Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional…

Life is full of contrast and the highest wisdom is to understand that things are the way they are because of conditioning, cause and effect and co-creation, and we can only shift that through the gift of awareness. It is the ‘I’ that is forever changing as we evolve and it is the ability to release the attachment to a material quantifiable purpose and align with an expansive transcendent purpose.

This can only be achieved through a process of deconstruction and contemplating the idea that we don’t actually change because we are ferociously attached to ‘who we are!’ When life throws us a curve ball, as it inevitably does, we attach a negative feeling to it which is interpreted by our default mechanism- the challenge is to take that original information and change it into transformation through the process of conscious awareness.

This is beautifully explained in the teachings of the Buddha and the ‘2nd arrow parable’. In simplistic terms, we face 2 arrows in life – the first is the painful event or situation and the second is our response to what happened. It seems that universally we seem to turn on ourselves when the first arrow strikes and label ourselves as not good enough, there is something wrong with me, I am unlovable and the list goes on.

Even though we cannot control our external environment we can notice the pattern or conditioning – the self-blame that is synonymous with suffering and the unnecessary pain of ‘setting up shop’ in our reptilian brain is inevitable when our default or set point is LACK!

We have a choice at this pivotal point and that becomes our saving grace!

Can you relate to this as a Care Giver? Have you ever had a client fall on your watch and thought about how that makes you feel? Does your inner critic have a field day? Does your self-talk look something like this -’ I should have been more attentive, it’s my fault, I am so stupid – this could cost me my job! and so the onslaught of abuse continues until we are completely consumed with guilt (I feel bad) and shame (I am bad)

Here comes the choice – do we unpack and stay there or do we put a stop to the destructive momentum of invasive thoughts and say – ‘I see you 2nd arrow…’

Recognizing that this is a pattern is quite cathartic because it does not represent reality, but rather a faulty interpretation of it! Reframing our experience by validating how we feel can go a long way to dispelling self-loathing that is fueled by attempting to think our way out of situations.

Could our self-talk rather look something like this … it is understandable that you feel terrible, it is frightening when something like this happens, That must have been terrible…

This is when a CONSCIOUS CONVERSATION becomes invaluable – finding that person who you can trust to create a safe space. A place where illuminating the unconscious can unravel the reservoir of conditioning that keeps us trapped in a loop of destructive thoughts and feelings. A person who can serve as a guide who can honour where you are with neutrality and help with that all-important shift out of the matrix and the illusion of reality to true authentic living!

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