How do you create a beautiful life when life is full of pain, suffering and injustice? Living a truly beautiful life is not about ignorance or willful blindness. It’s about choosing who you will be, sometimes every day, sometimes several times each day.
There is a Cherokee parable, you may have heard:
An old Cherokee teaches his grandson about life. He explains there is a fight between two wolves going on inside him, and inside every person.
It is a terrible fight. One wolf is evil; he is full of anger. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. The other wolf is good; he does no harm. He lives in peace and harmony, and only fights when it is right to do so, and only in the right way.
“Which wolf will win?” asks the grandson.
“The one you feed,” replies the old Cherokee.
If you are alive and aware, you are faced with innumerable reasons to be angry, to lash out, to seek vengeance. Often, however, anger ends up turning on ourselves; harming ourselves and damaging our spirit. Anger clouds our perception and thinking. Anger also feeds on itself. If left unchecked, anger can consume us all.
Anger itself is not necessarily bad; it’s energy. If properly harnessed and checked somehow, anger can be a tremendous motivator. Anger can propel us to great achievements. Anger can help us make difficult (but right) decisions and help us make significant changes, for the better.
To live a beautiful life, it helps to be aware of both wolves fighting inside us. We can become more attuned to the bad wolf. We can learn to recognize and manage potentially negative and destructive thoughts and emotions. We will also see how life becomes more beautiful when we feed our good wolf.