It was almost a month after I published Two Wolves, a book about the most important lessons I had learned in my life up until that point…that meditation brought about a pretty significant discovery. Two Wolves main premise was that there are two wolves fighting within us, a wolf of shame, fear, greed etc. (the dark wolf) and one of love, joy, compassion etc (the light wolf). The main question, “Which one wins?” arises eventually…and the answer seemed to turn out as “whichever one you feed.” This is an old Cherokee tale between a grandfather and his grandchildren that I have appreciated and loved for years.
Something however arose that seemed to not disagree with the point, but expand upon it. This is what I discovered.
If I had to write the whole book over again, there would be a significant change in the mentality of the dark wolf. Darkness, the pitch black parts of our humanity, is probably something that scares people even more than public speaking. The force of nature and energy that runs through each of us that could seemingly snuff out any light is a place we absolutely, on many occasions, refuse to go because we feel that it will tear us apart inside and leave us as scraps on the street. That fear is real. That fear is palpable. That fear is controlling and vicious.
You simply cannot just feed one wolf and expect the other to starve to death without a fight. Oh no, it doesn’t work that way at all. There’s this concept that is traveling around that in order to be happy you must simply think happy thoughts and all of your entire world will change. To a degree that is slightly true, but that doesn’t get to the root of it at all.
If we look at life in such a mundane way, we miss a very powerful, scary, and yet incredibly useful force of energy that if tapped into properly, can propel us into presence. Like how I didn’t say into the future?
Your ego is that voice in your head that is constantly screaming through fear…and is sending you the message “we have to get there we have to get there.” Your inner guidance…is the voice, soft and commanding, that says “we are here. all here.”
My mentor explained this concept to me perfectly today and it cleared up even further this idea of tapping into both types of energies. What does being all here mean? What does that even look like?
When I am fed little tidbits like these, my mind loves to dive in. I love thinking about this and what it means to me. Well, naturally I did. Being all here means exposing yourself to the complete uncertainty of life – the actual true grasping of knowing that the only thing you know…is that you have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next. Isn’t that the truth? Don’t we project into the future so often that we forget to even appreciate what is going on right now? In fact, we create our own anxieties through this projection so often because what we thought we knew didn’t happen…and then we start to freak out that it didn’t. Let go of this. Open yourself to the endless amounts of combinations and permutations of a moment that exist. When do you this, you allow yourself to be guided by something far more powerful than your own ego screaming out “LET’S GET THERE!”
P.S. “There” sucks. I’ve been “there” and it’s not even close to what you wanted. That hollow feeling exists in your stomach when you get “there.” Here though…now that sh*t is awesome.
That still leaves me to get into this darkness. This place where I used to think I had to “travel to” instead of just “be in” when it arrives. How much things have changed. How much things have absolutely drastically and emphatically changed in my life over the past couple of months – I am right in the thick of it.
There are very very very dark place in my life that have refused to be visited until I began the practice of sitting on a mat every single night and exposing myself to them. What happened when I did this and knew that the only thing I was supposed to do was come back to my breath every time something came up? Detachment.
The worst events of your life came over you like waves, wanted to drown you, sent you through unimaginable pain at times, shot streams of tears out of your eyes…and then left? Yes. Undoubtedly yes.
When you allow yourself to experience the darkness that each of us holds…and don’t be like, “I don’t have any of that my life is gravy (cause you are full of it)” it oooooozes out of you like goo. Slowly but surely, and sometimes it takes a while, these pains leave you. Deep down since we run from the wolf that is so desperately fierce and vicious, we are still attached to it. The more we run, the more we try to starve it, the more we fear this wolf…the greater its power over us is.
This wolf doesn’t need to be fed your attention, oh no, it needs to be fed your past, your energy, and your fear. It salivates and thrives off of these things. It feeds off of your crappy karma, the “I’m sorry’s” you didn’t say, your ego, your negativity. It’s as strong as it has ever been when you start to avoid going to that place as well and refuse to talk about it.
But court that wolf…and you have an entirely different relationship with it. Don’t starve it….play with it. As fierce as vicious as it may seem when you are running from it, turn around and put your hand out and it will roll over and play with you.
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it. Sit down on a cushion, cross your legs, sit up straight, close your eyes, gaze about 6ft in front of you and breathe deeply. Don’t try to make anything happen. If thoughts start coming into your head, just gently come back to focusing on your breath. As time goes on, your experiences will vary…but just keep coming back to your breath. Again and again. Breath. You are already experiencing both energies.
– Evan Sanders