The Second Dart

The Second Dart post page

Linn Possell

By Linn PossellAugust 15th, 2019

The Second Dart


by Reverend Linn Possell,
PAC Speaker and Mentor

In one of the sacred traditions they talk about how we suffer because of what is called the second dart.  The first dart we cannot control, but the second dart we can control.  First darts are things that occur in our life that cause us stress, and while these pains and frustrations of our life are unavoidable, we do have control over our response and how we think about these pains and frustrations. When something unavoidable happens in our life, we have control over what we choose to do next.  Sometimes what we do or think, becomes a second dart and this is the dart that can cause us even more stress than the first. The reactive thoughts that create negativity in our lives are called second darts.  The reactions of fear and frustration are second darts. Second darts are what we throw at ourselves. These are our judgements and reactions to the first dart. Second darts are responsible for the majority of our day to day suffering. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Be mindful of your thoughts and notice when these thoughts start to wander. Notice the stories you are telling yourself and if they are causing you more stress. When our loved one is living with dementia, they can often become distressed. This distress can have many causes, but how we respond to this distress makes all the difference. Below is a meditation that may help prevent you from throwing a second dart and causing more stress either to yourself or your loved one. When you or your loved one become distressed, take a moment before responding and say this mediation. It may help you refocus your energy. Because, after all, we usually want to be happy and peaceful as well as helping our love to be happy and peaceful as well.


Before each sentence, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out and say…

May I be well.

May I be happy.

May all things go well for me.

May I be peaceful.

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May all things go well for you.

May you be peaceful.

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