I first heard that phrase just over a year ago, and it started a whole new phase of evolution in my life.
I heard it from Lucia Horan as she taught a 5rhythms workshop in Dallas. She mentioned who coined the phrase, but I don’t remember.
When I first heard this phrase, it resonated in a way that “It is what it is” can’t and never could. That’s because “It is what it is” has no movement. It implies inertia. Dead weight. Something to complain about.
But “Right now it is like this” has movement. It is grounding. It acknowledges that this moment right here—the present—is all that exists. Perhaps it’s not exactly what I want. Perhaps I feel emotions I don’t like or don’t want to accept.
But those feelings, those emotions, are temporary. They will pass. This phrase helps me accept it—because when I say “Right now,” that means I could (and probably will) feel differently in just a few minutes. That means I can change my perception, change my attitude, and, just like that—shift. Move. Gain forward momentum.
And, the second part, “It is like this,” reminds me to name my feelings. Name the situation. Describe it and what it feels like, so that the next time it comes around, I’ll recognize it faster—which also means I’ll recognize that I can move through it, too.
And in variably, I do—and quickly.
In other words, “Right now it is like this” is empowering.
|The tattoo isn't blurry... that's from my camera phone not knowing exactly where to focus. :)|
And now I have to share the story about actually getting this phrase tattooed on my arm.
I knew who I wanted to do the lettering. I’d stalked his Instagram for a while, and although I love his lettering, it’s not really “my style” as far as something I would want permanently on my body. But I still felt he was the right guy to do it—so, I went with it.
I was frustrated that day because I was in the middle of the push-pull of trying to open my heart to the man I was dating, yet I kept pulling back (now I know why... *ahem)… I felt out of control, and I was struggling to trust myself (and him). And, he called me out on it—and there I was, in Denton, at the tattoo shop… my heart pounding because I wasn’t sure what would happen with the guy, but I also wanted to make sure this tattoo turned out just right, too.
(Even now as I read over that last paragraph, I’m smiling at my own control issues. I am a “recovering” control freak. Sometimes I fall off the wagon, though…)
I met with Joe (Zombie Joe, aka Joe Chavez) and told him what I wanted—in excruciating detail. He came back up front with a drawing, and I didn’t like it. I made some suggestions of what to change, and he went back to draw it again.
When he came back out, it looked somewhat better, but I still didn’t like it.
He went back to the drawing board a third time and emerged to the front of the shop with a few more drawings.
I still wasn’t happy with the drawing, and I became increasingly frustrated.
I could tell Joe was frustrated, too.
At that point, he had a little “come to Jesus” talk with me. He told me that he was an artist who had won awards all over the world for his lettering. “This is what I do,” he said.
He asked me to just… let him do his thing.
I immediately understood where he was coming from. I agreed. He popped up off the couch—clearly re-energized—and disappeared into the back.
He came back up front a few minutes later with a sly grin on his face.
When he showed me the drawing, I immediately loved it and felt overcome. Tears came to my eyes as I nodded yes and said, “I love it.”
“Really?” He said.
Later, I thanked him for talking sense into me and I pointed out the irony of the whole thing—with how much I struggled with trying to control the tattoo, when “Right now it is like this” actually helps me differentiate between my emotions and feelings (which I cannot control) vs. how I respond to them and what I do with them (which is within my control).
(And yeah, we had a good laugh about that.)
When I look at this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind scripting on my arm, I can’t help but smile.
Right now, it is like this.