Amor Fati

I also Amor Calvin and Hobbes because he pretty much says everything that I'm thinking only in a more clever way.

I also Amor Calvin and Hobbes because it pretty much says everything that I’m thinking only in a more clever way.

It occasionally happens that when I read several books in rapid succession I discover connections between them that I never expected to find when I checked them out from the library. Lately, this concept has been one of “Amor Fati” or, a love of one’s fate. It came up as a theme in the novel “Life after Life” by Kate Atkinson which tells the story of Ursula- a woman who lives her life over and over again in a multitude of variations.

Within the same stack of books I happened to pick out a copy of the writings of Marcus Aurelius which deals with the concepts and values of stoicism: one of which is the acceptance of one’s circumstances- good or bad- as part of life as motivated by the divine impulse in all things. Not that I’m doing it justice with my ham-handed description of this concept- divine impulse? That’s jargon if ever I heard it- sure proof that I am no expert on the subject- but my interpretation of the stoic philosophy is that there is an element of the divine in all things (they call that “pantheism”, kids) and that since the divine is in everything one has to accept both good and bad moments within one’s life as being part of a divine system.

In other words: The Force Is With You.

At any rate, it sounds good in theory, but it isn’t an easy philosophy to live by.

It is just a few short days before the start of classes and my body is screaming at me. For the past week I have been alternating between anxiety and fatigue on a daily basis. The anxiety comes as trembling hands, a pounding heart, difficulty getting a full, deep breath, and a twitching eyelid. Eating feels like a lot of work, but if I don’t eat my blood sugar drops making all the symptoms exponentially worse. The alternative is mind numbing fatigue that saps all my strength and makes my bones feel like they are made out of heavy, brittle glass resonating with every little vibration. Everything feels like too much work. Caffeine helps lift me out of the fatigue, but sends me straight back into the anxiety.

I just can’t win.

I’m trying to accept this as my fate: I believe that it is my body’s way of trying to deal with the idea of the start of classes, which is going to add a large number of new variables into my life. It is this uncertainty that I think is the real thing hanging over my head like a sword of Damocles that is keeping me on this emotional slalom. Waiting is hard. Uncertainty is hard. The emotional ups and downs are misery itself.

But I have to think that it is worth it: or, at least, that there is no point in avoiding it. Every life has stress and misery (and anybody who tells you otherwise is selling you something) so I might as well soldier through it and keep pursuing the things things that I am interested in since that is what will make it all worth it in the end.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 22, 2014.

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