Feeding the good wolf

There’s an old Cherokee legend I learned while taking my Native American literature class that I still love to this day:

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.”

I love the idea of being in control of our own destiny, of our own fate, of our own happiness. There is an never ending fight raging inside each and everyone of us between the evil and good, happiness and anger. Some people let it show. Some people hide it better than others.

Tonight was one of those nights I fed the bad wolf. Today’s basically a Tuesday and we all know about my love affair with Tuesday and there’s been a lot of not so good things going on starting from when Josh woke me up at 7am with some not so good news. A lot of other not so good things happened throughout the day all the way up to around 8pm. I was angry and grouchy and in a sour mood. I wanted to rage and cry and scream, and I just kept feeding that bad wolf. I kept fueling the fire underneath him as I filled his belly with hot pieces of fury.

And then I stopped. I realized that it wasn’t doing anyone any good to feed that mean old wolf. I took a few deep breaths, ate a snickers (which really did help), and walled around for a few minutes. I don’t know if it was the chocolate or the endorphins, but something worked and that good wolf started fighting back. Josh sent me some pictures to help me feel better. I realized that I had to just be happy and let what was going to be be. I was in charge. I got to decide. I had to let the good wolf win. I had to feed him. And who wouldn’t want a tasty bite of this sweetness.

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