When Dharma hopped onto my pad he was, thankfully, already aware of the power problem. "Irwin, may I suggest we dine the old-fashioned way...sitting quietly and catching a few bugs as they fly by. And instead of tea, we can drink swamp water. I haven't had any that in a long time. Think of this as a picnic, my boy. It'll be fun!" I mumbled something to him, but Dharma was already busy catching flies with his long sticky tongue. He wasn't paying any attention my grumblings. But he apparently got the gist of it because he turned to me and said, "What he cannot avoid, a frog should welcome. Tadpole, you are unable to make the sun appear, so why spend time fighting against it? Doesn't it make more sense to accept what is? In your immediate case, you will still fill your belly and you won't have to clean up your kitchen. When you learn to accept what is, life becomes far easier and much more pleasant. The lesson we learn by through any trying event should be welcomed. It is a gift; an opportunity to grow in a positive way." I know I struggle to let go of the difficulties in my life choosing, rather, to fight them and try to correct my perceived wrongs. This wasn't going to be an easy lesson for me but, perhaps, it's one that's long overdue.
Dharma explained that the real beauty of life is its unpredictability. We never know what lies ahead. being able to roll with the punches, being able to handle and graciously accept whatever happens is, Dharma believes, the single greatest lesson a frog or human can learn. Each of us needs to look at life through the lens of a positive mindset and not that of a defeatist one. Everybody has problems. Those that appear as if they don't, probably have learned how to "go with the flow." Their lives seem effortless when, in fact, they have troubles as we all do. When we fail to accept what happens in our lives, we create turbulence for our minds. And just like a ship on a rough sea, a turbulent mind is hard to navigate through rocky times. Acceptance is a choice, according to most wisdom traditions. We can make a conscious decision to accept whatever happens and try to learn the lesson it is teaching us. "The lesson is", as Dharma puts it, "the silver lining in each of life's clouds." He believes that acceptance is the key to turning momentary happiness into life-long peace; knowing that we can...and will...weather the storm.
I know that Dharma is right. Struggling takes work...lots of it. And in the end, that "hard work" rarely pays off. All my fussing and fuming this morning didn't help one bit in getting my tummy satisfied. But once I got over my inability to prepare the breakfast I had looked forward to, I found I actually enjoyed sitting quietly next to my wise friend and teacher...content as we caught bugs in the early morning hours. And I might add, the swamp water tasted especially sweet, too. These are two of the simple pleasures that a frog enjoys. And to think I almost missed them.
As Dharma prepared to leave me for the week, he gave me this mantra or affirmation that I can recite daily. Perhaps it will serve you well, too. "I accept impartially whatever comes my way. Free in my heart, I am not conditioned by any outward circumstances." If you'd like the simpler Irwin version, try this; "I accept whatever happens and I know whatever it is, I'll be okay."
I invite you back tomorrow. Until then, as always, I wish you