Feeding the Wolf

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."


It was a bad day.

My day started without breakfast.  I then found myself at the grocery store around 10am.  I had a long list of things to pickup. I hate grocery shopping and had waited till the last possible moment to go to the store.  Up and down every aisle. Back and forth when I would accidently skip an item on my list. I even picked up prescriptions. One of the prescriptions had to be ordered, which meant another trip in my future. Everything was pissing me off at this point. Over an hour had passed. My cart was so full that I had my purse on my arm and two extra bags in one hand.  A case of water, jugs of juice, soda packs....uugh, you name it I bought it.

My cart had a bum wheel as I rolled into the parking lot.  I was getting more pissed by the moment. Finally, I make it to my car and lift open the back to start piling everything in. My car is a disaster. It looks like a 1st grader exploded in my car. Where in the heck was I going to put everything?  I start thinking to myself, heavy stuff in first, eggs & bread in last. Drudgery. Pissery. I'm low energy and tired. Damn, why did I buy a case of water. Shit. Shit.

Then I hear it.  A soft spoken voice. "Excuse me, Maam but I just ran out of gas and need to borrow a dollar."

I feel my face get red. I whip around and square off with this man. "Don't you fuck'n lie to me." I snarl.  "If you need money then ask for it but don't fucking lie to me". I did not stop. I did not even take a breath. "Instead of asking me for money, why don't you do the gentleman thing and offer to help me unload this heavy water into my car?"  He was stunned. I was stunned at what I had just said. Then I saw it. He blushed. His eyes looked away. I saw his expression turn to humiliation and embarrassment.

I had been brewing arrogance, superiority and frustration inside myself all morning. I had been LOOKING for the worst in everything and everyone.  Instead of giving this man what he needed, I demoralized him and myself.  I was trying to make myself feel better by making him feel worse.  I decided at that moment I would no longer feed the wolf.

This story ends with me giving the man money and apologizing for my behavior.  I decided not to watch the man walk away.  I did not want to know if he was going to purchase gas for his car or alcohol for his body. It didn't matter anymore. What mattered was this:

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2



Erin @ The Little Apartment said...

wow. you just floored me with what you decided to share. that was brave and so impactfull to me. thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are one cool person! A good person and a person your Mother or anyone who knows you would be proud of. I wish I were half the person you are.

elizabeth said...

That's what I love about your blog -
pure honesty - you write what so many of us feel or think but are too ashamed to admit it -
thanks for bringing that verse back to memory -
it is so so true!!!

Shannan Martin said...

Girl - Keep pouring our your heart. You're good at it. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for writing this. I needed to hear it.

Cindy said...

Just finished talking to my husband about feeling both angry and on the verge of tears for most of the day. As I went through my daily stuff the thoughts in my head were just like yours....all of it felt like too much, not what I wanted to be doing and then my thoughts went downhill from there. Mourning my "losses", lamenting missed chances and just feeling overwhelmingly sad about everything. Our talk helped and I sat here after dinner to read my blog list and yours was the first up.......thank you for sharing both stories....they were just what I needed to help regain my much more positive perspective.
I too have a story where I lashed out at a person who was vulnerable and am so grateful that I was able to apologize to him before I walked away and lost the chance. Sometimes we lose that chance and regret is a tough pill to swallow.
Thanks again for sharing your story!

km said...

your honesty and reflections are absolutely inspirational. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for sharing the most wonderful, extraordinary YOU.

karen said...

Wow.......feel this way too.....get caught up in it all. Thanks for posting. Makes one step back and think.
Thanks for making me think.

Miss you guys!!

Karen Z

Tote said...

Very meaningful story. I love the honesty of your stories. Keep up the good work.


Arabella said...

you brought tears to my eyes...what a wonderful & heartfelt story to share. Hopefully your learning experience will help others. xoxo

Be Colorful Coastal said...

thank you for feeding my good wolf today.
That's all. Just thanks.

Unknown said...

That was brutally honest. Well done! A very good reminder to all of us : o )

Brady Beeson said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. In spite of all of the beauty in blogs,the make me at times feel worse for the very unpretty sometimes awful moments in my own life, you chose to share REAL when you could have made that story look and sound so much better by leaving out the ugly parts. I appreciate real because afterall it surrounds us everyday..Blogs are always pretty, and life isn't always.

Linda G said...

I'm so sorry you had that experience! Both getting cranky and then taking out your anger on someone else. I'm so sorry you had to go through it, but glad you had the opportunity to apologize and help the man. I hope he, in turn, did the right thing.
Thank you for bravely sharing this with all of us.

Just Beachy said...

this is my first time to you blog, and I have to thank you for the post. The parable was so wonderful and so what I needed! Thanks for sharing! I look forward to following!

Pamela said...

not sure how I stumbled across your blog but I have enjoyed reading it. I also enjoy "real" people and that is how you come across in your posts. I don't know if you have read it or not but there is a great book out call "The Same Kind of Different as Me" I love it and highly recommended it!! Signed, Your new follower!

Unknown said...

wow. what a heartfelt story, and so well spoken. not an easy thing to blog about. somedays its hard to not feed the wolf, but at least you are self aware and noticed it. thank you for sharing this!