A Native American story gives us an important lesson about life:
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”
“One wolf is evil – he is anger, envy, greed, arrogance, false pride, and ego.”
“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, humility, and compassion.”
“This same fight is going on inside of you,” the Chief tells his grandson, “and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
We live with that same struggle within us every day, too. Recognizing that we are made of a balance of energies helps us to be in control of those energies. When we learn how to consciously feed the wolf we desire to be in charge, we are more in control of our lives.
For example, you work while listening to the news all day and bombard yourself with negative stories about human suffering and acts of violence. You might start out irritable and move into anger over the world. When you begin to feel this, feed your other wolf.
Remember that there are many good things happening in the world. There are people who are doing acts of kindness and spreading joy all around the world. Go do something nice for someone else and feel how powerful your good wolf gets.
You get into an argument with a friend and feel the tension build as you desire to prove that you are right and they are wrong. You stop listening and feel that their argument is pointless. Focus on the other wolf. Feel gratitude that you have a friend with whom you can challenge each other’s views. Have a sense of awe for all of the experiences that your friend has lived through to have developed their opinions. Sense the compassion your good wolf has for this friend who shares their thoughts with you freely.
Practice observing which wolf is in charge of your life each moment. Ask yourself if that is the wolf you want to win. If not, then take charge of the struggle and feed the right wolf.