After a few sips of tea, the Dharm Frog began to speak, "Irwin, I've notice that, recently, you're getting a bit angry, more stressed, and appear to be less happy. Are you being forgiving of others and their transgressions against you?" I was embarrassed to tell him, but the cold hard truth is that, no. I haven't been as forgiving of others as I know I should be. I have been allowing my ego and my emotions to rule my heart. But, he was expecting an answer, so I sheepishly said, "No, Sir. I haven't been as forgiving as you've taught me to be."
Dharma, didn't look at me, but continued to sip his tea. Finally, he said, "I'm disappointed, my boy, but I forgive you." That made my guilt ALL the worse! But Dharma being Dharma made me feel better by saying that if I can learn to forgive others, not only will I feel better psychologically, but also physically, as well. He went on to explain that not being able to forgive others, leads to stress and we alll understand the harm stress can do.
Knowing how much I like scientific facts, The Wise One, stated that current research demonstrated that the single act of forgiveness can virtually eliminate the conection between stress and good mental health. I was impressed! He went on to say that if we frogs, and humans too, don't have forgiving tendencies, then we are more likely to feel the "raw effects" of stress. Forgiveness offers us a buffering system against the damaging effects of stress. It seems, according to the research, that being forgiving helps us develop better coping skills to deal with what we perceive as the transgressions others heap upon us daily.
"So how can I learn to be 100% forgiving?" I asked Dharma. It didn't take long for him to answer. "Irwin, all you do is have to ask for it. Saying a brief prayer, or doing a short meditation on forgiveness, will usually take the edge off the situation long enough for you to think about why this "transgression" is affecting you. The faults we see in others, Tadpole, are usually our own faults reflecting back at us." What you give, you also receive; I've heard that before, but never really believed it, until now. "So'" I asked, "If I can forgive others for their mistakes, then I will be forgiven for my own mistakes?" Dharma smiled and nodded in agreement.
As my dear friend and teacher prepared to leave, it became painfully aware to me that I had much to learn and much work to do. Life isn't easy. But it's difficult for a reason. We all have flaws and faults. Learning to accept them im ourself, and others, is one of the most important lessons we can learn during our time on earth. Life lessons, although painful to endure, ultimately lead us to a better place in our minds and hearts. And that makes us feel physically better, too.
I'm not always eager to put in the work; it's far more fun to go swimming or look for worms, but in the end, what I learn makes me happier than the external pleasures I often seek instead. I will try working on my forgiveness. I need less stress. Perhaps the Dharma Frog's message and advice will work for you, too. I hope so.
I wish you a peaceful and forgiving day.