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.

How Your Inner Kindness Can Steer You Away From Anger

Being kind, like the woman pictured, can help steer you away from anger.

Every one of us has a beautiful heart. All of us have an undamaged part that is waiting to be exposed in our lives. Sometimes we have covered up this beautiful area because we got hurt or are afraid.

And even though we might feel frightened to show it, it’s still there and I think it is waiting to be expressed. I like stories that make me think. But what if I were to tell you that if you spend more time in the kindness and loving nature of your true being, you will actually decrease the mean and angry parts that also live inside of you?

Yes, that’s science and that really convinces me to spend more time in that good part because I have carried around enough anger in me for a lifetime. I don’t want to be the angry child anymore.

Changing Childhood Patterns Takes Time and Effort

Find the way forward to heal from the hurts of your childhood.

So, it’s something I have been working on for many years. I am pretty kind and generous now, but I didn’t start out this way. In my family home my mother was overwhelmed with three children under five and my father was not there.

She worked as a teacher and was tired and really didn’t have any more energy to help us become stable, well adjusted young ones. She couldn’t do any more. But when I was young, I felt very uncomfortable. And when my mom got upset, she would yell.

As a little person I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know how. And since I didn’t know how to calm her as a 3-year-old, what I could do was mimic her yelling and that’s what I did. I got excellent at yelling when I got upset too. I copied her. And getting upset and yelling became the only outlet I had for many years.

I even got fired from a job because I yelled at my manager. This was my “normal” at the time, but you see this is not normal.

Mindfully Travel Your Path to Growth

Stay the course to growth, even through effort, like the thoughtful woman pictured.

Eventually through counseling I began to work on how I responded to upset. I learned that if I got upset this usually meant that something hurt inside me. Then I had to learn what happened to me. Following that I could learn to talk about it, instead of taking someone’s head off.

No one changes their habits overnight, but they can change. Each time you see yourself take a step towards better, give yourself some credit because it is a mini-miracle. See yourself as growing. I see you as growing. We are all in this together. I want you happy, so that kind and loving wolf can thrive.


Ready to Communicate with Kindness in Your Relationship?

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'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

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