I am sure many of you have heard this before, but it is such a great lesson to share. So let’s dive in.
The story goes: An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life and says to the boy, “A fight is going on inside me. 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 continues on, “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 of you- and inside of every other person too.”
The grandson thought about it for a moment, and then he asks his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replied, “THE ONE YOU FEED”.
What Can We Take From The Two Wolves Story
Whether this little story is true or not is irrelevant to me. I have experience with both wolves, and have seen it happen time and again… whatever we spend time nourishing, will grow. Period. That includes the good and the bad. Most people don’t make the connection that their negative thoughts, just thoughts, feed the bad wolf non-stop. As does complaining, gossip, and comparing yourself to others.
Complaining is one of the worst things you can do. Think about it a moment. When you complain, you are verbalizing the incessant negative thoughts that you dwell on constantly, thereby reinforcing the negative behavior. If you can’t change it, radically accept it, and move on! If you “complain” you don’t have friends, you really won’t have any by complaining. Most people don’t tolerate complainer’s and don’t want to spend their time unhappy. I recently overheard an 11 yr old say, “if we were negative all the time, there’s no time for happy things.” Truth out of the mouth of babes.
The battle is life long. It doesn’t matter if you are a pro at feeding the good wolf or not. Over time, the bad wolf always tries to get fed. Choosing to starve it out will be a life-long battle. No matter where you are in your journey, you can apply this to your life. It is never too late to be more happy, and enjoy each moment.
How To Feed The Good Wolf
Feeding the good wolf is an important feat. Start by starting your day right, with gratitude for another day to make a difference. Practice being mindful, and living in the present moment. Don’t allow your past to affect today. Whatever happened in your past, it is over and done with at this point, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Radically accept it, forgive yourself and others, and learn from it.
Practice positive affirmations. Write them down so you can remind yourself just how awesome you are! Writing them out helps connect the mind and body, and helps reinforce your beliefs. Replace the negative with the positive.
Don’t forget self-care. If you have any physical or mental challenges, self-care is a must. Learning to give yourself priority tells you something subconsciously: You are worth the time and effort. So many of us are busy being Moms, Dad’s, Spouses, Business Owners, etc. and don’t take time out for ourselves. This is a must!!! Love yourself as much as you love others and watch your life change.
If you feel unmotivated to write, write anyways. If you feel unmotivated to exercise, do it anyways. If you don’t feel motivated to give a presentation at work, do it anyways. Force yourself to do the positive things even if you don’t feel like doing them. Keep good habits, and drop the rest.
Keeping The Bad Wolf At Bay
The bad wolf is always there, and it is a predator. It will find its edge in and devour you if you let it. While you actively feed the good wolf, acknowledge the bad. Some of the bad wolfs qualities are qualities we can tap into such as fearlessness, and a very strong will. Use those to your advantage.
Know the bad wolf is ready for you to slip up, and will pounce if you are not diligent. The Cherokee concluded, “Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowledge that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance… a man or woman with peace inside has everything.”
I have watched, and experienced first hand what happens when you surround yourself in all things positive… my wolves are balanced.
Both wolves will always be there. Striking a balance between the two is the best thing you can do. Now that you know they are there, what changes will you make?
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