7 Arrows – Light Arrow of Self-Acceptance

stamp-1966698_1280Remember, picking up the light arrows build on each other.  We cannot pick up the second arrow without picking up the first one.  And by the time we pick up the seventh Light arrow, we have picked up the other six before it.

The 3rd Light Arrow, which builds on having self-awareness and self-appreciation, is Self-Acceptance.  Choosing Self-Acceptance opens the door for our self-esteem to grow.  It allows us to ask ourselves at any moment or in any situation whether we did or are doing the best we can do based on what we knew/know.

Remember the 3rd dark arrow is judgements.  Often times we look backwards in time and judge our behavior or performance based on what we now know.   Or we judge and put others down so we can feel better.

Knowing deep within yourself that you have done the best you could, given what you knew at the time, provides a moment to take a deep breath, silence the internal pretender voices, and break the pattern of judging self, life, and others.

7 Arrows – Light Arrow of Self-Appreciation

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As we choose the light, centered within our own circle and aligned with all forms of all things, the 2nd Light Arrow we pick up is Self-Appreciation.

Once we choose to become Self-Aware (the 1st Light Arrow), we can create a strong internal concept of self.  Picking up the 2nd Light Arrow of Self-Appreciation provides a a concept of Self-Worth where we find value inside our self.  When we value and appreciate who we are in our uniqueness and individuality, we break the dark arrow of dependencies.  We no longer have the strong externally based wants that placed in the victim, persecutor, rescuer triangle.  We stand strong in our own circle, knowing our bottom lines, maintaining agreements with our self first, and then negotiating clear agreements with others.

7 Arrows – Light Arrow of Self-Awareness

idea-2009484_1280Remember LIFE IS A CHOICE; when something happens, WE CHOOSE OUR RESPONSE. This choice becomes our action and colors our perception of what continues to happen.  Do we choose the dark (as defined by another and caught off balance within our patterns of pain) or do we choose the light (centered within our own circle and aligned with all forms of all things)?

The 7 Light Arrows are ours for the choosing…  Choosing the Light Arrows breaks the Dark Arrows. Persist in this practice and one day you will discover that the Universe has placed the Rainbow Arrows in your quiver in the place of the Dark Arrows.

The 1st Light Arrow is Self-Awareness, which provides a concept of self, not defined by something external to us.  We are aware of our needs, our resources, what we know and what we don’t know, and when to ask for help. When we pick up this Light Arrow, we break the dark arrow of attachments, which had us attempting to meet needs that were not real by looking outside ourselves.

Can you identify the times that you have become self-aware and had a false need disappear?

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of Ego Self-Importance

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Holding all six dark arrows in time and space (no matter what time it is or what space you’re in), experiencing the tonal (material) enemies of fear, anger, depression and stress, and the nagual (spiritual) enemies of fear, clarity, power, old age and death, we pick up the 7th dark arrow of Ego Self-Importance.  The pretense you might hear when this arrow is chosen is, “It’s my way or the highway.” “I would never/always do that.” “It’s my world and you will just have to find a way to live in it.”

Given that the world does not simply work this way, our buttons are constantly being pushed by the tyrants of life:

  • the weather – it’s too hot, it’s too cold, why is it raining today?, the wind is messing up my hair….
  • time – there’s not enough time, too much time, I’m late, they’re late, you’re wasting my time…
  • inner dialogue – [insert the dark voices inside your head here]
  • other people – family, loved ones, friends, bosses, employees, children, store clerks, and the list goes on…
  • situations – traffic, long lines, road construction, the dog peed on the carpet (again!), my team loss the Super Bowl, and so on…

There is no doubt that by looking outside yourself for the world and its occupants to comply with meeting your every need, you will be tyranted by life, you will have every button pushed.  How can life be any different when you are constantly at the effect and in reaction?

BUT WAIT!  Remember that when something happens, WE CHOOSE OUR RESPONSE. This choice becomes our action and colors our perception of what continues to happen. The 7 Light Arrows are ours for the choosing…

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of the Needy Child Syndrome

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Picking up the 6th dark arrow means we have already picked up the 1st dark arrow of attachments, the 2nd dark arrow of dependencies, the 3rd dark arrow of judgements, the 4th dark arrow of comparisons, and the 5th dark arrow of Expectations. We have created needs that are not based in reality, becoming dependent on them for short-term pleasure and long-term pain. We judge our self, life and others so we feel okay, and have found others that are “like” us so we can put down those who are “not like” us. Our delusions about these non-existent “needs” place in the center of expectations, reliving the past and all of the other “needs” that were not met and projecting to the future, convinced that those needs will not be met either. Sounds pretty bleak!

The 6th arrow on this dark side is the Needy Child Syndrome.  This is the absolute need for love, recognition, acceptance, security, and support from others as a way to define and identify our self.  This is the place where we are constantly looking outside ourselves to feel okay.  This is acceptable as a child who cannot meet their own needs.  But as adults, it becomes total self-indulgence.

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of Expectations

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So far, attachments have been created to people and things that aren’t really needs.  Instead of seeing reality as it is, we form dependencies to justify our choice of short-term pleasure, long-term pain cycle.  We then judge, self, life, and others so we feel okay, forming strong group identities through comparisons to support our judgments and separations.

The fifth dark arrow we pull from the quiver is Expectations.  At this point, we are caught in delusions because we fade back to the past reliving all the past needs that were not met.  Or, we project into the future with how our future needs will not be met either.  With so much time and energy spent in the past and future, we miss out of all the beauty that is happening right now, in the present moment.

When do your expectations keep you choosing pain instead of pleasure?

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of Comparison

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With Attachments, Dependencies, and Judgments in play, the fourth dark arrow in the quiver is Comparison.  Separating ourselves from self, life and others, we look for connection through group identity.  The “I am better (smarter, richer, etc.) than you” becomes “We (my group) are better (smarter, richer, etc.) than them.”  Being at the effect of time, space, and others, we need support systems to verify our judgments and separations are valid.

Can you name all the places where you identify with specific groups so that your judgments are justified?  Do you identify as an apple or an orange?

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of Judgment

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Looking back to the first dark arrow, when we claim to NEED something or someone once our basic reality needs are met, we opt for pain rather than pleasure, shooting the dark arrow of Attachment. Staying at the effect and in reaction, choosing pain over pleasure, the second arrow we pick up is Dependencies.

Judgements is the third dark arrow. These are the moments when our ego puts others down in order to feel okay, creating strong separation.  Our ego self-importance judges others so we can feel bigger, better, stronger or more than those around us.  There are also times when feel smaller, weaker, worse or less than.  We turn the judgment on ourselves, immersing ourselves in self-pity.

Where are the moments when these first three arrows of attachments, dependencies, and judgments appear in your life?  Are there specific situations?  Can you identify the feelings or thoughts that are present just moments before picking up these arrows?

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of Dependency

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When something happens, we choose our response. This choice becomes our action and colors our perception of what continues to happen. Each group of Arrows, whether Dark, Light or Rainbow build on one another.  The second arrow cannot be picked up without first picking up the first arrow.  By the time, we pick up the seventh arrow, the previous six arrows are all at work.

Looking back to the first dark arrow, once our basic reality needs are met and we still claim to NEED something or someone, we opt for pain rather than pleasure, shooting the dark arrow of attachment from our quiver.

Opting for pain rather than pleasure are the choice points that signal a necessary death experience, for example, death of a pattern that is no longer working. These are the emotional shock points necessary for maturation to occur.  Recognizing emotional shock points for what they are, we re-interpret what we claim to need as WANTS.

If we stay at the effect and in reaction, choosing pain over pleasure, the second arrow we pick up within the Circle of Foxes is Dependencies.  Picking up this arrow keeps us from maturing and gets us caught in the adaptive triangle of Persecutor, Victim, Rescuer.

A good example of this is addictions.  In our imbalanced, immature state, we choose long-term pain and create short-term pleasure through using addictive substances, becoming attached to the initial “high” as a NEED.  We know deep inside that we don’t need the addictive substance.  And yet, we still WANT to re-experience the initial state of short-term pleasure again and again, thus creating dependencies on the addictive substances.  Picking up this dark arrow, we become the victim to the substance, whether its food, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, gambling, work, or co-dependent relationships, to name a few.  The substance can also be perceived as the “rescuer,” numbing the emotional pain or stress temporarily.  And ultimately, the substance also becomes our “persecutor”, causing affliction, sickness, disease, and sometimes even death.

Can you think of instances in your life when you initially became attached to a perceived NEED?  Or the moment when you realized this was not actually a NEED, but instead of letting the pattern of pain die, you redefined the NEED into a WANT and kept the pattern of pain going?

7 Arrows – Dark Arrow of Attachment

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When something happens, we choose our response. This choice becomes our action and colors our perception of what continues to happen. When we are at the effect of our own internal pretender voices or pretense, other people, time, space, life in general, we step into our karma circle, chasing our tails round and round like a fox.

In this Circle of Foxes, the first arrow that is selected is Attachments.  This choice is based on strong needs that are out of balance and often motivated by ignorance.  We have basic reality needs such as are food and water, tools and skills, shelter and clothing, healing and knowledge, free will and orgasticness, without which we will truly suffer. Attachment, as an out of balance need, is the moment of choosing long-term pain for the sake of short-term pleasure.

Think of the moments you choose long-term pain for short-term pleasure…  Are you attached to your cup of coffee in the morning or maybe a drink after work? Do you look at your phone before you are even awake and are out of bed in the morning? Maybe your cupboards or refrigerator have to be arranged just so. Maybe it’s the co-dependent relationship or possibly an addictive substance.  How do you create long-term pain in your life by choosing ATTACHMENTS?