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See the Love Around You and You’ll Feel More Love Within You

“The most important thing in this world is to learn to give out love, and let it come in.” ~Morrie Schwartz

There is a Native American tale that tells of a young boy speaking with his grandmother. She tells the boy that she has the spirit of two wolves living and battling inside of her; one is vengeful and unkind, as he sees all the world as a threat, and the other is loving, secure, and nurturing.

The little boy asks his grandmother, “Which one will end up winning?” and the grandmother replies, “Which ever one I feed.”

We all have this pull inside of us: We can either nurture our fears and insecurities, or we can nurture our trust in love, kindness, and acceptance. This is not a new concept.

There is an endless amount of information out there about connecting with your inner self and finding happiness from within.

However, all that information can feel overwhelming and even discouraging. If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself still aching from a broken heart, or beating yourself up for the chocolate-chip cookie you just ate shortly after reading about finding forgiveness, gratitude, and self-love.

What I realized was missing for me in my quest for self-improvement—and what kept pulling me back to my old, familiar negative thinking, feeding the insecure wolf—was faith.

In order to make the meaningful changes that allow us to release the grasp of our fears and limiting thoughts and beliefs, we have to be willing to believe in the positivity—believe that we deserve to stop beating ourselves up and looking for an external solution to “fix” us.

It’s not enough to just think it. We have to believe it.

The limiting beliefs of our fears are deep-rooted, and so we need to meet them from our gut level. We need to really believe that it’s okay to step out of our darkness and connect with our light instead.

Okay. So, how do we do that?

We need to find evidence of that love around us.

The world we see is a reflection of our inner experience.

When we see love and light, we are connected to love and light inside of us. And conversely, when we see the inadequacies around us, we’ll connect with that inside of ourselves.

Look around you. Where can you find evidence of the light in your life, the light within you?

This concept was never more evident for me than when I had my son. Whenever I veer off course—when my old, familiar, fearful thoughts creep up to tell me how I’m not good enough, I don’t have enough, or how everything is going to fall apart—I think about my son.

When I look at him, I’m able to so clearly see the beauty and the purity of the human soul. He doesn’t have to do anything to prove or earn his lovability; I certainly don’t look at him and think, “Gee, if he lost a little weight, I’d love him more,” or “When he meets that financial goal, that’s when I’ll love him.”

These thoughts don’t even cross my mind when I think of him, so why would it seem logical to say them to myself?

We all started out in the same place, with a full capacity for love and loving. We weren’t born into this world with fears of failure or being emotionally walled off. Children know no limitations until we point them out to them.

There was once a time in your life when your dreams knew no limitations, when you were free to take risks, and even if you fell down, you were able to get back up.

That light is still in you. It doesn’t ever go away; fear just overshadows it. 

Fortunately, fear is a learned response that has built up over time, which means that we can unlearn it!

When we allow ourselves to realize that the fear isn’t real, we get to make a different choice. We can choose to find the love instead—to feed the loving wolf.

I know that when I look at my son and I see that loving energy, it is my loving energy reflecting back at me.

Take a look around. Where do you see your loving reflection shining back at you? What inspires you? Where can you look for a reminder to stay connected to your belief that you deserve a life of love, and that the love and all possibilities are already inside of you?

How can you stay present and aware of which wolf you are feeding?

Photo by Gabriella Corrado

Avatar of Jennifer Chrisman

About Jennifer Chrisman

Jennifer Chrisman is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist practicing in Los Angeles, where she specializes in using Mindfulness based approaches to help her clients find more meaning in their life.  To learn more, you can check out her website here, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    Jennifer –

    We hear about “The Secret” and people tell us to look for the best in others, but there is just so much to unlearn in regards to the response of fear. When everything around us screams “Look at me!”, it’s difficult to find that inner peace that feeds that loving wolf.

    “The world we see is a reflection of our inner experience.”

    That was when your article resonated with me. That was when my mind, body and soul all woke up and took notice. It’s such a simple statement but yet so powerful.

    It isn’t the inner experience taught to us by society or our past but rather the inner experience with ourselves. How profound and eye-opening.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a deep part of yourself with the world.

