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Second Arrowing

By Madelyn Vida

FRI OCT 01, 2021

In the past month, I have been carrying an arrow in my heart. The woman who I continue to love has asked for "no contact." (Which doesn't stop me from loving her from afar). I was shattered, feeling raw and there were days that all I can do was to stay under the covers. But beyond the initial hurt and grief, I chose to shoot the second arrow at myself.

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 the person is struck by a second arrow is that even more painful?" The student replied again, "it is." The Buddha then explains, "In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of choice.

Self-doubt, the second arrow. I started questioning:

  • Was I worthy?
  • Did I do anything wrong?
  • I should have watched out for red flags.
  • Were we moving too fast?
  • I don't deserve another love.
  • Did I scare her away?
  • Am I not rich or successful enough?
  • Didn't I meet her standards?
  • Was I a rebound?

Wanting validation as I hang on waiting for her to come back. Hoping for her return. Digging deeper as I sit in meditation, I looked at our pictures together and I asked myself what really happened. Are our reality of what transpired between the two of us the same? After all, reality is a matter of perspective.

I embrace the grieving.

Grieving the possibilities, hopes and dreams.

Grieving for the potential of us forever.

Grieving for the loss of self-worth.

Grieving for overlooking my boundaries.

Grieving for not speaking my truth.

I am working on forgiving myself. For all I wanted was to give as much as I can. To share our journey together. To be partners as we flourish in this life.

Acceptance that love and loss belong together. To suffering, attachment, and impermanence. So, for now, I pause and breathe and just be...just for now.

Allow by Danna Faulds

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado.

Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.

Resist, and tide will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.

The only safety lies in letting it all in -

the wild and the weak -

fear, fantasies, failures, and success.

When loss rips off the doors of the heart

or sadness veils your vision with despair,

practice becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your known way of being,

the whole world is revealed to your eyes.