It’s the second arrow that screws you up

second arrow stuff


What screws us up most is the picture in our head of how it's supposed to be


The Buddha once asked a student,

"If a person is struck by an arrow is it painful?" 

The student replied,

"It is."

The Buddha then asked,

"If a person is struck by a second arrow, is it even more painful?."

The student the replied again,

"It is."

The Buddha then explained,

"In life we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The second arrow is optional."

The Buddhist concept of the Second Arrow.


The Second Arrow is a metaphor to demonstrate how the only thing we can control about the wounds of the first arrow - the things that hurt us, like life dramas, injustice, prejudice, hateful gossiping, ill health and death of a loved one etc is the way we respond to the situation.


The Second Arrow represents what we do after the first has struck. It can be far more deadly than the first. It's what makes us emotional and irrational, it leads to endless second guessing, blaming, refusing to let go, self destructive habits.


[bctt tweet="When we're hurting we want to push that pain back right in the face of whoever or whatever 'did it' to us. " username="SallyCanning"]


The naff thing about that kind of behaviour is that the feelings never decrease. In fact, they're often amplified. Kind of like what goes around comes around. It's a never ending circle.


Like it or not pain is part of our life experience. Feel it. How we respond is up to us. Knowing about the second arrow may just help us through those difficult times.  It could just be our opportunity for enlightenment and growth x.


Does this make sense to you? What makes you go round and round in circles?

Please do share your thoughts in the space below xx



1 Comment

  1. Trish on December 15, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    And so often we feel the pain and then keep it deep inside our heart where, although it’s hidden from view, it continues to hurt us. You helped me Sally to acknowledge the pain I carried deep inside myself and showed me a way to get rid of the pain through tapping. The memory of what caused the pain is still there but it no longer causes the heartbreak it once did. Thank you.

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