There is a story in the initial pages of Pema Chödrön’s book Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears that relays the tale of a man who tells his grandson that he has two wolves fighting in his heart. One wolf is filled with anger, the other filled with kindness. When the grandson asks which one will win the fight, the man says the one he chooses to feed. (I’m paraphrasing this story, of course — you can read an excerpt from the book here, which provides more context.)
I love this story. It’s the perfect metaphor for describing that what we give our energy to, thrives.
Another way to think about this is fueling the right fire. We all have multiple fires burning within us. Fires of passion, of rage, dwindling flames of grief, sparks of humor.
Indeed, the types of fires within us are endless. Great blazes, smoldering embers, spark-lights, and flickers — a wide variety, large and small. And we can always choose which ones we want to keep burning.
The fire of writing is the one that whispers (most often when we’re not listening) to write, to get the words out, to take incessant notes of observations on what’s happening in our minds and hearts and what we’re seeing out there in the universe and those events and things that compel us to jot something down.
For me, the fire of writing has always burned, albeit it at varying degrees. At its biggest blaze, I’ve felt an ease in the actual act of writing; the words seem to pour out. But if I fuel the fire of self-doubt that ever haunts me, the fire of writing dwindles to a flame. And while the urge to write never dies down, the actual effort becomes more difficult as the flame shrinks and I choose to put my energy into other areas of focus and mindsets.
If you fuel the fires of negativity, of self-doubt, of grief and suffering, they will swell and consume you. They’ll thrive and throb and convince you that they need more fuel at every instant. They’ll beg you to give them more, more, more.
But if fuel the fire of your inner call, fuel the fire of writing, you’ll see things start to move in a new direction. Unseen doors will open. Your path will become clearer. The other fires of negativity start to dwindle. Fuel the fire of your writing and you’ll see the words will come (so long as you believe they will).
The wolves you feed will win the fight.
The fires you fuel will burn the brightest.
Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay.