**I do not know the source of this story but have often used it in my support groups**
One evening a Native American Elder told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside of people. He said, “Child of our Mother Earth, there is a battle 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 the Elder: Which wolf won? The Elder said simply,
“The one you feed”
With wonder and amazement I watch and listen to people who are traveling down the arduous path of grief. I hear their stories and sense their pain in a very deep way that only another person who shares that journey can understand. However, there is one thing they don’t know…they are heroes!
When they struggle through those dark places, and wrestle with “one that is evil”- anger, regret, self-pity and sorrow they make a choice they often don’t recognize. They make the choice to fight; they make the choice to survive!
Despite suffering they fight against the wolf of grief as it bars its teeth threatening to devour them. They get out of bed, place one foot in front of the other, comb their hair and within the fog of disbelief, they make it to the support group, attend school and church and somehow function at jobs–and the hours pass by.
The heroes don’t realize that the enemy has not won. For the Good wolf is now being feed. It is being feed by the honesty of their stories, their empathy for others, and by the seeds of faith that still exist within their souls. Every time one of them recognizes the sunset, laughs at the chatter of their child’s voice, or pauses in gratitude for a small blessing-the Good wolf is being feed while the Evil wolf grows hungry and weakens.
It has been my honor and privilege to walk with you who journey through many of life’s losses. I don’t ask you to forget your loved ones, or deny your past; rather, to assimilate them into a new future…one that reflects joy, compassion, peace and love.
May you continue to find unique ways to feed your Good wolf even within your grief journey and may you continue to open yourself up to seeing, hearing and feeling the love and support of those around you. Choose to be the hero that is alive inside of you-fight the Good fight! Push through the darkness, into the light!