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Why, the preverbal question...

Updated on November 14, 2014

Why...does it matter...?

I used to believe knowing ‘why’ someone did something, or why something horrible happened, or had to happen, would somehow allow me to make peace with the past, heal from the past, get past the past, free me from the past. There are so many things I wanted, needed, questioned, wondered about, worried about, was consumed with, and convinced of, that if only I knew why, it would somehow fix things, make things better, or at least make it easier to accept. I just wanted, and thought, I needed to know why, I just felt compelled to figure out why. It’s such a ‘simple’ question really, or so it seems, or would seem, yet, it is so complex in its simplicity. For so many events, actions, thoughts, ideas, dreams, things, have their reasons or purpose for as to why, but the problem is that knowing why doesn’t change that they have taken place, occurred, and or happened. After all, what’s done is done, it is what it is.

I hate that phrase so much: ’it is what it is.’ I swear I want to scream when I hear it. I hate it almost as much as when someone says, ‘I don’t know’ as an answer to a question and expects that will somehow suffice. Yet, that is often the answer one receives when asked why, they did what they did, do what they do, say what they say, feel the way they feel, felt the way they felt, thought what they thought, think what they think, and or said what they said. It seems no one can agree why people do what they do, why things happen the way they happen, or why anyone does anything. The why varies from person to person and is often contingent upon ones beliefs, faith, ideas, spirituality, personality, etc. Which is why is not so easy to answer, and precisely why I loathe the phrase, ‘it is what it is.’ “It is what it is,” this is the phrase that is somehow supposed to motivate one to pick themselves up and ‘get over it,’ move on with their lives, make peace with it, deal with it? Really? These are the words of wisdom, the pearls of wisdom, 'it is what it is' is the answer/solution to all life's problems? Wow, I feel enlightened. Now why didn’t I think of that? It makes me feel all warm and tingly inside, I find so much comfort in those words…as much comfort as I find/found when someone tells me they ‘knew all along’ about something pertaining to my life-something I knew nothing about. I’d ask why they didn’t feel it was important, or relevant enough, to tell me back when I could have benefited from that knowledge or insight, yet, you somehow deem it important, and or relevant, to mention it, but only after the fact, before it became what it is. I'd ask why, but it would be redundant, and besides, I know the answer, it is what it is.

There are many whys I would love to have answered and wish I had the answer to, but the truth is, accepting why, has proven to be far more helpful to me, than knowing why. Knowing why, needing to know why, and wanting to know why, were far more destructive to me, and for me, than accepting why, ever has been. I accept that in life and in everything, good or bad, everything serves a purpose, and while I may never know why or what that purpose is, I must learn to accept it, or at the very least, try and make my peace with it. The only thing I will not and refuse to accept, is failure. So, if this life is a test and everything is a test, I don’t intend to fail, and while I may not pass with flying colors, or even pass my very first try, I’m going to keep going until there is no breath left in me. For me, failure is not an option.


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      Audra 6 years ago

      Yeah, I hate that phrase too.