There is a Buddhist saying: "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional". This is often illustrated with the story of the two arrows.
Imagine you are walking along and you are hit by an arrow, obviously it will hurt! There is nothing you could have done differently to avoid the arrow, you were in it's path and that's that.
The 'second arrow' is how you react to the first. If you react by focusing on how you should never have been shot in the first place, or maybe getting angry at the person who shot you, or getting into a story of how unfair life is--this is adding a second arrow of suffering to the first.
Instead, we can choose to accept and observe the pain of the first arrow, letting it move through us and fade into the past, perhaps learning not to walk that same path we got shot on again!
We can see how this translates to life. Pain is indeed inevitable. No life is free from pain, we fall over, we lose people, we get ill, we want things we can't have. All these are first arrows. We can learn, with patience and Mindfulness, to accept these first arrows without creating second ones.
Something I find helpful to when I've found myself busy with a second arrow, is to remember that we are not here for long, we never know the date or hour when life ends or is altered forever, so it is up to me; how do I want to spend my time here?
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