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Tending and Attending to Our Inner Wolves

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. The Buddha

The story about the two wolves has been told many different ways. I am not sure at all that it was a Native American story, but it does somehow engage us like a wise old story often does.

We seem to resonate with the idea of different beings inside us. Some we judge as being not so good (jealous, resentful, angry beings...those all get wrapped up into the "bad" wolf).

However there also seems to be an especially wise and kind one in there too. Most of us seem to want the good guy, the "good wolf" inside of us "to win."

How do we deal with the "bad" wolf and how do we help the good wolf win? I'm actually in favor of trying to understand "the bad wolf" - figuring out what his fears, longings, aching wounds, and stifled gifts are that cause him to get snarly. We might even give him a tender pet and try to legitimately soothe his concerns in a wise way.

We could even find out that his intentions, strange as it seems, have been good - to protect us, for example. (This idea come from Internal Family Systems and is a part of the compassion practice as taught by Dr. Frank Rogers, Jr. One possible additional benefit is that we may be better able to deal with others' "bad wolves" once we learn to deal with our own.)

And, of course, feed that "good" wolf - the one we actually are rooting for. We can help. We can ask ourselves these questions in addition to what wolf am I feeding? How am I feeding and nurturing the growth of the "good" wolf? How am I acknowledging, noticing, perhaps even understanding and soothing the wolf who has experienced some hurt.

This video takes an approach which may also be useful ...particularly as a first step.

The essential idea in both scenarios is to step back and watch ourselves, to notice how we attend to and deal with our inner wolves/selves. I particularly like the piece about giving up the idea that our wounded wolf (I think this is a more accurate name) has the answers. This is a particularly powerful way to be with ourselves and to achieve our goals.

It's about mindfulness which I have been coming at in various ways in the last several blogs.

I invite you to watch this little 3 minute or so video and see what you think.

How might we gently deal with our inner selves and journey to The Good Life?

(as always, if you are subscriber, you can simply reply to this email with your thoughts. Love, June)


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