The Tale of Two Wolves – A Cherokee Legend
One evening an old Cherokee told her grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
She said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.”
“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a moment and then asked his grandmother, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Feed the evil wolf and it will continue to grow. The simplest things will continue to frustrate you. Small problems will feel as large as the world. Nothing will ever work out because even when it does you’ll find something to dislike. I’ve been there. It’s not until we become fed up with our own drama that we begin to pay attention and realize something feels off.
Feeding the wolf simply means encouraging certain mind states. Like adding fuel to the fire.
When we have a rough day and we say Life is hard, my job is terrible, I’m sick and tired, we’re feeding the evil wolf. There’s nothing wrong with having these thoughts, but there’s no need to pile them on top of each other. Just allow the negative thoughts to come, recognize them and let them pass on their own. Don’t feed them. Respect them as they are and let them go.
When we’re feeling good, it’s best that we encourage it to grow because it can benefit us. Positive mind states naturally arise when we set the right conditions. Create circumstances that encourage a peaceful environment rather than a chaotic one. If we feel gratitude and it inspires us to become generous, it’s likely that we will become joyous. Try to feed these emotions. Do things that help you find a deep sense of love, equanimity or kindness.
So, which wolf are you feeding most often? Reflect on your own life. See how you feel when you feed anger. See how you feel when you feed joy. Experience for yourself which mind states are beneficial. Become your own teacher and realize your own truths.
Try sharing meals with your wonderful half more often. See the beautiful mind states that arise from it. You have the power to choose which parts of you are fed. All you have to do is pay attention, see things clearly and decide what type of life you want to lead. Your inner well-being is in your hands. Be tender and hold it with compassion. It needs your nourishment to grow.