There is an old story from the Cherokee tribe that simplifies what I believe is the foundation supporting all the stress, pain and suffering for most of us human beings living on planet earth.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
We certainly do not have two wolves living inside of us; yet, it is a great metaphor for understanding where the struggle is within each of us.
The angry wolf is our ego, what I like to call our inner critic. Our inner critic carries all the emotions and characteristics mentioned in the story above as well as many other traits such as what I’ve outlined below.
Inner Critic Characteristics:
*Carries a false identity-personality
*Fear based thinking
*Focus on lack
*”I’m not good enough”
*Compare and despair
*Focus is on past and future
*Loud voice always wants center of attention
When we live our lives feeding our inner critic we are basically living on remote control.
We are operating from the perspective of the outside world we live in.
We tend to believe everything we were ever taught by our parents, our teachers, our religion and society as a whole.
Living from the perspective of our inner critic leaves us feeling hopeless, abandoned, unlovable, weak and unhealthy. More importantly feeding our inner critic leaves us struggling and believing we are separate from everyone and everything else on the planet. This belief is the ultimate problem we all share as the human race.
The good wolf carries all the characteristics mentioned in the story and represents our innate wisdom, our divine essence the part of us that was never born and will never die.
Innate Wisdom Characteristics:
*Our true identity
*Focus on possibilities
*”I am whole and complete”
*Insight & Inspiration
*Focus only on the present moment
*Soft gentle voice
When we live our lives feeding our inner wisdom, we feel completely supported.
Life just seems to flow for us, we’re relaxed and confidant and most importantly we feel connected to Source and all humanity.
We feel an oneness with nature, animals and all that life supports.
The most important work we will ever have is to focus on the importance of aligning our inner critic with our inner wisdom. The good news is our inner critic is tamable and our inner wisdom is always available to us. Making a commitment to nourish both is vital to living the lives we seek.
Our ego thinks it is always protecting us and loves to push us into fight, flight or freeze mode. Not a comfortable place to live. Over the years I have used my tendency to drop into fear based thinking causing the fight, flight or fear response as rocket fuel to ignite my focus on taming the inner critic and strengthening my connection to the divine essence within.
How do we align our ego with our divinity? My entire coaching focuses on this question!
I will go into detailed steps for each answer in future writings… but for now, here are a few answers to ponder:
Aligning Inner Critic with Inner Wisdom
*Detach from what no longer serves you
*Focus on Gratitude
*Grounding in nature
*Sit in sacred space
*Get out of your mind and into your body
*Be kind and compassionate with others
*Ask yourself the question “WHO AM I?”
We are always becoming more of who we are at our core. For most of us it takes intention and practice. Awareness of where things are off kilter will give you clues where your work needs to focus on the letting go.
Final little nugget I’ll share for aligning…
Shift your focus from fear to love…. that will take you a long way towards your divinity.