Which wolf are you feeding?
"What you focus on determines your reality" - qui gon jinn
"Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny." -Ghandi
One evening, a grandfather told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “Grandson, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One wolf is bad. It represents anger, fear, jealousy, sorrow, regret, guilt, and inferiority. The other wolf is good. It represents peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, truth, and health.” The grandson thought about this and said to his grandfather: “I feel these wolves are battling inside of me too. Which wolf will win?”
The old man replied, “The one you feed.”
I love this story because the feeding of the wolf is subtle.
It's simply keeping the wolf alive and growing inside you. The story tempts me to believe that fostering fear, anger and guilt is an active process, as though we ACT fearful. If you're like me, then your first instinct is to say something like "well, I'll just stop buying dog food for this other wolf, and it should disappear after a bit." Right?
The subtle message is that the "food" for these animals is very subtle. It is attention, nothing more. The subtlety lies in understanding where your attention goes, and where your assumptions stem from. Focusing on things that you DO NOT have, who you are not, why you have not succeeded and why you are not worthy of love... that is feeding the wolf of fear. Your focus cannot be in two places at once. The light you shine on the wolf of fear cannot be shared with the wolf of love.
This means that activities driven by fear, motivated to manipulate, or driven to take something from someone else simply do are not motivated from love. They cannot create lasting, positive change. What IS created from feeding this wolf, is justification for fear, shame for your mistakes and a sense of inferiority for your perceived shortcomings.