Have you heard the story of the good wolf and the bad wolf?
It’s also known as:
- The light wolf and dark wolf
- The black wolf and white wolf
- The story of the wolves
- The tale of two wolves
So on, and so forth…
The story is illustrated in the cartoon image in this post.
Normally, this parable is attributed to being an old Cherokee tale. In the few minutes of research I did (I know, very thorough right?), I found there were some disputes as to whether this was true or not. It has also been attributed to being a story that evolved from a passage out of a Billy Graham book.
This post is not to dispute the origins or delve into a complex analysis of the historical meanings and context of the story. So on with my own use of this parable….
Basically, you either listen to the bad voices in your head, or the good ones. If you don’t like the idea of voices being in your head, then think of it as the good impulses and the bad ones. Most of us have a choice as to what actions we take on our given impulses. Not always, but most times. Speaking for myself, when I am feeding the bad wolf, I don’t tend to just feed it, I tend to let it feast. So, this rule is a pretty important one for me.
I think, in the most honest and genuine way possible, we all feed the bad wolf from time to time. If you don’t, please comment below and let me know how you’ve come to always avoid doing that. It can be in a small way, like making an insensitive remark in casual conversation. Or a big way, like self-destructing or isolating because we feel like we have too many responsibilities in life.
Either way, big or small, when I feed the bad wolf, the effects tend to resonate into the rest of my day, week, or life in general.
This is, at times, most apparent when I am sick, which I was for the past couple days. My impulse, when I physically feel like crap, is to hole up under blankets and/or do the bare minimum to get through the day. The only problem is, sometimes the bare minimum is not enough for me, because the bad wolf tends to find me in a weakened state. I start to oppose the things that might make me feel better in general, and can end up prolonging my own illness for a longer time than necessary. Like taking enough medicine, and the right kind of medicine, to make me feel better. Or, if things are really bad, getting my butt to a doctor.
Sometimes, getting sick not only slows me down enough to realize that I need to take better care of my body, but it also serves as a reminder to check in with my own mental and spiritual self-care. Yeah, I said spiritual. I rejected the term for a long time. But, a while back I decided to stop engaging with that critical voice, the debating cynic, as much in my life. He was kind of a bummer. That voice still pipes up from time to time, but I’m usually in a balanced enough place to shut it up. That voice is a prime example of me feeding the bad wolf. I could literally tear apart every good thing that I do in my life if I listened to that voice. But, what would that get me? Probably a single, lonely, and angry sort of life from my experience.
As soon as I recognize that I’ve been feeding the bad wolf, I can make the switch pretty quickly. Once I start feeding the good wolf again, things improve dramatically and efficiently. And, I feed the good wolf by doing little things that help keep me mentally, physically, and spiritually strong on a day to day basis. They keep me ready for the bigger stuff that always tends to come my way.
#feedthegoodwolf #twowolves #inspiration #positive