I am Cherokee.
I’m also Lithuanian, Scottish, Irish, English, German, Welsh, Norse, and Sicilian Italian, but that’s beside the point.
In short, I’m a mutt.
I’ve always liked looking into lore, myths, and traditions.
I’ve noticed a certain interest into one Cherokee legend in particular as of late; the legend of the “Two Wolves Within”.
In our current eye-roll-inducing-society, more and more people are forgetting the importance of one question.
Who Am I?
We get so wrapped up in life and all its hustle and bustle; effectively giving ourselves over to the rat race so that we are essentially invisible, even to ourselves.
We forget to live by our own heart’s direction – but instead copy and paste society’s opinions into our own lives and continue to blindly run through the maze.
And we’ve definitely forgotten how important ‘balance’ is.
The Cherokee tale of the “Two Wolves” goes like this…
An old Cherokee medicine man sat with his grandson as Grandmother Moon brought her subtle light to the sky. Grandson had returned that evening with an anger weighing on his heart and sought the wisdom of another.
“There is a great fight within me. A fight I struggle with every day.” His grandfather said. “A fight we all harbor, the very one you experience now.”
“It is a fight between two wolves.” Grandfather continued.
“One wolf is Evil. It is your anger, your envy, greed, arrogance, self-denial, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, false pride, deceitfulness, falsity of self, and ego.”
“The other wolf is Good. It is your joy, love, serenity, humility, trust, empathy, truth, kindness, security, benevolence, and hope.”
“We all have both a good wolf and an evil wolf fighting within us, bits and pieces leaking through and winning each its own small part of us. It is a constant give and take, constant change, and our constant responsibility to continue fighting.”
Grandson thought on this. He asked, “In the end, which wolf will win?”
Grandfather smiled and said, “The wolf you feed.”
The difference between Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, is not crystal clear. It’s not cut out and easy to define. There’s no instruction manual that comes with life, no set rules or laws that specify when what you’re doing isn’t right. There’s not even a guarantee that current laws uphold what is considered “good”.
So how do you know when you’re feeding the Evil Wolf, and how do you know when you’re feeding the Good wolf?
How do you know who you are?
The “Two Wolves Within” demonstrates a sort of ‘shades of grey’. And I’m talking about the phrase here, not the book.
If you want to know who you are, you need to look within yourself. Not at the world around you, not the opinions of others, not the television.
You need to consult you.
Which wolf do you feed? Do you allow anger and envy to consume and control you? Are you trustworthy, do you uphold loyalty?
Do you have balance in your life?… Do you even know?
Food for thought here people. You don’t want to wake up one day and realize you have no idea why you are where you are or how you got there, or why you’re doing what you are.
Don’t ignore what you want. What you feel. Who you are.
Pay attention to which wolf within you feed. Find the balance in your life, which you need.
Yin and Yang is another way of putting this; it reminds me of the story of “The Two Wolves Within” in more ways than one. Strangely, I looked into Yin and Yang because of Celtic mythology. Yes, you read that correctly. Celtic.
Don’t ask me how because I don’t remember. Buuuuuut, while looking into Celtic mythology, I somehow found some aspect of it intertwined with the symbol of Yin and Yang.
We all pretty much know what Yin and Yang is, yes?
Yin is negative, feminine, black.
Yang is positive, masculine, white.
Yin and Yang represent balance and harmony. A never ending cycle.
But most importantly:
Within Yin lies the seed of Yang; within Yang lies the seed of Yin. This is the balance.
Balance people, balance. Find it.
Whether you learn it from wolves, Tai Chi symbols, or in the words of a fortune cookie. Just. Find. Your. Balance. It’s worth the internal fight. Once you’ve fought yourself, fighting another doesn’t seem so difficult.