Acceptance - Amor Fati
We have an expression here in Scotland, and it may not be particular to us, that
says, “Shit happens.” It is a simple existential observation that life is full of
unpredictable events; Spaniards say,"Así es la vida" the French, "C'est la vie",
in German, “Das ist das Leben.”
Indeed, the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, described his formula
for human greatness as amor fati - a love of fate, “That one wants nothing to be
different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what
is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.”
In other words, to quote yet another aphorism, “It is what it is.”
The first point in healing is to accept what is. Which is why our aphorism here at the Radical Healer is Face it Embrace it Replace it – in other words, you cannot heal what you will not face. Face facts, you have these symptoms, you behave in a certain way, you have this lifestyle. Only then can you make changes. Embrace it – get to know your symptoms, how your lifestyle creates or adds to your condition, know what it is you need to take responsibility for and do differently. Then, set out on the journey to Replace It – or even reverse your condition.
But you have to begin by acknowledging where you are at …amor fati, shit happens, it is what it is. But that is the start point. From there you can add – and what now, what next, so what.
You don’t stay stuck in the shit, the amor fati … so what if life has dealt you a dumb pack of cards … go change the pack, find out what you can do to make your life different, take responsibility for turning your life around, Don’t wallow in amor fati.
A Stoic, a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining and /or a member of the ancient philosophical school of Stoicism, Epictetus, a crippled slave who faced adversity after adversity, said the same: “Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens, happens the way it happens: then you will be happy.” Things happen for a reason and rather than whinging on about the fact they happened, acknowledge they happened and ask, “now what?”
Amor fati is the Stoic mindset that you take on for making the best out of anything that happens: Treat each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. All events occur for a reason, and it is within your capacity to see this reason as positive. You may never know WHY something happened but it is your choice to see the lesson in it.
When we accept what happens to us, after understanding that certain things— particularly bad things—are outside our control, we are left with this: accepting whatever happens to us and facing it with stoicism and strength, is more likely to win the day than not.
The goal is not: I’m okay with this or not: I ought to feel good about this. The goal is It happened; I am going to make the best of it. And proceed to do exactly that.
An event occurs, amor fati is the response.
Sometimes the Universe influences “bad” things to make us wake up and pay attention, to divert our course to one that ultimately is for our greater good.
Yes, it’s a little unnatural to accept, face and embrace things we never wanted to happen in the first place. But what other, worse things might this one be saving us from? What might we learn from this unchosen experience? What good, events might result from it, equally unexpected?
People often look back on “bad times” and say they turned out to be for the good. So why not embrace the “bad” now? Give up even judging it as bad or awful or hellish. Embrace it as it is what it is, amor fati.
If life deals you a blow, simply say, "Amor fati" and ask, "What next?"
You cannot heal what you will not accept.
Amor fati - it is what it is