Lissa Rankin on Impermanence

I just received this email from Lissa Rankin on impermanence. She talks about how resisting change as a cause for suffering.

Resisting change is just like being hit with a second arrow, as the Buddha put it. He said that the first arrow is the one which causes an injury with its unavoidable pain and suffering. A second arrow would cause even more pain and suffering, but we often suffer more from our reaction to the first arrow and fall apart at the seems.

As long as we are alive, we will have painful experiences, which are like the first arrow. To get all upset by the first arrow and condemn, judge, criticize, hate, or deny the first arrow is like being struck by a second arrow. Many times the first arrow is out of our control, but the arrow of reactivity is not.

second arrow

Dear Jerome,

We resist change, and yet it is the resistance itself that creates our suffering.

We fear change, and yet it is the only way beautiful new creations emerge.

We try to protect ourselves from change by clinging to what we cannot make unchangeable, and then we mourn losing what we never owned to begin with, even when what we’ve lost really didn’t make us happy in the first place.

What if, instead, we embrace change—you and me together—holding onto each other like best friends on a roller-coaster?

Remember, darling, change is inevitable.

Suffering is optional.

Let’s go for the ride . ..
Lissa Rankin, MD from “Your Inner Pilot Light”

Please try to remember to avoid the second arrow and flow with the changes that occur in your life. You’ll be much happier if you recognize, accept, and embrace change in your life.

Books by Lissa Rankin

The Anatomy of a Calling: A Doctor’s Journey from the Head to the Heart and a Prescription for Finding Your Life’s Purpose

Lissa Rankin

We are all, every single one of us, heroes. We are all on what Joseph Campbell calls “a hero’s journey;” we are all on a mission to step into our true nature and fulfill the assignment our souls were sent to Earth to fulfill. Navigating the hero’s journey, Lissa Rankin, MD, argues, is one…

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