Which one do you feed?
There is a well-known legend honouring an elder Cherokee grandfather teaching his grandson about life. The young boy had come to his grandfather with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice. The wise elder responded to his grandson with a story:
I, too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. It is as if there is a fight going on inside of me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offence when no offence is intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. The other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside of me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed”.
This legend serves as an inspiring reminder of the power we have over our experiences, our thoughts, and our emotions. We, as humans, have the capacity for both of the heart-and-mind states of love and fear. Both exist and we are called to know both. But we can choose which one we will feed and with whom we will cultivate a close relationship.
Just a Thought …
From Willow Grove Counselling, Inc.