An elder Cherokee tells his grandson about the battle that goes inside all people. He said:
“My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us. One is Fear. It carries anxiety, concern, uncertainty, hesitancy, indecision and inaction. The other is Faith. It brings calm, conviction, confidence, enthusiasm, decisiveness, excitement and action.” The boy thought about it for a moment then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf wins?’ The old man replied: ̔ THE ONE YOU FEED.’”
This Native American legend, which Gary Keller presents with a little twist in his book The One Thing, caught my attention and made me wonder: How many times have we abandoned a project or a dream because the voice of the wolf that represents fear was stronger and made us believe that the goal was impossible? How many times have we let that same negative voice fill us with anxiety and uncertainty, to the point of postponing an important decision due to fear of failure?
The voice of the wolf that represents fear has been present in my life on many occasions. However, I have learned that a life dominated by fear is a life half-lived.
When we successfully silence that negative voice, which sometimes has the power to even paralyze us, and allow the positive voice to resonate in our hearts, we can continue with the confidence and conviction that everything will be fine and then fulfill our dreams.
“Remember… dream,” Pope Francis tells us. “Sure, a person sometimes dreams of things that are never going to happen. But dream them. Count your dreams and talk about the great things you desire, because the bigger the ability to dream, when life leaves you half way, the further you have traveled. So, first, dream.”
To accomplish the big things that we desire, that right now are just yearnings, we can´t feed the fear wolf. We should learn to recognize our enemy, so that when his voice echoes loudly to the point of invading our senses and thoughts, we have the strength and confidence to silence him and tell him NO! Not with a tiny, timid no, but rather with a no that will make him tremble, droop his ears down, hide his tail between his legs and look for a place to hide far away.
The power to silence him is within each one of us. Nobody can do it for us. When we have the courage to confront our fears to do something challenging, our faith will overflow, allowing us to hear the voice of the other wolf. If we let the voice of faith resound loud and clear, we can live in peace, with the confidence and conviction that everything will be fine.
Life goes by in the blink of an eye. Do you remember when you were a small child and you learned to do something for the first time? To me it seems like yesterday, but that time flew by to this very moment. That is probably how quickly it will seem to us when it is time for our passing on. It is important, then, to ask ourselves this question before that time seizes upon us. What would we regret more: the things we achieved despite the mistakes and the bumps along the road, or, on the contrary, the things we did not do, the dreams that we did not fulfill, the words and feelings that we did not express because we were paying too much attention or cowering in fear as we listened to the fear wolf?