There is a native Indian-American story that goes like this:
“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 replied, “The one you feed.””
This story illustrates very beautifully the two parts within all of us: The first one is Your True Self, Your Higher Self, Your Soul. It is All-Knowing, Loving and Wise. It Knows what is best for you; and if you listen to It and follow Its guidance, It will always lead you to the Truth, the Good, and the Beautiful. It is the path of Love, Joy, and Inner Peace. It speaks to you in a gentle, soft, kind, and loving way. It speaks to you through your Intuition, your Gut-feelings, your Inner-Knowing. It is what is often referred to in the Scriptures as the Small Still Voice for God.
The second part is your ego, your small self. It speaks out of fear, greed, guilt and lack. It keeps you busy thinking about the past — what you did and didn’t do — and it keeps you worrying about the future. If you follow it, it tells you to do the wrong things, and then punishes you for doing them; it sabotages your happiness and success, and blames you for your failures. It is the voice that tells you that “you are not good enough and / or unworthy”. It is the self-pity voice that says “poor little me.” It is the self-centered, egoistic and materialistic mind-set that controls and dominates the thinking of most people, which led to all the crises we face today.
How to tell which part is speaking to you at any moment? If it comes from Love, it is the Voice of Your Higher Self: Its Nature is Unconditional Love; and It feeds only on Love: It thinks, speaks and acts out of Love only.
If the voice comes from fear; it is the voice of your ego; it feeds and thrives on your fears. It speaks first and speaks the loudest.
How to stop feeding the ego? Stop engaging in its drama. Stop all blame, shame, guilt or hate thoughts. Stop judging others; stop engaging in gossip, or meaningless activities; never use harsh words, or do harm. You also need to take good care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually; otherwise, your ego will use your weakness against you.
To hear the Voice of Your True Self, you need to be able to quiet your mind. Meditation, Mindfulness and Being Aware of the automatic negative thoughts that pass by in your mind throughout the day will help tremendously. These skills can be learned, and the more you practice them, the stronger the Voice of Your True Self becomes, and the easier it becomes to hear It and follow Its guidance. The more you listen, the clearer it gets and the stronger your Intuitive senses become.
Wherever you are in your life; and whatever your goals are — whether it is to improve your health, to advance your career, or to have a more meaningful life — overcoming your ego and its automatic negative thoughts, which holds you back from reaching your full potential, is vital for your True Happiness, Success and Inner Peace.
May You always Be Happy, Healthy and Peaceful!
Zafira Labadi Happiness & Wellness Coach
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