…there is an old Native legend of the Grandfather who recounts the story of the Black Wolf and the White Wolf within each of us, that compete for our minds and hearts, and the one who wins is the one which we feed. Although it has some truths, I’ve always found this to be a little bit too ‘simplistic’ a version for myself, as there are some important strengths and characteristics of the Black Wolf that are absolutely needed at times, (you may need to actually fight for something that you believe in at some point in your life), just as the White Wolf’s natural state of grace is ultimately admirable. It’s not really about trying to suppress or starve one or the other out, as that creates an imbalance in us… it’s about understanding and appreciating when and where both are needed.
I’ve always found that much of the so-called Self Help and Enlightenment stuff out there is a bit hollow (or pure bullshit), as it fails to mention or honor what Jung called our ‘Shadow self’, instead it focuses on the ‘Peace, Love, Rainbows and Unicorns’ aspects of a spiritual journey. For me personally, I’ve often found more relatable meaning in what I would call the ‘Blood, Guts, Sweat and Tears’ messaging, because it’s often difficult or a struggle as we learn and grow and strive towards being our best selves.
This year I had some very personal experiences in dealing with the concepts and themes around my own ‘Shadow’ and ‘Light’ selves, and I’ve been tinkering with how to express some of it in words… how do I reconcile these two seemingly opposite parts of myself? Well… here’s my personal take of the deeper truth behind this particular legend.
I hope you like it.
“There is no fight between the wolves within me. Like are the sun and the moon, or where the land meets the sea, they each have dominion. They are not at war, they are lovers. Their purpose is not to dominate or control the other, but to recognize and reflect each other. The black wolf is fierce and wild, independent, unafraid of the darkness and of howling at the moon. The white wolf is calm, watchful, nurturing and playful, and quietly leads the pack in the warm afternoon. They compliment and complete each other, and together the strengths and weaknesses of both these opposite halves make me whole. I need them both. I feed them both. I love them both.”