In the recent bestseller, “Life After Life” written by Kate Atkinson, I learned this beautiful term, “Amor Fati”—which is Latin for accepting or loving your fate.
The concept comes from Marcus Aurelius who wrote an ancient guide for how to conduct one’s life and how to develop as a person. His work was very important to the German philosopher, Frederick Nietzsche who, in his book, Ecce Homo, wrote:
"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—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it."
Doesn’t that seem terribly familiar? It is so close to our twelve-step ideas of “ceasing to fight everything and everyone”, and “not regretting the past.”
Amor fati means acceptance. Whatever happens to you, embrace it, the good and the bad equally. We accept life on life’s terms. Amor fati: that might just be worthy of a tattoo.