Amor Fati: How to Love our Fate
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. — Friedrich Nietzsche.
Have you ever wish to change the course of your life?
I have—several times. The first thing that came to mind is obviously I wish my Father is still alive so he could see me grow up and that I have guidance in life, a role model, someone to look up to. And then there come several chaotic moments in my romantic relationship. I admitted some of those people I’ve met; I wish I didn’t meet them nor build any relationship with them. From 2017 to 2021, there are times that I keep wishing to escape my terrible life circumstances: a failed scholarship attempt, the end of a romantic relationship that bleeds into every aspect of my life, liaisons with people who sucked me dry, jobs I ruined because of my terrible mental state.
But, how could I move forward if I keep on ruminating on the past? The study of Stoicism once again helped me continue living and arrive at the point of acceptance. My life has been divinely granted to me by fate. The bad, the chaos, the good, the in-between, I would not wish to live it differently. Stoicism also taught me that tragedy, obstacles and adversity are good and necessary for me. It is the fuel for my potential, a chance for reflections. As I frequently stated:
“The phoenix has to die so it can rises up from the ashes.”
To not only love life but embrace it.
In my drunken, depressed moments, I frequently agonize whether life would have turned out better if my Dad is still around, if I hadn’t cheated, if I studied more for my graduate school, if I hadn’t forced my way to a relationship when I’m not ready. However, it is actually impossible to know if this is true. I could spend time wasting my energy looking back with regret and feeling continuously sorry about myself. But, I also slowly learn that this energy would be better if I direct it instead of embracing and accepting my life as it is and focusing on things that I can control: the present moment and only the present moment. It is human nature to dwell and pity ourselves. Still, following the wisdom of Nietzsche, Frankl, and the Stoic philosophers, it is better to love and embrace my fate, treating tragedies as a necessary part of my development as a person and is essential to build my emotional resiliency.
If it happened, then it was meant to happen.
Before I finished graduate school, my oldest sister gave me a piece of wisdom she told me that:
“I don’t want you to waste your potentials feeling sorry for yourself and being sad all the time.”
I did, and maybe from time to time still wallow in self-pitying mode. Without diminishing my past trauma, challenges, and tragedy, though, I am really learning to accept and understand that most of the time, things are really beyond my control. Even if I work really hard to achieve something, something might get in the way, and I am learning, slowly, that it is okay and everything is necessary to a long life journey of growth.