Feed the Right Wolf

You may have heard the story about a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson. The grandfather told the grandson there are two wolves inside of him having a war. One is mean and angry. The other is kind and loving.

Curious the grandson asked, “Who will win?” Grandfather replied, “The one that I feed.”

I have heard this story a few times and every time I nod to myself that I too want to feed the right wolf. I want to be kind and loving, not angry and mean. And I bet if you are reading this right now you would agree with me.

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When We Analyze Instead of Connecting

Does analyzing in your relationship help bring you back together or kick off blame games like the couple fighting here?

It’s not unusual to describe what happened after an argument occurs. Many of us do this. We think about who said what and how we responded and we explain that what was said was not helpful and we talk about what might have been better and we do this with complete confidence that we see things the way they are.

I have worked with couples where one person is excellent at detailing what went wrong and how those things could be avoided. I listen to the explanations that are extremely detailed and I think to myself, “But how does this help?”

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When Our Anger Covers Our Pain

When Anger Covers Pain

Many of us got hurt during our childhood. And some of us were not able to talk about our pain to our parents or the people who cared for us. So when a young person gets hurt and there isn’t another person to help them, some of us turn toward our anger to get attention.

This is how I grew up. I got hurt, but didn’t have the skills to talk about what was bothering me, so I resorted to yelling at the person who hurt me. This is common when some of our needs are not met.

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When We Hurt Our Mate

We may feel upset when we hurt our mate.

All of us in relationships will at one time or another hurt the ones we love. We probably don’t mean to do this, but it will happen. It happens because we are not in their heads, we are in our own, and we cannot ever really know how another person will take us until there is a reaction.

So, let’s say you get into a disagreement with the one you love and you say some things that are an exaggeration of what you really feel, but you are maybe so offended or mad that you just let the words and hurts fly.

This also happens in relationships. It also separates people into their own camps, away from each other, disconnected and both feeling terrible about what just happened.

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What Gets in the Way of Your Love?

All of us start out in great love with our partner. It’s so wonderful to fall in love that we might even forget every other aspect of our lives. But as the relationship grows sometimes feelings get hurt and that usually prevents us from being loving to our mates.

All humans get their feelings hurt. Especially if we are in a relationship with another person. Even though they love us dearly there is no guarantee that they will never hurt us emotionally. In fact, because they don’t live in our bodies and minds and how we organized and receive life, they may step on our feelings regularly.

I believe these issues are meant to help us grow and figure out what is bugging us so we can get back to loving our mates again. So, if you have a moment, see if you can identify what gets in the way of your love.

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How Our Pain Makes Things Worse

When we are in relationship with someone we love, we often get our feelings hurt. This is very common with couples. We start out by believing that we are the same, that we just get each other and feel a sense of home with each other.

But the longer we stay in the relationship, the more we realize that there are differences between us and sometimes those differences lead to misunderstandings and hurts.

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When We Can’t Think Straight

So mad you can't think straight? This guy is too.

Many of us in relationships get our feelings hurt. This is pretty normal and happens even when we love our partners. But some of us when we get our feelings hurt get really, really upset. I know I used to do that too.

When we get really upset, well we can’t think straight. Our minds narrow with maybe one thought. We got hurt and someone has to pay. This is common if we didn’t learn how to understand our hurt feelings.

I didn’t while growing up. There was a lot of yelling in my family and I grew up thinking that yelling was the way to solve things when upset. It works in a family of yellers, but most people don’t grow up this way.

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When We Love and Are Mad at the Same Time

Couple in love and mad at the same time.

Humans are very complex. We can be in two feelings at once. We can love our mates, and be extremely mad at them and we can feel both of these things together. That is how the mind works. All of our minds work this way.

It is very common to get our feelings hurt when we are in a relationship with someone we love. Loving a person requires us to move away from barriers we place around our heart. We push them aside and love deeply another person.

And because these barriers are not there to protect us, when we get our feelings hurt, we really, really hurt! There is no protection around the heart to keep the heart safe and that’s why it stings so deeply.

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Using Our Protection Against Our Mate

All of us grew up thinking about how we were treated by our parents and the world. All of us at some point made some decisions about the best way to survive our upbringing. Some of us grew tough so no one could hurt us. Some of us grew self-critical, as if we were the cause if things didn’t turn out well.

All of us bring something of our youth with us as we age. Usually we develop strategies to help us overcome what was happening to us. In my case my mother was raising three little ones: 5, 3 and 1 all by herself and working full time as a teacher.

I couldn’t understand any of this when I was the 3-year-old. I just knew that my mother was often tired and unavailable and when she got overwhelmed, she yelled at us.

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