Friday, June 7, 2013

Whichever One You Feed

Thru my office window

There's little that's simple or easy or fair about life.
There's much that's wonderful, amazing, enjoyable about life.

Which is true?

I won't pretend that things (in general) are/have been easy
in these parts recently. Challenge is a constant companion.
So is hard work and optimism.
As the saying goes, things are seldom as bad as I fear nor as good as I hope.
Life is far worse for many others, better for many others.
Little point in even going down that comparative road.

There is joy here. Progress here. Warmth and laughter here.


Sometimes in the wee hours of the nite when fevers and worries flourish
I have to decide. Other times when things (or people) place unexpected
issues at my feet I have to decide. There are points in time when I'm tired, discouraged, generally pissed off frustrated and again I have to decide.

That is when I remember the legend of whichever you feed....
Attributed to ancient native american lore tho I've never been able to source if for certain. It's been a standard of sanity for me for most of my adult life.
Thought I'd share it - 

The legends tells of a young adult sitting in a field talking with his aged grandfather. The discussion wanders pleasantly and ultimately touches upon dealing with human emotions. Joy and sadness. Anger and kindness. Envy and contentment.  The elder likens these emotions to animals they both know well.  The wolf, the bear, the eagle, the hawk, the coyote. He points out that each of these animals, much like each human emotion, is profoundly clever and powerful. His grandson asks "if each is clever and each is powerful, which is the strongest grandfather"?
To which his grandfather replies "whichever one you feed".

In the darkness of nite, in the moments of frustration, in the times of contentment and satisfaction I remind myself it is always my decision what I will 'feed'. What I will give more strength and power. It's harder for any emotion you do not feed to sustain. Harder for it to overtake you. Difficult for it to control you. Conversely true is the fact that what you 'feed' will direct you, control you, own you and the direction of your life, step by step. Inch by inch.

You often do not choose nor invite the pieces that are the puzzle of your life into the frame of your days and nights. The successes and problems, joys and agonies, delights and difficulties are largely random.

Your initial reaction is human, unscripted.
But which you feed is your decision, your choice.

It's such a simple yet complex lesson. A lesson that never fails to help me. I seldom have control over situations. I neither have (nor want) control over other people's point of view. But I can control what I focus on (feed) and how I react and interact. Step by step and situation by situation I can choose.

Every day I strive to pay close attention to which I feed...


gracie said...

So glad that I stopped by today! Thank you....

Florida Farm Girl said...

You are so right. But, being human, its hard to remember that sometimes.