See, yesterday, an adult said something hurtful to my daughter. And I have been in a "state" ever since she told me about it -- imagining and re-imagining my confrontation with this adult, thinking about the effect on my child's psyche, ruminating on why this line was crossed.
In other words, I added more pain.
Earlier this week before this happened, a friend reminded me of the Buddhist teaching of "the second arrow." I'm no expert on Buddhist teachings but as I understand it, the lesson is that life launches arrows at us and we are going to, inevitably, take some hits. People are not always kind; accidents happen; stress builds; loved ones die. When we are hit, though, we don't have to shoot "the second arrow."
"The second arrow" is the mental reactivity to the first arrow. Rather than just sitting and breathing into the situation mindfully and waiting for the right response to emerge from the heart center, we dive into a swirling, chaos of thoughts. And what happens as we drown in that sea of negativity? We suffer. The suffering is the second arrow.
So, even though I had just been reminded of the the second arrow, when I got triggered yesterday, I dove right into my messy, angry mind and flailed... and suffered.
I sat in meditation this morning before the sun and that helped. Writing this right now is helping. Meditation, writing, and my community are my life rafts. So thank you for being there and for being in community with me.
Who are we as a community? I know I speak for Savitri too when I say that we want our community to be people who come together to heal. We recognize that life's arrows will come but, with our practice, we can move through and beyond the pain. And hopefully, we (I) can learn to stop compounding the pain by suffering our thoughts. When we falter, we can remember again. We can remind each other. We can remember together.
May the Truth in you guide you.