Which Wolf Do You Feed?
If you’ve ever battled with the two inner voices, then this Cherokee fable will resonate with you.
One evening, a grandfather was teaching his young grandson about the internal battle that each person faces. “There are two wolves struggling inside each of us,” the old man said. “One wolf is vengefulness, anger, resentment, self-pity, fear, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance. The other wolf is love, joy, peace, generosity, kindness, friendship, compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth.”
The grandson sat, thinking, then asked: “Which wolf wins, Grandfather?”
His grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”
Which wolf do you feed?
How often are we in situations where we feel torn? How often do we do battle with these wolves?
Stepping into a new or unknown situation will activate the fearful wolf. However sometimes, in order to grow and develop, you have to step beyond that wolf. As John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway”. So how can you feel that fear but do it anyway?
Recently whilst in London my husband tested this theory. We had just bought a new video camera and he wanted to try it out. He saw an opera singer in Covent Garden and started filming him.
After a few minutes the opera singer beckoned my husband over. At that moment my husband was torn. He guessed that the opera singer was going to ‘include’ him in his act in some way, shape or form. A part of him shrank back wanting to hide in the crowd. Another part of him thought, “Oh go for it, just enjoy it.”
Singing Opera at Covent Garden
Stepping forward my husband looked at the opera singer (who was in full flow with Nessun Dorma). He gestured for my husband to sing. It didn’t take much persuasion before my husband (who didn’t know the words but was able to ‘la la’) started singing as well. At the end of the performance there was rapturous applause from the gathered audience. My husband bowed and took the accolades and stepped back to the sidelines. He had loved it and he couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.
The Only Way to Beat Fear is to Face it
Singing opera in Covent Garden is probably one step too far for many of us. However there are a myriad of other small ‘fears’ that litter our lives. We often tend to ignore them and hope they’ll go away. They seldom do.
Next time you’re feeling scared, use it as an opportunity to step beyond the fearful wolf. Do whatever you’re fearful of and feed the wolf that is love, joy, peace, generosity, kindness, friendship, compassion, faithfulness, hope and truth.