Feed the right wolf

“An old Cherokee is 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 is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.’

He continued, ‘The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – 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 Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.'”

Cherokee legend

I came across this legend in Thrive by Arianna Huffington. I love it.

It resonates with me and reminds me of the decision I have – every day and every minute. I can feed my evil wolf, and at times I do. More often than I care to admit. More often than I want to. I can fall into anger or regret or self-pity. Or guilt. Especially guilt. I can find myself in these dark places, wondering how I got there and feeling as if I had no other option.

But I also can feed my good wolf. I can actively search out joy and love. I can dial up my empathy and truth, and be more generous and kind. I can choose how I respond to others, instead of simply reacting. They can annoy me and I can find compassion. Life can frustrate me and I can look for what’s working. Things can seem too tough and impossible to survive (or at least really, really hard to survive), and I can have faith that “the sun will come out tomorrow” and “this too will pass.”

It takes more effort to feed the good wolf. It takes staying mindful and aware, and making a conscious – and sometimes seemingly difficult – choice. It takes building and exercising muscles that I may not know I have, and changing my behaviors and attitudes.

I can feed the right wolf.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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