“The blazing fire makes flames and brightness
out of everything thrown into it.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Amor Fati” is a concept developed by the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics. It’s specifically a Latin phrase which means “the love of one’s fate.” We’ve all faced various forms of adversity and come upon different obstacles in our lives. The denial of reality can often stifle our growth and the repression of our experience can wither at us until we are left with no choice but to face it. Acceptance on the other hand is like the opening of our eyes to see what’s before us. It doesn’t mean we are content with where we are and where someone or something else is. It merely means we accept our experience or the obstacle as something that is real to us.
When we consider the quote above, I can’t help but think of a sail boat that takes in the winds to move itself forward. It’s capturing the experience of life, the reality of adversity and using it to move us ahead. It’s the flame which takes the pleasant and unpleasant, the adverse and desirable, the problem and the solution, and uses them all to be strengthened in intensity and brightness. It’s recognizing that no emotion is good or bad but merely information to respond to in a way that we see fit. We can use everything in life to serve us so that we move beyond what we want and don’t want, and into being resourceful in every way with everything.
This doesn’t mean we don’t cry or that we don’t express unpleasant emotions. This isn’t a fake it till you make with a deceptive smile. This is a way of seeing how even the worst things can be the greatest gifts and sometimes the best things can be our worst nightmare. Unexpected wealth can result in the loss of friends and other unforeseen consequences. Early childhood difficulty can develop a unique desire in adulthood to help others. How are we choosing to respond? When something occurs, are we willing to accept it as it is so we can adapt to it in such a way that we become better and those around us are strengthened by our personal evolution? How are you exercising “amor fati” in your own life?
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