Do you need to shoot that second arrow?
A great warrior was walking through a dense forest long ago, and an arrow suddenly struck her. The sharp and intense pain cascaded throughout her body in a few minutes.
As she tried to push away the pain, her mind started racing. Who shot this arrow? How can I find them and retaliate? She worried that she couldn't leave the forest in her state. The worry, anxiety, and anger swelled within her. She felt the second arrow's effects- it's one she shot at herself.
This classic Buddhist parable on the relationship between pain (first arrow) and suffering (second arrow) is foundational to my recovery story.
My medical team painted a bleak future for me in the early days. The accident was a slow-motion moment that shattered my life as I knew it. It was my first arrow, and the pain was unrelenting, but as laid in my hospital bed, I pulled back the bow and fired the second arrow.
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Life is a miracle...don't take it for granted.