There's a short story that is one of my favourites, it goes:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. He tells him that, 'there is a battle going on inside of you 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.
The other is Good- he is peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
'Which one wins?' asks the grandson.
'The one you feed.' Replies the grandfather.
Now I get and love the profound meaning behind this story, which is why it is a favourite of mine. But life has taught me many lessons, and now I view this story with different eyes. Here's my Take on it:
You're born with two wolves battling inside of you, two sides to who you are, fighting for dominance. Naturally you see one as Evil with all its anger, sorrow, ego and regret. And you see the other as Good, with all its love, compassion, hope and humility. So, to help the Good Wolf, you stave the Evil one, denying it of everything it feeds off, until it becomes weak and unable to fight, and finally stalks off to a dark corner to lie down and die. The Good wolf, now the winner, is left to run free. But what you don't know is the monster you have now created by staving and denying that natural part of yourself. You think the Evil Wolf is dead, but you can't kill your nature. Instead what now lurks in that dark corner is a hellish, feral, desperate creature, staving and hungry for any scrap of food that may come its way. It no longer wants to fight, it just wants to kill, to rip and tear and gore itself to fill its growling, empty belly.
You now walk around thinking you've overcome that Evil side of yourself, but then one day something small and insufficient sets you off and you lose yourself in anger, unable to control it, and afterwards you question why that happened and where it came from. But it came from that dark corner, as the Evil Wolf caught the smallest scent of ego in you, and lashed out with its claws and teeth, feasting on that small morsel, ravenous with hunger, pulling its prey into the darkness and devouring it whole.
But you are unaware, because you thought that Wolf was dead, and so you forgot about the dark corner it slunk into, and put aside the fact that it could still exist within you, because you thought your Good Wolf won and that was the end of it. But you cannot kill your nature. And until you accept it that Wolf will continue to lurk in that dark corner, hungry and waiting for any morsel to unknowingly come into its vicinity, and then suddenly attack with a savage fury as you wonder, confused and unsure, why you keep being prone to fits of unexplainable anger and resentment. Why you begin to over react to small slights against you. Why you feel small stabs of envy towards people, and are beginning to allow small lies to pass from your lips until they build into bigger ones.
But we are the yin and a yang, and without balance we begin to lose control. If the Good Wolf no longer remembers the presence of the Evil Wolf, how can it fight it?
But now I say these terms are misunderstood! There is no Good or Evil Wolf, there is just the two sides of who we are, trying to come to terms with one another.
One Wolf is the Wolf that calms us, that keeps us focused and clear headed. The other Wolf is the side that takes over in times of stress, that wants to lash out and let the world know that we shall not be stepped on, bullied or over looked. But a lot of us are scared of this side. We don't want to think that we are jealous, rage filled individuals, with egos who lie and let regret control us, but we are.
What we must do is learn to accept this side of us, learn to look this Wolf dead in the eyes and not run from it, but run with it! We must learn from it- learn how it hunts and feeds, learn what scents set it off, sounds prick up its ears, and what prey it most likes to stalk. We must live with this Wolf in the wild, and in doing so become wild ourselves, hunting, sleeping and feeding alongside it, until we fully understand it, and in doing so understand ourselves. Only then can we be fully comfortable with that side of who we are- the anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
And then we must do the same with our other Wolf, as so many of us think we understand what peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith are, but until you've spent time hunting, running and being wild with this Wolf also, all you really know is the feel of its fur, and the colour of its eyes, without truly understanding what makes it Howl at night.
There is no Good or Evil, there is just our Nature, and you can't kill your Nature. Both Wolves are you and they are only battling out of misunderstanding. You are the connection between them, you are the Leader of the pack whom they will run side by side with, hunting, feeding, and sleeping together. You must be the one to accept them both and teach them how to be brothers. They are you, and you are them.
You can't deny your nature, and why would you? It's who you are! So feed both your Wolves so they become strong and healthy. Understand your own Nature by Embracing both sides of yourself, and become a True Wolf.
So here's my Story:
You are born with two wolves battling inside of you.
One is peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
The Other is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
Which one wins? Neither.
Both Wolves are a part of you, and you can't kill your nature. But whether they continue to fight each other, or learn to hunt, live together and become a pack, comes down to whether you understand why they are fighting in the first place.