After a short chit-chat, and as we sipped our tea, Dharma began my lesson for the week. "Tadpole, the frog who cannot forgive others destroys a bridge over which he himself must hop. Forgiveness, Irwin, isn't so much about forgiving the frog you think wronged you. It's more about letting go of resentment which can make anyone's journey over any bridge much harder to traverse. There are five reasons why we need to forgive. The first one, and the one I think is most important is forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. By doing so, we give ourselves permission to dump the very heavy resentment suitcase that holds all our anger and resentment, freeing us up to be happier and more at peace. The second reason to forgive is that it's an act of strength. many humans think that forgiveness is weak but in reality, it's just the opposite. it takes strength to let go and forgive. The third reason is that forgiveness is self-love. The frog who does not possess the power to forgive does not possess the power to truly love. The fourth reason is forgiveness allows us to experience peace of mind. Resentment has a way of eating us alive. it gnaws on us in the middle of the night and can keep us from fully enjoying the life we have. And the last reason to forgive is forgiveness itself. When we forgive others we, in turn can, be forgiven. It's a fact of life, son, we reap what we sow. Some call it karma. But no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. And if we want to be forgiven then we must be willing to forgive others."
This was important information and a good reminder. Too, it made me think of a quote, and I don't know who said it but it goes like this, "Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." Resentment is a kind of poison and it does slowly kill us. or, as Dharma told me, it destroys the bridge that we ourselves have to hop. But forgiveness is much harder for some of us than for others so I wanted to know more. "Dharma, I know that some frogs and some humans, too, have trouble forgiving. Do have tips that can help them," I asked? "Certainly, Little One, here are a few ways that anyone can use to learn forgiveness.
1. Learn to move on. What's done is done. It's ancient history. Stew about it, if you must, for a little while but then let it go and move on to the next thing.
2. Reconnect with yourself. Feeling angry and hostile aren't pleasant feelings. Are they really who you are or want to be? If the answer is "no" as I suspect it will be, then forgiveness is the fastest way to return to a calm and happier self.
3. Never go to sleep angry. Allow your subconscious to rest in peace as you sleep. If you do, you'll sleep better and wake much more refreshed. Anger is draining to both the soul and the mind.
4. Learn to let go and become like water; fluid. Water flows along going over and around obstacles in its path. So give up trying to be the dam. Take down the wall and let your loving kindness flow. And finally,
5. Learn to take responsibility for your part. Assigning responsibility to anyone else for what we're experiencing doesn't do anyone any good. It is a destructive habit. try saying to yourself, "I may not understand why I feel this way, why I have this illness, why I’ve been victimized, or why I had this accident, but I’m willing to say without any guilt or resentment that I own it. I live with, and I am responsible for having it in my life.” Knowing that you and you alone are responsible for your feelings, and then owning that, can a very long way in repairing the damage that resentment does to us. According to Dharma, it is the best way to move forward and to rebuild the bridge that was broken. BTW, that 'bridge" is what leads us to a better, happier life. I know I want mine to be as smooth as it can be!
As always, Dharma left me with lots to process. I hope that by passing along this lesson, it might help you to find ways to overcome any anger and resentment that's holding you back and muddying the waters you swim in.
Do you think that only extroverts can be successful? If so, then plan on joining me back here tomorrow when I'll look at ways introverts and become "quietly successful." I think you'll find it very interesting! Until then,