Thursday, October 04, 2012

Which wolf do you feed?

This poster came up in my Facebook feed this morning and it really caught my imagination!

As an aside, I should probably have a tag just for dealing with anger, must get onto that...

I'm not a fan of labelling people 'evil'. I grew up with a lot of finger pointing with regard to what was 'evil' and what was not 'evil' and it has caused me to feel that the word has more emotional weight than true factual value.

That said, this imagery is awesome for discussing the nature of fear which leads to all those things listed under 'evil'; anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. I can see, both in myself, through experience, and from witnessing others, that the more you feed negative emotions, the stronger they grow. Fear is usually the catalyst. Fear underpins all negative emotions. Thus feeding anger, jealousy and resentment, also feeds fear. It allows a person to feel they are justified in their fears, that they are a victim.

Victims are helpless. Victims need others to do for them; to validate them, to give to them, to appease them. Victims ultimately abdicate any responsibility for their emotions. Note, I say emotions, not circumstance. What you experience and how you choose to feel about your experience are two quite separate things. Emotions are a choice. Perception is a choice.

If you view yourself as helpless, then you most certainly will be helpless.

Often people feel that to overcome feelings of fear, they must employ anger. Sometimes they call this righteous anger. Anger is never righteous. Anger is a position of weakness because anger is always directly related to fear and the belief that one is a victim. It's a vicious cycle.

The only exit from the cycle is love. Love can see the circumstance, but does not fear it. Love does not fear physical or emotional or psychological pain. Love knows that pain is temporary. Love understands that those who inflict pain are also suffering pain equal to that which they inflict on other. Their pain may not be identical, but it is equal. Victims of pain will invariably inflict pain on others as they lash out against their perceived enemy from the position of feeling a lack of control over their circumstance.

In fear, it can be hard to see that love is the only out. The circumstance seems overwhelming. It feels unjust - it is unjust, as a matter of fact, but continuing the cycle by lashing out in fear, anger, resentment and jealousy only serves to perpetuate the situation which created fear in the first place.

I struggle with fear about 90% of the time. I lash out in fear every day, every hour some days. My grip on love; on joy, peace, hope, humility, kindness and truth is tenuous, at best. The evil wolf struts her stuff daily and the good wolf lays whimpering in a corner, starved of nourishment and affection.

But as I sit here, I can feel love and I can feel peace and I know I can tap into those feelings any time I choose, and the more often I exercise the choice to feel love and peace, the stronger those emotions will grow.

If my life was a sunny beach, fear would be the objects which stand in the way of the sunlight. Sunlight would be love and fear would be the objects which cast long shadows on the sand where love cannot penetrate. So right now I'm visualising fear dissolving in the sunlight and those shadows melting away...

Photo by Scott Haefner

Which wolf do you feed?

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Good Job!