There is an ancient tale that tells a story about a battle of two wolves. One day, an old Cherokee informed his grandson about a battle that is fought inside all of us. “It is a battle of two wolves, one is evil and one is good”, he told his grandson. “The evil wolf is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego”. He went on, “The good wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson contemplated this for a moment before he asked, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.” This tale is a reflection on our attitudes towards life. It is a reflection on how what we “feed” is who we become. It serves as a reminder that we have the ultimate power over ourselves and our mind. We are capable of controlling who we are based on the emotions we feed. The two wolves are present in us all. We all contain good and evil within ourselves, but what differentiates us is which one we focus on more.
No human is perfect. Sometimes the good wolf will win, and sometimes the evil one will win. We all have moments where we feel as though we could have handled our emotions better. However, being conscious of this and recognizing that you are letting the evil wolf win is a step in the right direction. As long as we are constantly learning and improving our state of being, we are ahead. It will be a constant battle between good and evil within us, but our growth lies in our constant ability to keep feeding the good wolf.
As Eckhart Tolle excellently put it, “You do not become good by trying to be good. But by finding the goodness that is already within you”.