Two Wolves

An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life…

This is what he said to them:

“A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil — he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, competition, regret, superiority, greed, and ego.

The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed.”

For far too long I have been feeding the bad wolf.

And yes, part of it does entail over feeding that wolf with food. But I’ve been feeding the bad wolf with some of the other evil the Native American mentioned.

Fear: I am afraid I will fail…again. I am afraid of what I might discover about myself going through all of this.

Anger: I am so mad that I let myself get to this place…that I allowed myself to eat my feelings away…that I allowed myself to lose control.

Envy: I find that jealousy plagues me. I try to bargain with God: If only I could be like her, then I’ll give up something else. Why do I always think the grass is greener on the other side?

Sorrow: I am sad that I don’t feel better about myself. Sad that I feel so alone sometimes. Sad that I don’t feel confident enough in myself.

Regret: This is my big one. Regret consumes me. Regret eats me alive and chokes me almost daily. Maybe if I hadn’t quit gymnastics in 3rd grade I’d be skinny…maybe if I’d tried harder in college I’d be a doctor now. I waste so much time wishing I could do things all over again. And the older I get, the harder it is to overcome.

Greed: This should speak for itself…my times of gluttony and overeating were times of excess and greed.

Self-Pity: I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself. I’m tired of having times where all I want to do is crawl back in my shell – where I’m convinced no one thinks I’m worthwhile because of my size.

Inferiority: I don’t feel like I’m good enough, that I’m capable enough. I don’t feel that I deserve praise or recognition. I don’t feel that I am anything extraordinary. I don’t feel that I’m worthy of true complete love.

I’m tired of feeding the bad wolf.  I’ve done it all with the full and complete understanding that it was foolish, misguided and self-destructive, but feed him I did.

I want to feed the good wolf. I want to wake up with joy and pride so deep. I want to feel serenity in myself that I’ve never known. I want to find peace within my soul.

I’m not really sure where my mind is right now. I’m frustrated. I’m starting to lose my motivation. I’m losing direction.

Case in point…A gain:


I haven’t been able to do anything physical because I’m still wearing the stupid moon boot on my right foot. (Damn tall shoes.) I’m emotionally all over the place right now – having those weird breakdown moments as I stand in my closet trying to find something to wear.

I refused to look at myself in the mirror before I started all this. I refused to look at what was in front of me….what I had become. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day before I got in the shower and fell apart. Who is that person? How did she get that way?

I know I’ve lost 38 pounds. I know my clothes are fitting much better. I know I feel better than I have in a long time.  But something is missing. Something is making me fear this failure again. Something is keeping me down.

I desperately need to find out what that something is…I need to fill the trough for the good wolf for a while…time to starve the bad one.


“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.”


One thought on “Two Wolves

  1. Hannah–I truly feel for you and have been right there where you are now. Please feel free to call me and we can talk over some of your debilitating concerns. I can clearly see what would fill you with awe and wonder and help you along the way. Love you, Jinnette

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