In Buddhism the second arrow is referred to as the way we treat ourselves. The first arrow is life and what happens to us, the second arrow is the one we turn back on ourselves adding more insult to injury.
Just have a scan through the list below and see if you have applied the second arrow this week.
- In an argument with someone you came away thinking there was actually something wrong with you. eg. I’m too weak, stupid, emotional, angry, mad.
- You didn’t complete something you meant to or it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would and you told yourself off for not being more organised.
- You let someone down because you were late/ tired/ forgetful/lazy so you told yourself you are always letting people down.
- You over ate and you reinforced your age old belief you have an eating problem/ disorder/ you are too fat/ thin
- You felt stressed at work and wondered why you couldn’t get you act together.
- You cooked a meal and burnt something and thought to yourself, why do I always do that? If I paid more attention I would not make so many mistakes.
Somewhere in the week you blamed yourself, shamed yourself, judged yourself and reinforced old beliefs. You felt unworthiness or self-aversion or spiraled yourself into web of non deserving.
Somewhere in time you realised that you fell short of who you wanted to be.
In short we believe that when the first arrow hits us there is something terribly wrong with us. We wonder how we got ourselves in ‘this’ situation.
Practice for today: If you make a mistake or don’t meet your own high standards today, let that be the only part of the story, put a full stop there. Try not to add blame or judgement towards yourself, leave the second arrow behind. It is possible to believe that there is actually nothing wrong with you and you are doing just fine. Today practice being kind to yourself.