Given that I recently got a tattoo of the phrase ‘amor fati’ (which means to love one’s fate), I wanted to write a short reflection on what the term continues to mean for me.
There is no doubt that we continue to live in uncertain times. No one quite knows where we are going and what the future holds. We exist in a liminal space of unknowing; a time of transition between worlds.
It is easy to cling onto the promises of ideologies which proclaim they have the ‘right answers’ to move forward. They relieve our anxieties and give us a map to make sense of the world. However, I’ve come to realize that all these assurances are just a façade. The efforts of the modern world to influence and control the will of nature still remain futile at best.
Nothing is ever set in stone.
Nothing is ever guaranteed.
The external world is and will always remain in a state of change and constant flux. ‘Amor fati’ is a reminder to cultivate inner strength and fortitude. We may not know what the future holds, but if we develop the virtues, character and resilience to overcome whatever arises, we will be alright. As the Stoics constantly remind us, we can not control out events but rather we can influence how we interpret them.
So, in the spirit of ‘amor fati’, let me learn to love everything which happens in my life – the good, the bad and the great unknown. This is what I believe to be is the spiritual path. It requires one to be fully present, and embrace the full spectrum of our human existence.
To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
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