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There is an old cherokee legend known of as “The Two Wolves.” As the story goes, a boy and his grandfather, an elder tribesman are talking around the fire at night. The grandfather tells the boy that every day there is a battle inside of himself. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson asks him “which wolf wins?”
He responds, “the one you feed.”
In counseling, stories like this can often help people to see the power of their own thoughts in positive and negative ways. Our patterns and processing have huge influence on how we understand and process meaning. If this topic is interesting to you take a look at more of our posts relating to counseling and positive psychology. Shawn Ancor has a video which we reposted from TED.com which ties into this as well and can help you in your daily practice. Looking for more counseling resources? You can read Autobiography in Five Short Chapters and How to Journal for Therapy.