The Joy of a Flat Tire

Thrice in my life as a driver I have had to change a flat, and in two of those instances I was already in the midst of a hot-headed moment, but rather than compounding the anger and compelling me to wield the tire iron as a weapon, it deflated it and pulled me out of that cloud of self-absorption. Calamity can be extremely self-revelatory, a perfect opportunity for realizing our capabilities by throwing us dead center into the whirring present, a place many of us rarely reside in any given moment, and all the better when we have no choice but to act. If you can remain open and receptive in such times, your resiliency may surprise you.

Nietzsche emphasized the concept of amor fati, or “love of fate,” as a means to greatness. This love is not so much a matter of rolling over and allowing Life to rub your face in the dirt, a weak complacency of an abusee. It’s a light-hearted embracing that enables you to move through and beyond whatever you’re confronted with. When you turn your burdens into enemies, they become walls, and not only do you suffer the pain of the initial event, but that of banging your head in torment over your “bad fortune,” and the indignity that follows, as well. It’s in these particular moments that we become our own worst punishers, because we alone are responsible for our emotions, including the ones that wind us into a positive feedback loop of misery. Rather than true victims of circumstance robbed of control, it is often an unfortunate example of an individual with a total loss of perspective and a deflated will. When you take these heavy moments by the hand, make their acquaintance, and go down deep, all the way through their respective levels of Hell with them, you are refined that much more, revealing a brilliant new layer of yourself.

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