“Inside all of us lives two wolves. One is good. He is filled with joy, peace, hope, serenity, compassion, truth, faith, love, happiness and kindness. One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, self pity, guilt, resentment, lies, superiority and ego. Which wolf survives? The one that you feed.” -Native American proverb
This proverb was originally read at a class I took probably about six years ago now and ever since then it has been a quiet whisper in the back of my mind. “Which wolf will you feed?” Today the instructor read it again and I once again stopped in my tracks and began to evaluate how I have fed each wolf in the passing years.
Unfortunately, I have spent a lot of time allowing the evil wolf to binge on my negativity and all that that has encompassed. Times were ugly and I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I made a life of hiding behind this wall and would stuff food down the throat of the evil wolf like there was no tomorrow. I snapped at every little thing and made excuses for my behavior. This is not a person I would like to remain or more importantly have my child see.
Growing up I idolized my parents and my older siblings. They could do know wrong. Everything they did, I wanted to do. I watched every move, taking notes on how to be a grown up and how to treat others. Seems harmless for most kids to do, but I, unfortunately, saw a lot of poor behaviors growing up. Lots of fighting, poking fun of others and impatience. It was my normal. There was no time for family talks or reasoning with a child, explaining the actions because it was a busy home. I do not fault my parents for this, I truly believe they did the best they could. They worked hard and hardly ever took a break for themselves. But what I am saying is that when that is very normal to you, you don’t know any different.
Then you are plunged into the real world, the adult world where you aren’t allowed to be excused for your behavior anymore because at this point, you should know better. Well knowing and doing are two different things. When you never learn how to handle your emotions or even how to recognize why it feels like there are two fists punching each other in your chest, you don’t know how to be an adult (or at least how to be adult-like in handling your $h!t).
All I can say is that I am extremely thankful to have found my husband and also this yoga practice. If it weren’t for my husband having such a strong good wolf living inside of him, filled with kindness, and above all patience, I don’t know where I would be now. He has given me the support and love I needed in order to become a better person. Through yoga I have been able to release and let go of a lot of the, well, for lack of a better word, crap I have been carrying in the very fibers of my muscles. Honestly, I discover new areas to engage and search with each new week. This week happens to be all in my heart space- so maybe that’s why I’ve been so sappy?
I am still by no means perfect and every now and then that bad wolf creeps in and snags a bite to eat but I am happy to say my good wolf, while nearly starved to death is now thriving.