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The Wolves Within?

I was talking to someone yesterday about the story of the to wolves. The origin of this story is unknown but is typically attributed to the Cherokee or the Lenape people. The story as most of us have heard it speaks about the two wolves within. It goes on to say that the one that grows is the one you feed. She was sharing with me that someone recently shared with her that the Cherokee story is told a little different. In the Cherokee story the grandfather tells the young one to feed both wolves.

This put us into a conversation about each of our relationship to the dark wolf and the light wolf. And how in a culture of binaries we would see the dark wolf as bad and therefore needing to be starved and the light Side as good and therefore needing to be fed. But what I’m often asking people to do is to look through the lens of African spirituality or in this case an indigenous lens. These lines hold it all a one, it’s not asking that the young one, or us choose between the dark wolf in us or the light wolf in us. It is asking us to love all that we are in relationship with within us. It is asking as Richard Wagamese wrote in his book, Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditation, that we be in deep relationship. He writes, ‘In this way, listening, pondering and sharing become my connection to the oneness of life, and there is no longer any part of me in exile.”

I think this is what this human experience, this spiritual journey is all about. Welcoming home those parts of ourselves that we think we can starve out of us. Learning to truly love all of who we are. And in doing that only then are we capable of truly loving each other.


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