I used to look around corners. Slowly, methodically, and ridiculously looking around corners waiting for the horror to come and take me away. If something good happened I would just sit and wait because, inevitably, the trauma was on its ugly, little way to find me. I would never be too happy during happy times because of this insane thought process.
Two years ago I decided to change my approach. I decided to stop looking around those proverbial corners and just accept bliss whenever I was lucky enough for it to come my way. In this change came I found the strength to do things I never thought possible. I quit smoking after 18 years of a multiple pack a day habit. I started running and that culminated in finishing a half marathon in February 2008. Things were progressing well in life and in love and all was well and right in the world.
Now things are changing again and in that change I have noticed my corners were coming back. I was looking around and waiting for the tragedy that would, no doubt, arrive. Then I read something that really changed my life. It was a true to like Oprah “a ha” moment, no matter how hokey that sounds.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, that battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I really got to thinking about what is it that I “feed” in my life. Looking around corners, beating myself up about past decisions, feeling not good enough on some levels and sometimes too good on others… I am feeding the wrong wolf. Even when things were good and should have been celebrated I fed the wrong wolf because I laid in wait for his arrival.
I have done some feeding to the right wolf. I am tireless in my efforts to fundraise for charities, I can find it within myself to help the downtrodden on many differet levels, and I can truly empathize with people. I can extend those great traits outside of myself but not for myself.
It’s time I start feeding one wolf and starving the other.
Which do you feed?