And given she has no idea that he’s in recovery for an addiction and also has no understanding of what an addiction is either, is exactly why he was able to finally believe God was real and attempting to communicate with him. For once, my friend was able to overcome his skepticism and ever since, he’s felt no desire to relapse and been far more concerned about the potential of losing his daughter than anything.

As for me, in the end, I believe his daughter’s message was both a blessing and a warning. A blessing to show my friend that God truly is watching over him and a warning that all the breaks he’s gotten over the years from his past relapses with never any real consequences, might not necessarily be there in the near future if he continues to choose self-will over God’s will.

Regardless, I’m sure everyone reading this could probably form a different opinion about this story that ranges from it’s all bullshit and means nothing, to it’s all real and was a burning bush of sorts. Personally, for a guy like me who longs to have an encounter with God again, I’m choosing to believe that God spoke through my friend’s daughter in a very loving way that only my friend could appreciate, understand, and accept the message. And because of this, I now have a tremendous amount of gratitude to start my week off with, seeing that God really does answer our prayers…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson