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You Deserve to Feel Better

Online Therapy for Washington
& California Residents

Have you ever noticed that there's this internal commentator that follows you around?  It's a voice that has something to say to just about everything -- from the mundane (how much you hate flossing, but are proud of yourself for developing a good habit) to the profound (Am I doing enough with my life?).  I have yet to meet a person who does not have this internal narrator.  It seems to come along with being human. 

Taneille Smith, LMFT&LMHC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This voice can wreak havoc on our lives, though.  For me, the best way to understand this phenomenon is to think about the Buddhist concept of the 2nd arrow.  According to this tradition, suffering is an inherent part of life -- we all will age, lose people, places and things that we love.  None of us are immune to suffering.  This is life's 1st arrow.

 

 

The 2nd arrow, however, is the judgy internal commentator that evaluates and criticizes the 1st arrow.  For example, you recently moved and are struggling with the challenges and hassles that go along with moving.  Change is not easy and you're in the thick of it.  The inherent discomfort that comes along with a big change is the 1st arrow.  The 2nd arrow comes in the form of internal comments like "It's been a while since we've moved, why don't I have any friends?  What's wrong with me?"   Now your already difficult circumstances are compounded by feeling inadequate.  Your struggle just got way more intense.

 

 

This voice, or this 2nd arrow, is an additional layer to your struggle.  I know, because it's become clear to me that it's the primary source of my suffering and that of the many people I've worked with over several years.  I am convinced that our work as messy and flawed humans, is to dodge or catch that second arrow as best we can.  So, that is how I think about my role as a therapist -- a kind of  arrow catcher.  Life can be hard enough.  I help people navigate those 2nd arrows and move through life's struggles with greater ease.

Have you ever noticed that there's this internal commentator that follows you around?  It's a voice that has something to say to just about everything -- from the mundane (how much you hate flossing, but are proud of yourself for developing a good habit) to the profound (Am I doing enough with my life?).  I have yet to meet a person who does not have this internal narrator.  It seems to come along with being human. 

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