Earlier today I was reading an article titled “The Tale of Two Wolves”. Though there are several variations of the tale, one that even substitutes wolves for dogs, this particular tale was about a conversation that a grandfather was having with his grandson where the grandfather was essentially explaining that we all have two wolves inside of us: a good wolf and a bad wolf. The good wolf is kind, caring, and does nice things. The bad wolf is mean, deceitful and does vindictive things. The grandson goes on to ask his grandfather which wolf wins, and the grandfather replies, “the wolf you feed the most.”
Inasmuch as I have read this story many times, today I zeroed in on it from a different perspective in that I thought about a question I’m often asked by young ladies trying to find their path forward. They ask, “Ms. Mischa how did you become who you? How did you get where you are?” Absent this tale, which I never share because it never comes to mind at the time, I talk about the daily work over years and how much effort I intentionally put into being a good person who is focused on doing what I believe I’ve been placed here to do. I talk about my mentors and my guides who have poured into me. I talk about my relationship with God and how it anchors me. And then I talk about the fact that I am an avid reader of books and articles that fill me, inform me and remind me that there are no shortcuts to excellence.
All of that said, the reality is reading “The Tale of Two Wolves” today summed my lengthy explanation up in six words. I am who I am at this point in my life because of the wolf I feed the most. I am who I am because I did not like being mean. I didn’t like being deceitful. I didn’t like being vindictive. And by not wanting to be those things I starved and I continue to starve that wolf. On the other hand, by going out of my way to be kind and caring I feed the good wolf. By going out of my way to be a loving presence and a force for good, I feed the good wolf. Feeding the good wolf means I get to be an inspiration to myself as well as others. It means someone can have an experience with me that makes them feel better instead of worse.
Inasmuch as I personally prefer the lion and the lamb analogy, the premise is still the same. In any given moment, there are two forces at work within us. Marianne Williamson would call one fear and the other love. The Bible calls one good and the other evil. I submit that what we call the forces isn’t as important as who we show up as. And who we show up as will be dictated to by what we feed the most. As challenging as it may be for some of us to own, we single-
handedly determine what lives in us and what dies. To this end may I encourage you to pay more attention to what you’re feeding and how often you’re feed it.