As long as we are alive, we can expect painful experiences- the first arrow. To 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.
Often the significant suffering associated with an emotion is not the emotion itself but the way we relate to it.Do we feel it to be unacceptable? Justified? Do we hate it? Feel pride in it? Are we ashamed of it? Do we tense around it? Are we ashamed of how we are feeling?
Mindfulness itself does not condemn our emotions. Rather it is honestly aware of what happens to us and how we react to it.The more cognizant and familiar we are with our reactivity the more easily we can feel, for example, uncomplicated grief or straightforward joy not mixed up with guilt, anger, remorse, embarrassment, judgment, or other reactions. Freedom in Buddhism is not freedom from emotions, it is freedom from complicating them. Gil Fronsdahl, “The Matter at Hand”