|sun halo photo by Kia, a Kiwi living in Tibet|
Amor Fati. That's Latin for Love Thy Fate. It's so much more inspiring than "love your life". When you love your fate you completely embrace everything that you've chosen and everything that has happened to you. You respect your choices and you look straight in the eye into events that have occurred outside of yourself.
Having graduated from a successful Master's program at a university in the heart of Hollywood, I have a lot of uber talented and beautiful and humble friends and acquaintances that have found their way to big success and found themselves in... my dream job. I scroll through my news feeds elated and heart-sick with want when my pals post about their production projects or a new job in my dream company.
When I completed my MFA the world was wide open with a hundred paths that would lead me down "success". I had to close the way to all the paths I felt like my whole life was leading up to because I was so severely ill. It's a strange feeling when life gives you only one choice and it isn't the choice you ever imagined. In some ways it is liberating that life is forcing you so hard down one path you have no option but to just give in and go with it. I challenge you to accept that calling because you never know what amazing places it could take you (also because if you do come across one of those times, resistance is pretty futile :P, so just go with it.).
As I scrolled through and saw another one of my contemporaries successfully work their way into the life I wanted for myself, my face explodes in a smile, and my heart fills with joy for this person, and then suddenly I break down in tears feeling like my opportunities for the same path have all vanished. Then I nearly slap myself silly realizing this may look like ingratitude for the beautiful place life has brought me. I have found the love of my life and moved to Europe. While I don't have the "success" I imagined in terms of high achievement and financial stability, I have a beautiful "wayfinder" life. To say I wish things had been different means that I would negate the miracles that have found me despite my inability to rise to other paths.
It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do. And then when I found the way, Life came in and
swept it all to a different direction. This illness has taught me a little bit about what Pocahontas called following the
wind. You can set your compass in any direction and make all your efforts produce the results you want, but you also have to listen to the wind. Your soul is whispering things to you on a daily basis that show you how the universe outside of you is calling to the universe inside of you. This doesn't mean sitting around waiting for life to happen to you. It means Loving Thy Fate. There is no room for regret or bemoaning how things have turned out. Love every turn life has given you, because I truly believe everything happens for a reason. If right now sucks, remember that you love your fate, and tune in with yourself to figure out what on Earth to do next. One step at a time. As my friend Kristen riffed, "Half a League, Half a League, Half a league onward, marched Zelda toward her health and dreams."
Living in a small town now, looking for a new job, trying to start a career 4 years after finishing school, is a quick journey to the dark parts of the soul. There is no way to explain what I've been through in the last decade, and how day to day life continues to challenge me on a physical level, which then challenges me on an emotional and spiritual level. But I know if I were to speak to a friend in the same situation I would say, "There is nothing you can do which will mean you are no longer loved. Be kind, be honest, do your best. Don't for a minute waste your life trying to be what others think you should be, or what you think the world wants you to be. Listen to the song of your soul and you can do no wrong."
In one of her podcasts, Marianne Williamson describes the love of the Universe never allows for missed opportunities. If for some reason you were not able to show up for one opportunity, the spiral of life will bring about the opportunity again, in the form in which you will be able to accept it. You just have to be open enough to see it, and allow it to be something different from what you expected, because , well I trust at least that perhaps the Universe does a better job of organizing things than I ever could.
Half a League, Half a League, onto this strange unpaved path before me.