Many have heard or read the Cherokee story about the two wolves. It goes like this:
An old Cherokee is 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 replied, “The one you feed.”
I read this and love the thought it provokes. At the same time, it is evident to me which wolf I would want to feed. The problem I end up having is that my wolves are not always as apparent to me. Sometimes, it also feels as though there are about 30 of them.
The primary two wolves that battle in me seem to exist as follows:
One is conformity. It represents authority, burden, duty, guilt, obligation, liability, importance, power, and perfection. Also, loyalty, steadfastness, and devotion.
The second is a bit of a separatist. It is an iconoclast, an individualist, malcontent, a maverick, a rebel, unconventional, eccentric, a hermit, adventurous, and drifts through life. It is full of freedom, joy, and independence.
The wolves in the story the Cherokee speaks of are natural for me to choose. I see a clear path of the qualities I want to feed.
The problem I run into is that I love both the wolves that live inside me. Unfortunately, they don’t always play nice together. They both love and cherish the people and world around them. They see through very different glasses. The first one fits in better with society. It has a more comfortable life; it is content. The second truly lives and has so many qualities I want to share, especially the joy that can exist in our lives. It is an adventurer.
I love qualities in both of them. So I feed them, and they fight, and that’s just the way it is.