  • Chad Davis

    Wonderfully written, Jennifer! I especially liked the small point about children knowing no bounds until we’ve taught them boundaries… Definitely something that can be expanded on. Also reminded me of “Batman Begins” (yeah, cheesy reference); “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”

  • Lv2terp

    FANTASTIC blog post, thank you for this! I love the analogy of feeding the wolves, and I love this…really powerful!! “When we see love and light, we are connected to love and light inside of
    us. And conversely, when we see the inadequacies around us, we’ll
    connect with that inside of ourselves.” :)

  • Johanna_Galt

    ” That light is still in you. It doesn’t ever go away; fear just overshadows it. “Yes! I love this line. It’s so easy to forget that we all have a light inside of ourselves with all of the dust that accumulates from living in this world. I agree that children can be a great reminder of the beauty, freedom, possibility and innocence that also exist here. Since I don’t have a child of my own (yet…) I like to look back at pictures of myself as a child. Seeing that little girl with her glowing eyes full of joy and wonder helps me to remember that those qualities still live inside of me as well.

  • F B

    Thank you for this post, it came just at the right time! :)

  • http://twitter.com/DrJennChrisman Jennifer Chrisman

    Thank you so much for your comment.  I’m so glad that there was something in it of value for you.

    Kindly,
    Jenn Chrisman

  • http://twitter.com/DrJennChrisman Jennifer Chrisman

    Isn’t it funny how the universe always gives us exactly what we need when we need it!

  • http://twitter.com/DrJennChrisman Jennifer Chrisman

    Hi Johanna, Yes! Pictures of ourselves as children can be just as powerful.  I also keep a picture of a little me on the mirror where I get ready in the morning.  It serves as a great reminder for me!

    Thank you for your comment! 

  • http://twitter.com/DrJennChrisman Jennifer Chrisman

    Hi Chad!  Thank you for taking the time to comment, I’m so glad that there was something of value in this article for you. And definitely nothing cheesy about a Batman reference, we find our inspiration and connection wherever we need to!

  • http://twitter.com/DrJennChrisman Jennifer Chrisman

    Hi Shannon,

    Thank you so much for your comment and for taking the time to write it. It is such an honor for me to be able to share this with others and know that you are able to connect with something written and we can have a shared experience :)

    Thank you!

  • Reggifine2647

    This was so beautiful.  I suffer greatly from many deep fears, for many many years.  This year I have begun the process of dealing with them all, facing them, uncovering them, working to live past their reach, and to one day rid myself them…feeding the good wolf. As I’m going through this process I realize how I had been living completely out of touch as a disconnected and fearful person. And I thought I was a good person!…just because I was so nice and kind. But I wasn’t authentic. Hardly anyone knows the real me, the person beneath the heavy layers of fear shadows, trying to protect the vulnerable, sensitive person inside. I will continue to feed my good wolf and continue to love my reflections of love that I can now see all around me. It’s sometimes overwhelming to not be overwhelmed by the heaviness of fear. My faith will help me get through this, and will conquer all of it. I know it! Not for one second do I doubt the power of faith!

  • http://frominkirise.wordpress.com/ Jungo

    I love the wolf story. My mother used to tell me a similar story and always seen the reflection of a wolf in me, since birth. I did not get this until about a few years ago. Now, after reading this post, I understand my decisions in life a lot better; I also understand why my mother has always seen the spirit of a wolf in me. Nonetheless this is a good post. I am glad that I’ve read this. I was able to get a few pointers out of it. Those pointers reminded me what I am trying to accomplish with myself.

  • http://www.motivation.net.au/quotes/love-quotes Quotes Love

    Thanks for sharing valuable information and I
    hope it will work beneficial for other member as me…

     

  • Sundancebleu

    Thank you this was wonderful!

  • http://twitter.com/caiquelessa Caique Lessa

    So funny how we keep looking for love within, when sometimes love is surrounding us. Treating negative thinking as “familiar” or even a family heritage is a good call to pull a herald everytime you face this sort of feelings.
    Thank you, Jennifer.

  • http://twitter.com/DrJennChrisman Jennifer Chrisman

    Thank you!!