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.