While the Cherokee Two Wolf Legend is powerful and helpful in some regards it is flawed in this way: Hate and Love are two parallel emotions. If you starve an angry and hateful wolf and feed another, the likelihood is that the starved and angry wolf will be deliriously angry and would kill and eat the “fed wolf”. So while it sounds good g=regarding the internal world it is fraught with an internal world problem. There are no bad or evil parts inside of us. There is an evil core and a good core. The evil core or dark side is fed when the polarizations of love and hate are allowed to polarize, perpetuate conflict, and nearly destroy the “good self”. I know this first hand and experientially. It was my polarized part that I attempted to feed the good parts and strive the “bad” parts which resulted in loosing any sense of the Higher Self which resulted in the Dark Side taking over rendering me depressed, suicidal, hopeless and and helpless. The starving one part and feeding the other did not work for me at all intact worked against me.
I will note below two versions of the Two Wolf Legend. Here is a third. Please note I am a grandfather and have gained wisdom from the things I learned in dark places at least that is how I see it. We will see!
There was a grandfather who loved all his grandchildren equally yet differently for in his heart he held equal love for all of them while respecting and responding to all their differences in an unique expression of his love. Some in the family of course conclude he loved one more than the other yet for him: “He loved them the same yet differently because they were different yet the same: his grandchildren. One of them asked him one day, “Grandpa it feels sometimes like there is a war going on inside of me. Sometimes I want to be good and other times I want to be bad and I do not understand this?”
Ah, Grandpa said, “It is true for all of us.” The grandson interrupted and said, “For you too grandpa, I can’t believe that, you are so good all the time.” The grandpa smiled and said, “Not so much, but let me tell you a story:”
“I used to think I had to push aside the bad thoughts and feelings like: anger, hatred, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. My grandfather told me that this was like two wolves fighting inside of me and I had to decide which one I fed fro that one would ultimately win out. So the other wolf or good thoughts and feelings: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. These two wolves are like a civil war inside. In Jewish tradition there are the twins (Jacob and Esau) who were already fighting inside of Rebekah even before they were born and today the fight goes on in Israel and Palestine). The same fight is going on inside of you and inside of every other person.
The grandson thought for a moment then asked, “Which one will win”
That is the really tricky part and please pay attention to this. The old Cherokee replied , “the one you feed”. In my living, I have learned something different from the wisdom of life not the wisdom of ego, the wisdom of Spirit-Self not the wisdom of choices.
From the Spirit Self within you need to care for both of these wolves for they really believe that one has to win and the other will die. It is the power of polarity to polarize and defeat true balance and harmony, courageous compassion and creative care. If yo try to feed the one “bad” wolf the other “good” wolf will suffer because in believing the lie that only one can survive the bad one goes underground and wins as its anger and fury is fed when you try to only feed the good. All parts of you need to be understood, listened to and cared for by the Wise Spirit Self within you. It is not about either wolf but about the “Higher Wise Spirit Self” that from inner wisdom knows that all parts of both wolves simply need to be heard, understood and appreciated in their positive intention. This only done by having positive intention and seeing positive intention in them. All of what we call bad parts or the” bad wolf within” come from feeling threatened and fearing loss. When we try to resolve this inner conflict by feeding only what we see as the good wolf we are seduced into the “only one can win” world which is just “not true”.
The grandson looked very puzzled and confused and asked, “how will I know which one to listen to and care for?”
“From the Inner Spirit of Self always listen to both and from a place of Calmness, Courage, Compassion, and Clarity find out what the part needs and why it thinks the way it does so it can be relieved of its burden or false belief that would have it choose destructive behaviors.”
“Wolfs can appear as white sheep or black sheep but in the end they are part of the same flock of parts within, they mean no harm and only do harm when feeling threatened or ignored. I learned this the hard way so please grandson always try to remember this , “There is wishing you a “Sprit Self ” that is indivisible, pure love and the Human Self is often polarized by wolf parts within. Always feed the sheep and the wolves equally the grain of car e and compassion and the inner war will lessen and life will feel less of a conflict and more an experience of “compassion and care” for all by all.