"Irwin," he said, "do you remember when you were little, you wanted to be a dog? You thought that dogs had the perfect life. Dogs had their meals prepared for them. They had a comfy bed, indoors, to sleep on and, if they were lucky, their owners woyld take them for nice walks." "Yes, I remember," I replied. It's true. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it but, as a froglet, I did indeed wish to be a dog. The Dharma Frog continued in his soft voice, "You were too young, back then to understand but, perhaps now, these words will make more sense. Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a frog's mounth." I looked at him quizically. I'd never wanted to be an elephant, so I wasn't entirely sure what point he was trying to make.
While I poured the tea and made some toast, Dharma explained to me that the elephant was irrelevant. What was important, he said, is the lesson; We cannot be somebody other than who we are; be it frog, human, dog, snake....
Learning to love and accept who we are is probably the most valuable lesson we can learn. "LoveYourself." Tattoo it on your brain, if that's what it takes to make it stick.
The late human author and motivational speaker, Leo F. Buscaglia once said, "Love yourself - accept yourself - forgive yourself - and be good to yourself because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things." I think that most of us can't see how wonderful we truly are, but others can...and do. It serves no purpose to deny it, so just get a grip and own it. YOU ARE WONDERFUL.
Having trouble finding something to love about yourself? Here's simple trick to try. Hold a mirror up and look at your face. Remember that face because, in 10 year's time, you'll think back to how gorgeous/handsome you were then. So why not be amazed at your beauty right now? It's there. Others see it. It's not the physical beauty that you're admiring, anyway. You may think it is but it is, in fact, you inner beauty...that special light we all radiate...that you actually see and admire. And it's often confused with physical attractiveness. Another trick to try is to simply forgive yourself. Yep. We all have perceived warts and flaws; most of them can't be changed and it does no good to beat yourself up over them. Other frogs, and humans, probably can't see them, over have overlooked them, so why shouldn't you? Fogiveness is a HUGE part of self-love.
Still need help with loving yourself? The Dharma Frog made it very clear that you must be good to yourself. Do something everyday that inspires you! When you're inspired, you can't help viewing the world, and yourself, more positively. For me it's writing. What are your passions? What motivates you to get up everyday? We all have gifts, talents, and interests that absorb us so completely, that time seems to stop.
Using these little mind games to deepen our self-love are great, but the real goal is to love yourself without the aid of mind trickery. That love is there, we're born with it; but it's managed, over time, to get lost, or stolen from us. Do whatever it takes for you to recuscitate it and bring it back to life.
My little brother, Quigley, likes to pretend he's a turtle. He hops around, on most days, with a makeshift shell on his back. He takes it off only to sleep. It drives our mother crazy! Like most little ones, he'll no doubt outgrow this obsession. But if he doesn't, it's good to know the Dharma Frog will have this same talk with him. I no longer dream about being a dog. What I do dream about, is being the best version of me that I can be. And that's an admirable goal. But even if I never improve, and stay just as I am today, I'll still love me, no matter what any one else says or thinks. Because being a frog author is pretty darn special!