Miriam Hatoum
Buddha's Second Arrow: The Amazing Secret Sauce to Your Success

Buddha's Second Arrow: The Amazing Secret Sauce to Your Success

blog bukddha's second arrow forgiveness letting it go Jun 15, 2021

Dropping Buddha's Second Arrow: The Amazing Secret Sauce to Your Success

In this blog I talk about the parable of Buddha's Second Arrow, where the first arrow is the circumstance and the second arrow is our reaction to it. I share a chapter of my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, to illustrate how "falling off the wagon" (the circumstance) must lead to self-forgiveness (the reaction) and not self-hatred. 

Here is your roadmap to this blog:

The Power of Forgiving Yourself

Chapter 26

Turn the Page

Hit the Reset Button

The Power of Forgiving Yourself

It is not your relationship with food that determines whether you can stick to a program (any program), lose weight or accomplish your goals. It is your relationship with yourself that determines any and all success that you have. Nothing ever good comes from hating yourself.

  • I know you may have “fallen off the wagon” dozens and dozens of times.
  • You may have grown to feel that you are hopeless, stupid, broken or unworthy of all the wonderful things that good health can bring you.
  • You have grown to hate yourself, or at least that part of yourself that has tried over and over again to lose weight without success.
  • You may feel that you are not a success.
  • But the secret sauce to getting off the diet rollercoaster is in the power of forgiving yourself and moving on.

Recognize that the past is the past.                                         

No, my friend, it has been all the programs that you have tried that have not been the success. You are fine.

You are a success just for trying again and not giving up. Along your journey you just haven’t been given the correct roadmap to get you to where you need to go.

I want you to know that you are worth the journey.

  • You are worth the effort of putting one foot in front of the other, whether that passage from here to there is 10 miles or a 100, 10 pounds or a 100.
  • You have it in you to do it again, but this time armed with the knowledge and understanding you need to get through all your travels.

Give yourself some grace and a redo because you are capable of reaching your dreams.

  • Start as many times as you need to.
  • You are not stupid or broken.
  • You can’t grow new plants from old seeds.
  • Disrupt the soil and let’s plant some new seeds together.
  • You are a success just by reading this blog, which shows me you have not given up and that you are hopeful and optimistic there is still a way for you to find success.

My course, Breaking Free From Diet Prison: The Roadmap to Low Carb and Keto Success gives you three strong pillars to achieve this successful escape route out of diet prison: Education, Practical Applications and Mindfulness Practices.

But if you hate yourself, are disappointed in yourself or have low expectations of ever getting out of this prison, why would you even bother?

Forgiving yourself is the very first step on your journey to success and escape out of diet prison.

We are doing the best that we can

Today I want to share with you the last chapter of my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison: Common Sense Keto and Low Carb. The reason I am sharing this chapter here is that it contains a message that is so important before you even begin this journey. That is, the power of forgiving yourself.

Here is Chapter 26, Your Relationship With Yourself

“I saved this chapter for last because it is not your relationship with food that determines if you can stick to a program (any program), lose weight or accomplish any of your non-food goals. It is your relationship with yourself that determines any and all success that you have. This last chapter was the hardest for me to write. I stopped and started it several times. Forgive me in advance for all the sayings and corny metaphors, but certain words become sayings and metaphors for a reason. Here goes…

I wanted to convey that you are capable of reaching your dreams, but you also have to understand that nothing is linear. As you travel up and down and hit all the speed bumps, detours and forks in the road, you need to learn to go with the flow. Let’s say you come out in the morning and have a flat tire. Sure, you are mad and maybe even blame yourself for driving over a nail. But the point is, you don’t go slash the other three. You fix the one. Because you may have finished a whole pizza at lunch does not mean you stop trying. It means that you start again at the next meal. You start as many times as you need to. Realize that you are doing things from old patterns. You are not stupid or broken. You can’t grow new plants from old seeds. Disrupt the soil and plant some new seeds.

As my good friend, Amy Smith, reminded me the other day, “The universe is unfolding as it should.” As I was sitting at my computer last night, I was wondering how I would sum up the crux of what I want to share with you. You can get any and all information about Keto and low carb ways of eating from the Internet, dozens of books, hundreds of cookbooks and thousands of YouTube videos. But I need to teach you something that, if you don’t get it, no amount of instruction will help you succeed. The story is: I had a run-in with a family brunch this morning and apparently that is how my universe perfectly unfolded so that I could finish this book.

