One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He 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 minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
Feed the wolf that you need to thrive, and your body, mind, and spirit will thank you if it is the wolf that is free of darkness.
I’ve had my share of time where I felt nothing but the dark emotions that swirled around while living in the past. The past has no business in the present, and will only serve to worry you while ruining your future (if it is all about reflecting on your mistakes). So I plugged along doing the best I could with what I had to work with, which wasn’t much. I was truly lost and out of control. I kept feeding the wrong wolf with all sorts of reasons to keep me in guilt, shame, remorse, and bewilderment.
I was done for, and spiritually dead inside. I tried to stay positive and only ended up rocking myself back and forth while trying to clam down, sitting in the fetal position, and attempting to listen to some uplifting music. It didn’t help. It was 5 am and I might as well get up…
Well, I finally did. I woke up to the idea of my powerlessness over my life and the unmanageability of trying to do it all by myself. Thank God for that day! Because little did I know that was the first step in the right direction that would lead me down a path beyond my wildest dreams! For me, it finally started when I stopped trying to live by own terms.
I was done feeding the wrong wolf.
Today I have been recovered and am still recovering by seeking a spiritual path. My daughter is about to be 3 years old, and she doesn’t know that same person that used to be called by my same name. I have now re-engineered my life. Not only have I changed, but I have created subtle shifts along the way that I can never again go back to the places I used to live. I can never again feel comfortable with the habits of the older version of who I was once, that lost little girl named Patricia.
If you feel lost and alone today, just know there is a way out… but it is only by walking through some of the pain. I tried to anesthetize the pain of being me all along while trying to run from myself. I didn’t know it was self-loathing and disgust that I had to face. It was only when I admitted my utter brokenness and defeat that I could surrender to live. I waved he white flag because it was my last hope. I wanted to live. I knew here was more to life than what I had experienced. I surrendered not only to live, but to thrive. Today life is full of light, wonder, and curiosity. I get to see it when my little girl is exploring places like the backyard and pretending to cook on her play kitchen. I resonate with that because I too am learning to do things for the first time in so many ways. I can relate to my precious little one, I love her dearly… and today I can honestly say I love myself too.