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A grandfather from the Cherokee nation was talking with his grandson.

“A fight is going on inside of me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”

“One wolf is evil and ugly: (I call this the Dark Wolf). He is anger, envy, war, greed, selfishness and arrogance.”

“The other wolf is beautiful and good: (I call this the White Wolf). He is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep VISION.”

“This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other human as well.”

The grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. Then he finally cried out, “Oyee! Grandfather, which wolf will win?”

The grandfather replied, “The wolf that you feed.”

This is a nice sentiment, and I get what the grandfather is saying. But I’m not fond of the reference to this “terrible fight” that is going on inside of us.

In Robin Birch’s recent post on her blog Let’s Live Forever!, she writes,

“I like to think that when more people reach for the light, in any of a myriad of ways, and this becomes commonplace, a shift will occur in our mass consciousness.”

I support this idea wholeheartedly. Reaching for the light or the positive side of life is not about running from or fighting the dark. I don’t believe it has to be a struggle.

I admit to having dark thoughts and to resisting them. These thoughts are the work of my inner critic and fighting them exhausts me. But nevertheless they exist.

I enjoy believing that the dark is simply a shadow cast by the light. Anything that gets in the way of sunshine, casts a shadow. And although our shadows follow us, they are not real. They exist because we do. We cast those shadows ourselves.

In a recent post I wrote “If we fear our darkest thoughts they will continue to run our lives.”

Fighting a dark thought will feed it. Noticing a dark thought doesn’t feed it. In fact, by taking the time to see it and perhaps shed some light on it, an understanding can be reached. Understanding it means getting to know it; no longer having to fear the unknown. There is no duality here, and no fight. Vision is empowered and clarity moves us forward.

How do you handle your dark side?

Do you catch yourself believing what your inner critic tells you?

The next time your inner critic casts a shadow across your path what will you tell it?

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Photo Credit: Unknown

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