The concept of grappling with "What’s So" is fundamental to breaking out of various forms of suffering and discontent. Many people, however, find it difficult to confront reality head-on, often sidestepping it for a multitude of reasons, both conscious and unconscious. Understanding why people resist facing "What’s So" requires an examination of psychological, emotional, societal, and sometimes even physiological factors that underpin human behavior.
Firstly, humans have a deep-rooted aversion to discomfort and pain, a survival mechanism that often serves us well in immediate, life-threatening situations. However, this same instinct can work against us when the issue at hand requires introspection and facing uncomfortable truths. Confronting "What’s So" often involves acknowledging our limitations, failures, or the harsh realities we’re embedded in—like a job we dislike, a relationship that’s unfulfilling, or a personal habit that’s damaging. The emotional discomfort that accompanies such realizations can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to live in denial or delusion. This immediate relief, however, is often short-lived and paves the way for long-term suffering.
Secondly, cognitive dissonance can be a powerful deterrent against facing "What’s So." When individuals hold conflicting beliefs, ideas, or values simultaneously, it creates a state of mental tension. This is often resolved through rationalization, enabling the person to continue avoiding the uncomfortable truth. For example, someone might know that smoking is bad for their health ("What’s So"), but they continue smoking because they believe it helps them relax or socialize. This internal contradiction can cause stress and discomfort, but rather than face it, they may create rationalizations that further entrench their behavior, adding layers of complexity to their suffering.
Thirdly, societal and cultural factors can play a significant role in our willingness to deal with "What’s So." Society often imposes norms, roles, and expectations on individuals. The pressure to conform can be intense, forcing people to wear masks that hide their true selves or live lives that don’t align with their authentic desires and values. Acknowledging "What’s So" in such cases may mean a potential loss of social standing, relationships, or even economic stability, making the stakes high and adding another layer of resistance.
Fourthly, many people lack the emotional intelligence or the practical tools to face reality. Coping skills like resilience, open-mindedness, and emotional regulation are not innate qualities but learned behaviors. Without these tools, or without awareness of how to use them, confronting "What’s So" can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Sometimes, socioeconomic factors also come into play, limiting people’s access to educational or therapeutic resources that could help them develop these skills.
The refusal or inability to confront "What’s So" is often a multi-faceted issue, shaped by instinctual aversions, cognitive mechanisms, societal pressures, and a lack of emotional and practical tools. The irony is that while avoiding "What’s So" may offer short-term relief, it often perpetuates and even exacerbates the very problems one seeks to escape.
On the flip side, facing "What’s So" is usually the first, indispensable step towards genuine change, growth, and the alleviation of suffering. The courage to confront reality can set in motion a virtuous cycle, where acceptance leads to action, which in turn brings about a more favorable "What’s So," enhancing overall well being.
Continuing on the theme of facing "What’s So," it’s crucial to highlight that this willingness to confront reality also opens the door to deeper forms of self-awareness and transformation. It’s not just about addressing the immediate issues at hand—whether they’re related to relationships, career, or personal well-being—but also about fostering a mindset that’s grounded in reality and is thus more adaptable and resilient.
People who consistently avoid confronting "What’s So" are often stuck in repetitive cycles, doomed to face the same issues again and again. This is because the root causes of their problems remain unaddressed. Avoidance might bring momentary comfort, but it fails to provide the insights or the learning experiences that come from facing challenges head-on. Avoiding the reality of a situation essentially limits one’s personal growth and development.
Moreover, not facing "What’s So" can have ripple effects that extend beyond the individual to impact their relationships with others and their broader community. When people aren’t honest with themselves, they are less likely to be honest with others. This lack of authenticity can breed mistrust and insecurity, eroding the quality of interpersonal relationships.
Moreover, if a large number of people in a community or society are not dealing with "What’s So," this can lead to collective forms of denial and dysfunction. For instance, if a community ignores the reality of systemic issues like racism, inequality, or environmental degradation, these problems are likely to persist or worsen, affecting the well-being of the entire community.
The ability to face "What’s So" is also an essential component of leadership—whether it’s in a family, a workplace, or a nation. Leaders who refuse to deal with reality can make poor decisions based on skewed perceptions or wishful thinking, setting a course that could lead to failure or even catastrophe. On the other hand, leaders who are willing to confront "What’s So," assess the situation objectively, and act accordingly are more likely to find sustainable solutions to problems and inspire trust among those they lead.
To sum up, the reasons many people suffer from not facing "What’s So" are manifold, influenced by psychological tendencies, emotional roadblocks, societal pressures, and sometimes a simple lack of awareness or resources. Yet, the cost of this avoidance is high, not just for individuals but for society at large.
Acknowledging "What’s So" is often the first step toward not just solving immediate issues but also unlocking a more fulfilling, authentic life. It fosters personal growth, strengthens relationships, and enables better decision-making. Most importantly, it provides a pathway out of suffering, leading to a life that’s more in tune with one’s authentic self and the complex realities of the world we live in.
My inspiration of dealing with “What’s So” came from Werner Erhard. A true genius!
Below is his account of “What’s So” that has transformed my life!
What’s so is always just what’s so. What’s so doesn’t care what you think, feel, intend or wish; it will not bend. You can be freaked out or driven over what’s so, and it won’t change what’s so. If you’re late for an appointment, getting freaked out about it won’t have you arrive any earlier. If you’re having a bad day, being freaked out won’t change what’s so. That which you seek will not bring you satisfaction – aligning with what’s so will. When you’re upset, you’re never upset over what’s so. What’s so is just what’s so.
If your house burns down and you get upset, does it bring your house back? What’s so doesn’t care if you’re upset; it’s up to you how you handle what’s so. There is no confusion in what’s so. When you don’t know you just don’t know – there is no confusion there. There’s nothing right or wrong about what’s so. What’s so is always open to different interpretations. There’s always just what’s so, and then you have an interpretation. What scares you isn’t what’s so, it’s your interpretation. The interpretation is never true; what’s so is real, the interpretation is not.
Who you’re being is just who you’re being, and what’s so doesn’t care if you’re happy with it or not, so why should you? When you’re not being with what’s so, that’s also just what’s so. Why should you concern yourself? Other people should always be the way they’re being; if you think they shouldn’t, that’s your interpretation. Bring yourself back to what’s so about them. Until you can be with what’s so, you can’t be with anything or anyone. You may have control over other people’s what’s so, but none over their interpretation – give it up.
If you take action or not, it’s still just what’s so. If it works out well or not, it’s still just what’s so. You can never make a right or wrong decision, or take a right or wrong action. Whatever you do will always bring you more of what’s so, and then you have an interpretation about it. Whatever you don’t have, so what? Whatever you’ve done or thought in the past, again so what? Whatever happens in the future is not to be feared. It’s just going to be more of what’s so. The challenge is to spend as much time in what’s so as you can. The chatter in your head is more interpretation, and it has nothing to do with what’s so. There is nothing wrong with chatter, it’s just you listening to a fantasy.
The thought that there is something wrong is an illusion; there is nothing wrong, there is only what’s so. Notice when you’re comparing what’s so to some fantasy of how it should be. Bring yourself back to what’s so and it will be O.K. Ask yourself what’s so, and align with that. Align with what’s so and it will not matter. That is the foundation of transformation and satisfaction. Not aligning with what’s so is the only thing that will ever bring you hardship or suffering. Life in what’s so will bring you harmony and grace and balance [to face what’s so 😃].
Ask yourself – what’s so about your situation?