Sunday, May 13, 2007

Two Wolves-Dealing with Adversity

On Paula's insightful blog, Receiving Light she has brought forth quite a few topics on our sensibilities and how we can and should view adversity. Her pieces reminded me of an old Cherokee saying.

An elder cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."

The children thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old cherokee simply replied,"The one you feed."


How we deal with adverse comments, gossip or actions done against us will define what 'wolf' we are feeding.

At times it is very easy to confuse sensitive with over-senstive, whats the difference? A sensitive person is aware of another's feeling, they speak with honesty and compassion towards all, they in essence put another persons feelings above their own. An over-sensitive person on the other hand will become defensive and take everything as a slight towards themselves, they essentially place themselves over and above everyone else.

We can also look towards one of our greatest Saint to understand the difference between a sensitive soul and an over-sensitive one. To borrow a quote, from that great Mystic St. Teresa of Avila.

"They are too attached to their honor. . . .These souls, for themost part, grieve over anything said against them. They donot embrace the cross but drag it along, and so it hurts andwearies them and breaks them to pieces. However, if thecross is loved, it is easy to bear, this is certain."

This state of over-sensitivity is a form of pride, though those who habour these feelings may think themselves quite humble, they are instead the opposite.

In the end we must ask ourselves, what wolf are you feeding?