During my most recent appointment with my naturopath, we got to talking about life, happiness, sadness and everything in between that we as humans feel on a daily basis. She told me a Cherokee Indian legend called the Two Wolves. It stuck with me after our session was over and since then, my mind has continually gone back to the words in this story. Over the holidays I was reading a fiction novel and the story came up again. I couldn’t believe it. Given how I feel that everything in our lives happens for a reason, I thought it was a sign that it was time to share these words with you all and how they have impacted my life.
Two Wolves – A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee was 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, kind, 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.”
Every day we have a choice to make. A conscious choice. We can choose to give in to the black wolf and be angry, bitter, negative and resentful towards others and towards our lives. Or we can choose to feed our white wolf and spread love, hope, joy, positivity and compassion. It is really that simple.
Throughout my 20s I have suffered from occasional bouts of sadness (I refuse to use the other word). Maybe this is normal, maybe it isn’t normal, but that doesn’t matter. My sadness stems from this need that somehow grew in me to be perfect, in all aspects of my life. For some reason, I chose to believe that I needed to have a successful career in business, look a certain way, and act a certain way in order to have a happy and fulfilled life. As a result, for years I did not live a life that is in line with how I truly am. I experienced disappointment, loneliness, and a feeling that things just weren’t right. I tried living in California, hoping maybe a complete 180 degree change would be good for me (it was, but not in the way I expected). If I thought something would bring about a change for the good, I normally did it, no questions asked. But of course life isn’t going to turn out perfectly and exactly as we dream.
Eventually my body sent me a message that I needed to wake up and listen to what it wanted, in the form of adrenal fatigue, thyroid disease and hormonal imbalances. And I am slowly trying to do just that. I still may be working in the business world, but I am also writing this blog and am in school to learn about nutrition and health coaching. I put time into my schedule to do the things that I love – yoga (meditation is just not my thing), reading, cooking and drinking wine. Slowly but surely I am working to discover what it is I really want out of this life, why I am here in the first place. I haven’t gotten there quite yet but life is a journey, if we had it all figured out it wouldn’t be very interesting, would it?
While I have heard for years that happiness and fulfillment in life starts from within, I never really, truly got it until I heard this story. Maybe it’s the vision of the two wolves constantly at battle with each other (I am a competitive person after all…). Sometimes I do feel like I am battling myself from within, so it works for me. I turn 30 in a month and am really looking forward to turning over a new leaf. What I went through in my 20s is my past and I can only learn from it and have a better life because of it. Time to move on sister.
I am making a conscious choice to feed my white wolf, discover and live my truth, put positive energy out into the world and do exactly what I want to do. Every single day. What wolf will you choose to feed?
Peace, love and happiness,