The Two Wolves Within Us
The Two Wolves Within Us
According to the Cherokees inside each of us there are two wolves. One is evil. One is good. The Cherokee tell a story of an elderly Cherokee man 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.” Feeding Both Wolves
The tale of the two wolves portrays the good and evil that lives within us, represented by the conscious and the unconscious desire of man. If we are unconscious of our thoughts, we are at the mercy of feeding the Evil Wolf. Our unconscious thoughts are the unresolved or repressed parts of our psyche. The Evil Wolf asserts its power when we least expect it, because it is hidden from view. We are aware of this darkness when involved in a sudden and unexpected incident occurs, such as being cut up in traffic and our ego is threatened. We react in a fit of simmering confrontation, believing we have been wronged. It is upon reflection, we recognise this as an unconscious anger seeking to protect itself.
The ego strives to assert its will to protect and strengthen itself and so we fall prey to its needs. Our ego was never meant to leave us, only to be tamed so that its wild energies could be put to better use. To alleviate acting out our unconscious desires, we become mindful of our thoughts instead of numb to them. We witness them with openness and tenderness instead of with binding judgement. Similarly, the shadow self comprises the unknown dark side of our personality. To disown the dark side means going to war with ourselves. Yet, to accept ourselves as whole is to embody our strengths and limitations. This can be seen in the Yin Yang symbol represented by the two halves that together complete wholeness. Therefore, what we feed gives rise to goodness or the collapse of character.
The Eternal Conflict
The first part of the story is telling us that we can never get rid of the first wolf, the first evil wolf will always be there. The conflict between two wolves is eternal. Both wolves will always be there. This applies to our emotions, behaviours, habits, and every other aspect of our life. Feeding The Fear (Evil) Wolf Inaction breeds doubt and fear. We deal with the Fear (Evil) Wolf every day. Fear tells us that we cannot get a better job, we don’t deserve a loving relationship or we cannot get a good physique. It is because of fear people never take a chance on their dreams. And it is because of fear most people never express their love fully. But all fear tells us is lies. The problem occurs when most people give their power away when they hear the fearful voice inside their head. They succumb to the fear. We may feel paralyzed by the Fear Wolf, by doing nothing, accomplishing nothing, and getting nowhere. We lose the momentum to move forward and indirectly we’d be feeding the evil wolf! We feed the Fear Wolf when we talk negatively to ourselves, beat ourselves up for little setbacks, and don’t ever focus on our strengths, gifts, and all the good we have in life. The worst thing you can do is to accept the messages of the Fear Wolf. Even if your mind is creating negative thoughts, they can have no effect on you if you discard them right away. If you tell yourself you haven’t accomplished anything, you won’t just simply stop at where you are; you’ll actually be moving backward! And the Fear Wolf gets stronger day by day.
Feeding the Evil Wolf is there to encourage you to choose the easier options in life. It’s easier to complain, procrastinate, dismiss, ignore and give up. There is almost no effort required to do those things, and you’re getting the reward with the sensation of relieving and instant gratification without much an action. But does it give you overall satisfaction longer term?
Feeding The Good Wolf The Good Wolf is very different; it’s picky, it’s harder to feed. It’s challenging, tiring and time-consuming to do things like learning, teaching, inspiring, sharing or simply sticking to a new behaviour. However understand these will take much more energy, effort, and guts, and you don’t usually see immediate results from them. Which wolf you choose to feed will define who you are, and we all know we should feed the Good Wolf – even if it’s harder. Feeding the Good Wolf will provide a sense of accomplishment and success at the end of the day. By conquering the temptation of the Evil Wolf we opt for a much more challenging yet more righteous option in life. The truth is that none of us are living in pure bliss. What we can do is to act in spite of those negative feelings or hard times. We can take those fears, those worries, those doubts and move forward anyway. That’s how you feed the second good wolf.
Do It Anyway
If you are feeling unmotivated to workout -workout anyway. Not feeling confident in your upcoming sales presentation - do it anyway. Not happy with your spouse - show him/her your love anyway.
Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don't just think about it. Go out and get busy.
Small Actions Build Momentum Start telling yourself you’re worthy, begin to believe in your ability and act in spite of fears and doubts, in spite of constraints and challenges. One step forward will always be a step ahead even it’s tiny. Instead of doubting yourself and doing nothing, try to learn new things and expand yourself at a slower pace. Instead of focusing on the fears within, start with ONE thing you should and can do that is right in front of you. Focus on delivering quality content, and start building ONE audience at a time. Provide value to ONE person at a time and grow your audience from there. The Courage Wolf Since you now know the story of the two wolves, it’s your duty to feed the Courage Wolf every day.
The Fear Wolf resides in the mind, the Courage Wolf resides in the heart. When our mind creates limiting thoughts and doubt, it is the Fear Wolf at work. The Courage Wolf, on the other hand, emanates from the heart and fuels our mind with strength and power. When we say “it’s enough, I’m not gonna stop until I reach my goal”, it’s our heart, the Courage Wolf, at work. "Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right." – Ralph Waldo Emerson This wolf is courageous, loving, and generous. It wants to create great things in the world and sees the good in everything. It tells us that greatness exists inside each and everyone one of us and that we can become the person of our dreams. It fills us with positivity and empowers us with self-belief. In the story of the two wolves, the Courage (Good) Wolf and the Fear (Evil) Wolf resides in every one of us. So don’t think that someone else is lucky because they have a good life (which doesn't mean just materialistically but holistically). It is more than likely because they have focused on evolving the Good Wolf and conquered the Evil Wolf. Heart Over Mind The story of the two wolves teaches us that we are the creators and we are all equals. If life gets hard, get in touch with your heart, feed the Courage Wolf, and your life will change in the very moment.
The important thing is to take a quiet time to reflect on the questions and answer them as best you can. By taking time to do this, you will learn to better manage your mind, feelings, and actions and consciously feeding the Good Wolf in your heart. Ask Yourself Questions
Here are some questions to help improve your control over your own mind, feelings, and actions Are you aware of two different opposing “wolves” operating within your mind, one of which leads to pain and a diminished sense of life and the other to a joyous, meaningful, and fulfilling life? Do you recognize that within your mind is a separate entity which is the core you? Other names for this core self are “ego” or just simply the “self”. Have you ever experienced times when you noticed a conflict or fight between parts of yourself so that you did not know which way to turn? Were you ever disappointed by the choice of behaviour made by “you” because you knew that there was a more positive option but you just didn’t choose it? In general how effective is your ego in choosing the thoughts feelings and actions which are best for you? What ways or techniques or exercises do you use to strengthen your ego or self so as to increase its potency to choose and hence control your life? In what specific ways do you feed the negative Evil Wolf? What specific ways do you use to feed the positive Good Wolf? Having become aware of how you feed the wolves within, can you think of ways to better nurture your chosen wolf?
Now the choice is yours.
Michael J Robey
Psychic Medium | Psychic Investigator