I try to use my life as an example for those who, like me, don’t have it easy. We have to work for the things we dream of and we have to put in ridiculous amounts of effort to dig ourselves out of the hole that we find ourselves in. Does this mean that I have nothing? No it simply means that I am just in the wrong place for the specific set of tools that I was gifted. How did I even get here? Well I made some choices that took me on a downward spiraling path. The opposite direction to where I actually wanted to go. I took that path because at the time I thought that the easy way was the better way. But now I realise that taking the easy path was only leading me further away from my desired destination. Its been a slow climb up, but with every choice I make towards rectifying what needs to be corrected I see the haziness that once clouded my judgement clearing up one decision at a time.
I’ve met many different types of people in my life. Ranging from ridiculously angelic to pure evil. I myself have floated to different parts of this human spectrum, and while I have never reached pure evil, I’ve done some pretty messed up things that I am not proud of. However I have also done some really amazing things that I really am proud of. Look, we all mess up. It’s human nature to make mistakes and sometimes we choose ourselves over others in a negative and selfish manner. Funny enough I believe in choosing yourself first, but self care does does not involve hurting others deliberately in the process, they say be selfish, but the word selfish is relative to where you sit on that spectrum of humanity. The balance between good and evil, they both live in all of us. To those that lean more on the evil side the word selfish is a negative expression because they mostly ONLY choose themselves and its not a form of self care but greed and only wanting for themselves. However if you tilt your mind to the part of the human spectrum that is good, then being selfish means to also remember to take care of yourself. People on this end of the spectrum of human nature generally forget about themselves because they are too busy taking care of everyone around them. Again nobody is completely good and nobody is completely evil. As humans we have the capability of both and our circumstances sometimes make us desperate enough to choose evil in order to survive.
I teach my teenage daughter this using a wolf analogy. I tell her she has two wolves that live inside of her, one is good and one is destructive. The wolf she feeds will grow and become stronger and more influential in her life. I teach her that they both will live in her forever they will never die, but she gets to decide which wolf will be strengthened and which one will be weakened by the choices she makes in life. Every choice she makes feeds a wolf. So before she does anything I want her to think about which one she is feeding each and every time. Obviously this is just for her to create a consciousness about how her choices will affect her in the future. I didn’t make up the analogy of wolves , I read it somewhere and it stuck with me. I’m sure there are a few memes going around about it too. Mistakes are going to happen, bad behaviour is common in growing minds, but what’s important is that you can look at you behaviour afterwards and determine if that is who you want to be and make the changes you need to make if it is not.
This doesn’t only apply to my kid, it applies to everyone, both adults and teens, at whatever phase you are in your life, every choice you make feeds a part of you that will grow. If you feed your fear, it will intensify. If you feed greed it will grow. The more you lie the easier it gets, the more you hurt others the easier it gets to disconnect from the pain you are causing. If you keep telling yourself negative things, you will eventually believe them and it will change the way you think, the way you walk and the way you talk. Self esteem comes from choosing which part of the spectrum you will feed. Will you tell yourself you are perfect even with all your imperfections or will you hate yourself because of your imperfections. The narrative in our minds are like hungry wolves, waiting to feed off whatever it is you are giving them. The more you feed it the stronger it gets and the louder the narrative becomes in your mind.
Growing up my narrative was “I’m not good enough, I cant do it, I don’t care, I’m damaged, I’m ashamed” and the negative list goes on. Now at heart I knew I was inherently good, I loved animals, I helped people that were in need of help when the need arises and I didn’t want to be bad. But the more I was hurt by others the more I fed the dark wolf, creating shadows over my goodness and before I could even catch myself I was drowning in darkness feeding that wolf that took away from me leaving the wolf that fed me strength and courage so weak that I became a coward. On the outside I appeared to be strong and confident. People thought I was brave and outspoken. But the truth is I was only those things when it didn’t matter. It was all a mask to hide the truth about who I had really become and it was UGLY. The goodness in me cried out all the time, wanting to be released but I was afraid to show vulnerability because every time I did, it was used against me. The part of me that was free was clawing inside of me trying to get out , but I kept pushing her back down because I wasn’t free I was trapped inside my own mind, my own beliefs, and it was because I fed on the bad things that were DONE TO ME and I believed that I deserved to be in pain because I wasn’t worth anything to anyone. It was bad, I was in a really dark place and when you are in a dark place you do dark things, but you hide them because you cant let the world know that you are in pain, screaming on the inside or they will use it against you.
