Two Wolves (Weekly Inspiration #4)

Here is a short story I must have heard at just the right time in my life for it to sink in.  Believe it or not, I think about this story often.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that was going on inside himself.
He said, “My son, it is between 2 wolves. One is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith…”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one I feed.”

I have obsessed about how I have been wronged, and contemplated  how I could get even.  I have wasted hours daydreaming about a confrontation I would like to have with someone I don’t like.  I make up all the dialogue and really tell that person off.    I have agonized about events that did not go my way, and imagined what I might have done differently.  When I do these things, I do not feel better.  Nothing good comes from these fantasies.  I am just feeding the wrong wolf.

Still, I catch myself doing these things occasionally.  I think it is human nature.  But then I think about this story, and  I choose to feed the other wolf.  I reflect on how lucky I am, and appreciate all the good things that bring me joy and contentment.  I think about people in far worse situations than mine and consider how to help them (even if it is only a few kind words of encouragement)  What is crazy is that this works! I almost always feel better.

Someday I hope to starve my dark wolf to death by never feeding it.  Until then I have this story to remind me that I am in control of my mind, my time, and my intentions.

    • Jerry
    • May 15th, 2010

    I too feed these two wolves, When I was younger, the evil one was fatter. As I aged I found ways to feed the good one and limit the bad one, although sometimes not as successfully as I would like. The point is to keep trying, and not to starve.

    • Ann Wilkins
    • May 16th, 2010

    I hope this works this time. I am technolgically inept when it comes to this sort of thing.

    It struck a chord Tim, and that is 2 good ones I have heard this week, this is the other one:
    ” It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than get permission”

    I think of you often and am emjoying your blog. I like this better than facebook or heaven forbid Twitter. Love A:)

    • Daniel Ripka
    • June 9th, 2010

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and after a quick scan, have really enjoyed what I’ve read so far, especially this message. Look forward to reading your old posts, and what is to come. 🙂

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