Last week we addressed the first arrow, which is a symbol for the initial pain caused by loss, chaos and impermanence. The first arrow strikes each one of us at different moments along the way.
How do you respond to living in times of great change and difficulty? How do you find your footing when the world seems to be spinning out of control?
This is the second part of a three part series, based on a Buddhist story using arrows as a metaphor. Today I will talk about the second arrow.
II. The second arrow
How do you react when things fall apart?
The second arrow is more painful than the first one, because our minds torture us with reactions against the painful situation. We are beset with what ifs, and why this and why me. Whatever it is, we want it to stop or go away or be different. Our experience of the first arrow is compounded further by blame of oneself or someone or something else.
Our resistance to pain can take many forms, and often goes unnoticed. We become unaware of how aversion works against us. Or, when we do notice our fear, anger or impatience in response to a given situation, we berate ourselves for being imperfect, for being insecure, tired, angry or fearful. The second arrow becomes a flame of blame. This behavior is destructive, and blocks our movement toward the door that opens with pain.Read More