Two Wolves

Two Wolves

Our negative thoughts can create anxiety, anger, resentment, jealousy—an array of emotions. Negative thinking is normal. However, if this way of thinking becomes incessant, it can lead to depression and self-destructive behavior like addictions, derailing us from what we want most in life. At minimum, negative thinking saps our energy, erodes our self-confidence and can put us in a bad mood. Certainly, many would agree that our thoughts come and go so quickly that it’s seems impossible to notice them, but with awareness and an attitude of self-compassion, we can redirect our negative thoughts to more positive ones.

Two Wolves is a Cherokee Indian legend and illustrates the most important battle of our lives – the one between our good and bad thoughts. Here is how the story goes:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Our thoughts can be our own worst enemy. That is, if we let them. Think about how you may be “feeding” your negative thoughts by allowing them to rule your mind. Next time you have a negative thought, catch it and ask yourself, “What is this thought doing for me?” You will find that the answer is that all they are doing is disempowering you. You can immediately feel more empowered by focusing on something good in your life and cultivate the practice of gratitude.

We can create greater peace, confidence and a more positive outlook by learning how to manage our thoughts. After all, this battle can be won because we have the power of choice!

Which wolf are you feeding?  Remember, you always have a choice…

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  • punjabi

    Speechless… strong of a message …it’s a turning point for everyone.

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  • miya

    Technically if u read the full story it goes on to say that u can’t feed one more than the other. If u only feed the good wolf the bad one will always be waiting. So u must feed them both because both have good attributes that the other does not where the good is kind and soft the bad is strong and assertive. Balance them both to truly attain peace.

  • TheOverTime

    The black wolf.

  • Tanya Bhatia

    Found this beautiful story from the drama Hello Monster.. Such an amazing message delivered by these words!

  • peace65

    The Native American elder tale shows how things are in reality, that we are all children of God and how we need to recognize our role and make a different in the world we live in. The way we address the issues and manage our difficult experiences dictate the outcome. The issue with the letter of Galatians is that it shows a limited God who punishes his people, it contradicts the idea that the cherokee Indians are teaching. Impurity debauchery, sexual immorality, idolatry can be misconstrued by in various ways depending of one ‘s religion and figment of imagination to me that’s too narrow. God is loving, for he allows free will and offer salvation. The Galatians is about a young Paul addressing the issue of his time, we should not read this out of context. Paul also says in his letter to the Galatians,”Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? (Galatians 3:3) Paul also wrote in Luke, read that and see the difference as Paul becoming more matured more aware. That is why we should not read the bible by verse, instead we should read in context. People evolve, just like religion we should do the same, open our heart,don’t try to edge God.

  • nikhilsheth

    I loved watching Tomorrowland where they’ve done a good job in bringing this quote to life <3

  • The One You Feed

    Thanks for the discussion here. We created a podcast based on this parable. It is called The One You Feed and we’d love to know what you think.

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