Using Amor Fati as a tool for mental clarity
“Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it… but love it.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Life is a difficult and complex journey. Random things happen to us all the time, both good and bad. This is further complicated by all the noise and the distractions in our world. At some point, it all becomes too much, and we get lost in life. Our expectations of what life should be, do not match the reality of what life actually turns out to be. We all have different struggles we face every day as we try to keep our heads above water. Sometimes, we can feel like the needle of a compass that keeps spinning because it can’t find the true north. We need a true north: a guiding philosophy.
One day, I stumbled upon a concept from the ancient philosophy of Stoicism: Amor Fati. And I think this might be the most important tool we could use to get unstuck in life. Amor Fati is Latin for ‘a love of fate’. No matter what happens in life, no matter what life throws at us, we must accept it. Not merely bear it, but actually love it.
As Nietzsche said, “My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it — but love it”.
I picked up this tool as if it’s a compass, and have made it a guiding philosophy for my life. I don’t pretend that I always follow this, but I would like to strive for it. Maybe it will lead me to the things that I want or maybe it will lead me to the complete opposite. Maybe I will find myself or completely lose myself. I hope it will help me get unstuck, but it might simply drown me further. Maybe so. Maybe not. Amor Fati.
“A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.” — Marcus Aurelius