October 04, 2007

Two Wolves



One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


I don't know a lot about my Cherokee ancestors. I wish that I could have found out more about my grandmother, and her family, but she died when I was quite young. I lived with her until I was nearly nine years old, and I remember that she was a very serene, gracious, woman. I remember that she taught me to know when it was going to rain, by smelling the air, and oberving the leaves of a certain tree. I remember that she said that I had feet like an Indian, and walked like an Indian--softly, lightly, with one foot in front of the other. She taught me to walk with my head up, shoulders back, back straight. A few years later, I won an award at school for best posture. She taught me how to make warts go away, and most of all, she taught me kindness. Even at that young age, she told me that I should not say anything about anyone, if I had nothing nice to say--she said that it was better to keep silent. She told me that we must judge no one until we had walked in their moccassins. She explained what that meant, because she always talked to me, as we walked, or went about doing whatever it was that we were doing. She listened to my questions, and answered them. I wish that she had lived long enough for me to be wise enough to ask her about her family. I know that I have not always lived up to everything that she taught me, but to this day, I can still observe the signs she taught me concerning the weather. And I still walk like an Indian.

16 comments:

Vin De Vine said...

It sounds to me like Grandma instilled important guidelines and life lessons to help you grow and learn even long after she was gone.

GUYK said...

Yes, a lot of wisdom there. My mother was half Choctaw..and taught me about the same thing..except I don't remember anything about how to make them warts go away.

A lot of this philosophy is simple put.."live and let live" and as I always said it was the cowboy code, "Don't start no shit and there want be any shit and be careful and not step in it."

staceyhoff said...

I loved your comment on Connie's blog... it sounds like your Grandmom was following God's plan in Deuteronomy 6:6-9:
"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates..." I love that scripture.

I also love that story you told about the battle between 2 wolves in side of us all. I am constantly aware of that battel within me, and my son is just like me only he is even more stubborn than me (never thought that was possible! :) so it makes for many interesting days in our household. He is almost 13, and getting that extra-rebellious teenage attitude starting,so that adds to the circus! It is true that whichever one you feed gets the strongest. And whichever one you refuse to feed, gets the weakest. I go out on the porch after every disciplinary period I have to dow ith my son in which he gets me real mad with his attitude, and I sit there and try not to steam about it; I try to feed the part of me that knows I must forgive and forget and be patient and loving as God has always been, and continues to be, with me, and remind myself again that my chief aim on earth is to bring glory to God(through my parenting, and every-thing else...) and I feel the wicked, sinful part that wants to be angry, wants to stop forgiving and doesn't want to deal with this situation yet again, I feel that part lessen and weaken and righteousness wins the inner battle, because God is faithful to help us everyday and gird us up in our weaknesses.

I will share this story of the 2 wolves battling inside of us with my son too; he needs to submit his rebellious spirit to God as well
and to find the sweet, sweet power that is available to us there to help us do right, and think right, because of Christ's power, because His power is made perfect in our weakness...

I tell you everytime I used to go out on the porch shell-shocked after one of those confrontations and me having to deal with it ( Oh why can't my husband be home all the time!!?? Oh that's right, because we wouldn't have a house..Lol!) all those times I used to smoke, I had started smoking again over the Summer after a couple of weeks of an especially trying period of training with my son (like I said, he is almost 13 now!) and I have been trying to stop it again in this last week; I have found God's grace to be very sufficient even when I want to smoke so badly, and I *think* it is the only thing that can calm my rattled nerves right then,I pray instead while sitting out there and His grace always pours own over me, like a warm blanket and the urge to smoke is quelched, not gone but made less, and this is just how it is with the wolves, right? The desire to be sinful does not go awa, but it soon becomes the weaker one because we feed the righteousness God has given to us as a free gift and we starve the sinfullness in our hearts. Thanks so much for this anology. I think it will help my son just as much as it has helped me! God bless!! xoxo's
<3 Stacey

The Hermit said...

My life philosophy is this: Always pay your friends and your enemies back in the same coin they gave you, with interest.

Jan said...

Vin..yes, I'd like to think so. I remember that she was a very kind and loving person, and although I didn't realize it then, patience really was one of her virtues.

Jan said...

guyk..you do have a way with words! :)

Jan said...

hermit..I'd much rather be your friend than your enemy, anyday! :)

Jan said...

Stacy..welcome to my blog..I appreciate your comments.

I know how trying it is when you are raising children, and especially boys, I think--I have two sons.

I think it is wonderful that your faith in God helps you through the difficult times.

sue said...

She sounds like she was a wonderful and wise woman. I try to be a good person, but sometime the snarky wolf gets more to eat.

Michael said...

What an amazing heritage to have. So much widom passed from one generation to another.

Take Care
Michael

Jan said...

sue..I understand what you are saying...we all have our days! ;)

Jan said...

Michael..thanks!

You take care,too.

Vin De Vine said...

BTW Jan, that is a wonderful and appropriate picture of two wolves. Did anyone else notice how difficult it is to tell the difference between one wolf and the other? Often it is difficult to tell the difference between good and evil. I find that on a personal note if I have to make excuses, then I am probably feeding the wrong pup.

Jan said...

vin..great observation!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

I wish I could have known your Grandmothers. She sounds like someone I would have liked to have talked to and to have learned from. God bless you Jan. connie from Texas

Jan said...

Connie..thank you, she was a very special person,and I could see many of her attributes in my mother, too.

God bless you, too!