Almost every night I cried. I sat outside looked up and wept. Begging God to save me. Imagine this teenage girl, sitting outside almost every night smoking cigarettes’ crying her eyes out and pleading with God to save her from the pain. That was me. Yet that’s what saved me. Every day I lived in darkness and every night I begged God to save me. And I believe he did. Of course it took tragedy to shake me out of my funk, it took more loss, it took death. It took stripping me of everything that I clung to, every person that I clung to until I had nothing left but emptiness. Not darkness, emptiness. I was emptied out completely and numb. It was the darkest time of my life, when it felt like my world was crumbling, and then it did. It crumbled. I had nothing (or I felt like I had nothing). I lost two people in the space of a year, one physical death and one relationship death. The two people that at the time were holding my pieces together. The hollowness inside of me echoed in my mind as I numbed and blanked out everyone else and everything else. I fed no wolf at this time. I just existed. I starved that dark wolf to the point that I couldn’t hear her anymore, and finally the faint howls of the goodness in me became audible. I could finally hear her. It took complete destruction to empty me out. The tears of sorrow that I cried in my emptying phase was not like any tears I had every cried before, they were agonising tears, they ripped me apart on the inside and they shred everything to pieces, the good the bad and the UGLY. It was like a reset button had been pushed and everything became still. Quiet. Empty. Both wolves tamed. Have you ever sobbed the darkness out of you? Not for days or weeks but for months, I sobbed, I wept, I screamed, I was so angry at life, at GOD and at myself. Until one day it stopped. I wasn’t angry anymore. I was numb. My head stayed down for a few more months, in quiet. I zoned everyone out, my friends, my family and even myself. When I finally looked up, and actually saw the world around me again, there was no anger, no joy, no noise. It was just quiet and I knew that I had to make a choice. I had to choose who I let back in. I had to choose which wolf to feed, and I chose to feed the goodness in me. I chose to feed life. Did that other guy go down without a fight? Absolutely not! Even today she howls continuously desperate for me to feed her. And every now and then I do, because I’m human and I make mistakes, but the difference between them and now is that she is not the wolf in control, Her shift ended a very long time ago. She will never die, she will always be a apart of me, she made me who I am today. But I am in control now, I choose who I’m feeding more often than not and I feed the part of me that is filled with light and love not only for myself but for others too.
I’ve learned to embrace both sides of me. I know that even that negative and dark side of me has a purpose. She lives in harmony with my good side, because I choose who is stronger not them. I choose who to focus on not them. I don’t fight either anymore, instead I let them dance. The only difference now is who I let lead and who has to follow.
In the dance between your two wolves, which one is leading and which one is following? Who do you feed every day? Who are you making stronger? Sometimes the negative narrative in your mind is stronger than the positive one, but you can change that, in time, by feeding yourself a different story, a positive one, Even though it takes years to change, if you don’t start now, that dark wolf will feed of all the negative things you tell yourself and only get stronger, and the stronger it gets the longer it takes to weaken it. Ultimately it’s your choice. Every day, every choice you make feeds a hungry wolf inside of you. The stronger one gets to lead and the weaker is forced to follow.
Love and light.
P.s. Scroll down to listen to My Peeping Light Podcast. Its growth is amazing and I’m definitely growing as a person because of it. I’m super grateful for all the support.
I’ve always liked this analogy, and yes, it’s a constant choice of whether to feed love or fear. Kudos for your awareness and progress Tammy.
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Thanks Brad. I appreciate it. 🌸
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