There's a story about an old Native American man who tells his young grandson that we all have two wolves battling inside of us.
The first wolf is red, and it represents greed, hatred, anger, and fear. The second wolf is white, and it represents kindness, courage, compassion, and peace.
When the boy asks which wolf will win, his grandfather says: “The one you feed.”
During my meditation this morning, I was feeling fear in my stomach like a tight, bumpy ball. Then I saw the fleeting image of a wolf.
But rather than shooing him away, I gave him space. I allowed that tight, bumpy ball in my stomach to be there, and just kept breathing into it. After a few minutes, everything loosened up inside me and a stream of relief flooded my body.
When I saw the wolf again, he had become white.
There weren’t two wolves inside me after all: they were two halves of the same whole. When I embraced my fear, it transformed easily into peaceful acceptance.
Here’s what I have learned about emotions: They just want to be felt.
When we approach them through our mind, we can get caught up in stories about them: why the anger is there, who is to blame, what are we most afraid of, etc. That is what feeds the wolf.
When we approach emotions through our bodies, we focus on the physical sensations behind them: tension, tightness, tingling, etc. By gently breathing into those sensations, we feel the energy of the emotion, which creates a safe haven for it inside. That is what soothes the wolf.
How many wolves do you have battling inside you today? What are they asking you to feel?
The body is your gateway to those emotions. And they just want your love.
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