Life is full of negative experiences – accidents happen, relationships break down, people get hurt; we suffer loss and bereavement, illness, and things happen that we have no direct control over. All of these things can be considered as the first dart of suffering – we trip over, we bang our knee on the table, we burn ourselves on the cooker ring, we knock a mug of tea over; someone we are close to falls sick, a friend suffers with depression, a relative dies. And we experience the whole range of emotions that might accompany these life experiences – physical and emotional – in our body. For example, we know we are sad because we might feel it in our stomachs; we know we are angry because we feel it in our chests. Every emotion has a corresponding feeling in the body, to a greater or lesser extent.
However, as humans, we constantly throw a second dart at ourselves too based on the first. If we burn ourselves on the cooker we instantly make a judgement about ourselves – how stupid, what a fool, I’m so clumsy! If we lose someone we love, again we berate ourselves or others – I could’ve done more; why didn’t I say this or that? Because our minds are constantly on the go, constantly thinking, we tend to get caught up in the pain of these second darts. Often, there are a number of secondary darts too following soon after the first.
We can even throw secondary darts at ourselves when there isn’t a first. In fact, if everything is going smoothly we often tend to think it’s a fluke. If someone pays us a compliment we wonder whether they were being genuine; perhaps we can’t believe we are worthy of compliments. If we pass an exam with flying colours again we might let ourselves think it was probably just the luck of the draw and that eventually we’ll be found out as a fraud. All these secondary darts come in response to positive events in our lives!
Mindfulness can help you become more aware of these secondary darts and act accordingly. In fact, I believe it was the Buddha who originally taught us about the two darts of suffering.
Hypnotherapy too can help you identify, and deal with, the patterns of thinking that might be causing undue stress such as bouts of depression or anxiety.
Both can help to put you back in control of your thoughts and ultimately the life you lead.
If you’d like more information on how hypnotherapy and/or mindfulness might be able to help you please get in touch with me, Rachel, at:
Tel – 07733 839 591
Central England Holistic Therapies,
240, Alcester Road South,