I love this parable. Whether it is authentic or not, the message is important and very, very true.
An old Cherokee chief was 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, self-doubt, and ego. "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith." This 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 chief simply replied, "The one you feed."
Lately I have found myself feeding the dark wolf; mostly anger, sorrow, regret, some resentment, self-doubt and ego, also a whole lot of feeling frustration. Not because I feel entitled. Anyone who knows me knows that is not part of my make-up. I feel frustration sometimes because my ego gets in the way. And by my ego, my old self, my unconscious self, rears its childlike frustrated head and whines because life is not moving as smoothly or as easily as I want it or would like it to be. My unconscious self stamps its little girl foot and shouts "But it's MY turn!" or better yet "I'm feeding my white wolf, when does life get easier?"
The white wolf answers me "You have more work to do child."
Every moment of every day offers us opportunities and yes, tests, to choose to not only feed our joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith, but to also to live as a shining example for other's whose dark wolf is snarling in the background. I have a dear friend who calls these tests "God's little Pop Quizzes". We are not supposed to look at our obstacles as obstructions but as guide posts on our journey. And if we stumble, that's not a failure, but another opportunity to get it right the next time!
Our reward for living a life of love is all the white wolf embodies in the above parable, and it takes constant awareness and work to maintain that level of Zen. This world we live in is constantly throwing dark wolf scenarios at us through the media and yes, right down to individuals we encounter each and every moment of every day. It all stems from fear!
So what do we do, you ask? Stay aware. Stay hopeful. Keep your eye on your prize (yes, your prize! Everyone has their own idea what their prize is), and live in the simple truth there is a Soul "pot of gold" at the end of our life's rainbow. The path you take is completely up to you, and the rewards are already in front of you!
And when you falter, be gentle with yourself, and ask what you can do differently the next time around. As Gandhi said, "Be the change in the world you want to see."