Even if you don’t see it or don’t believe it now, you are capable of success. You are smart. You are worthwhile. What happened that was the perfect timing for writing this chapter? This morning, for the first time in three months, since the beginning of Covid 19, I had my daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren over for Sunday brunch. No face masks. Hugging. The whole shebang.  I prepared my usual brunch foods (muffins, bagels, etc.) along with a lovely array of Keto foods (smoked salmon/cream cheese rollups, salami, olives, eggs, etc.). I ate all the Keto foods. I was at least at a 6 on the hunger scale. Then I ate a muffin and a bagel. I would have had more except that I was easily at a 7 or 8 at this point. There was nothing else I really wanted, and I knew enough to not make myself sick by getting to a 9 or 10.

So there. The author of this book is telling you to sit with urges, honor your hunger scale, examine your WHY, stick to it, etc. etc., and here she polished off a muffin (granted just a quarter of one but that’s not the point) and a full bagel with cream cheese. Oh, and she finished her granddaughter’s half bagel with butter. There may have been a cookie involved. There. I did it. But I am not going to erase this entire book, hate myself and never try again.

What I am going to do is probably feel sorry for myself as I pop a TUMS, after which I will go to Staples and run out a draft of this book so that I can sit with a red pen and edit. I am going to realize that I am intelligent and worthwhile. I am going to realize that I wasn’t even approaching the Land of Good Enough as I plowed through that bagel. I am going to understand that I still have something to offer, maybe even more so. What I am not going to do is continue to eat all day until I am sick. I am not going to beat myself up until I feel so unworthy that I will never want to publish this book. I am not going to throw in the towel and throw out what I know is the best way of eating for me. Instead, I am going to sit for a minute and reflect. I am going to see what lessons might come out of this. The lesson is not to be afraid to serve anything and everything, but to really put in that “speed bump” I wrote about. Put a pause between wanting the food and eating the food. The lesson, perhaps, is to remove myself from the table. There is always something to do in the kitchen even though I have company. Believe me everyone is so busy eating they never even would notice if I got up!

More importantly I need to acknowledge, with no hateful emotions, that I ate what I ate, and I am worthy of moving on.

Throughout this book I wanted to know exactly where to share the parable of Buddha's Second Arrow, and this is it. The story goes as follows: A person is walking through a forest and gets struck by an arrow, which causes great pain. He asks, “Should I stay here and let myself get struck by another arrow?” The first arrow is the circumstance, which we often cannot control. The second arrow is our reaction to it. We often hear that “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” If you get struck by an arrow, do you then shoot another arrow into yourself or allow others to?            

This is what happens over and over and over again when we are following a food plan, “fall off the wagon,” and then continue to shoot one arrow after another into our hearts and souls. The second arrows come with the messages: “I’m stupid,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never get this right,” “This is too hard,” “I’m too lazy,” “I’m not worthwhile,” “I hate myself.” STOP IT WITH THE SECOND ARROWS! No matter how perfectly you follow a food plan, you are, at one time or another going to get struck with that first arrow – maybe many different times. It’s painful. Get up, move on and don’t suffer. Learn your lessons and be grateful for what you have learned so far.

Good luck. I love you. We can do this together.”

Turn the page

I invite you read “The Brilliance of Chocolate Cake.”

This free bonus guide (that I give you at the end of this blog) explains briefly that you have forged neural pathways over many years.

  • “See cookie, eat cookie.”
  • “Insulted by boss, candy makes it better.”
  • These are neural pathways, my friend.
  • You are not broken – and as a matter of fact, your neural pathways are not broken either!
  • But let’s make some changes and build new ones.
  • Start by getting sugar and most carbohydrates out of your system.
  • That will make it much easier to ignore the old pathways and build new ones.

Hit the reset button

Self-forgiveness wipes the slate clean and allows you to start again with hope and optimism.

Lisa Nichols, a wonderful author and motivational speaker has said, when you get to 999, hit the reset button and start again. She is also the one who talks about disrupting the soil and planting new seeds. I love that!

Hit your reset button and let's start again. How can you restart right now?

  • Begin by opening your mind to cutting out sugar and processed carbohydrates as much as you can.
  • There is such a thing as carb addiction.
  • Removing the source of what lights up your brain (forming those neural pathways) as much as possible will go a long way in helping you with that reset button. 


Give yourself grace, understand that a lot of what is going on is physical and that you have strong ties to those reactions that send you over the edge with eating. Take heed with the parable of Buddha's Second Arrow.

Learn more about this with my book and course:

Book Breaking Free From Diet Prison: Common Sense Keto and Low Carb 

Course Breaking Free From Diet Prison: The Roadmap to Low Carb and Keto Success


 The Brilliance of Chocolate Cake

Understanding Your Hunger Scale

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