Canis lupus

A wolf the color of snow pads silently, leaving a trail in its wake. It is on the hunt. The ground is frozen white, with barely any hint of the vegetation underneath. A twig snaps in the distance and the white wolf lifts its head, its ears pricked. Even from a distance, it catches the scent of an outsider—someone who doesn’t belong to the pack. 

The white wolf shifts, its muscles tensing, ready.

It tastes the unmistakable metallic tang of blood in the air. 

A steady growl pierces the thick atmosphere and red eyes light up the gloom. From a thick cover of trees, a dark wolf emerges, its coat the color of coal. Out of place in these gray lands.

The dark wolf bares its fangs. Dark liquid trickles from its canines and stains the immaculate whiteness of snow.

***

Even now, I struggle to put into words the war being waged inside me. I’ve been fruitlessly trying for months now. This is why I haven’t posted anything in a while. That lost feeling at the beginning of this year has finally caught up with me, and it strikes me with full force, such that I am nearly knocked out of breath and reeling after every blow. I suppose I am not as strong as I’d like to believe. Even now, I trudge on carrying the wounds of my past, aching for the girl I once was and for the glory days that had come and gone.

In a message to Roi, one of the few souls with whom I can be absolutely honest with, I wrote:

i have been scarred and i don’t know how to heal properly. i’m too anxious about all the wrong things, yes. i feel so wrong about myself. i feel sad and worried about myself. and i know—i have to excise these thoughts, cut them off before they start growing like weeds all over my mind. i need to take back my life, to move forward. i know, love, i know. i have to let my old self go—the younger, better self. i am a mess of an adult, and barely an adult at that. i know i have to give myself room, hell, to breathe! not only to grow, but to breathe. to let myself take those small steps. but i’m too scared to start. i don’t know where to start. rome was not built in a day, of course. but there’s this feeling that i’m running out of time. (a lie.) i know, i know. all i am is a fumbling, stumbling person—hardly a canvas for something great. but, my goodness, do i try. i have to remember that all efforts will eventually pay off. maybe not in the way or form i’m expecting. i have to relearn the good and unlearn the bad habits. and, of course, i am yet to learn so much. maybe i’ve forgotten how to hope, how to look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. maybe i’ve forgotten how to be grateful even for the small things, the tiny triumphs of daily life. maybe i’ve forgotten the good things because i’ve been wallowing in my misery all this time, scarcely able to keep my head above dark waters. but you’re right, love. i should live—let myself live. ironic how it’s in my name but i often forget to do so. i must root for myself, too. this is where i start. 

I’ve been feeling helpless for the longest time. There is so much self-doubt in my mind. I fear I do not have the discipline to strive for and achieve my dreams. My treacherous thoughts have laid out so many traps in my mind that I am ensnared every single time. The thing is, I know of every mantra, every positive thought, that will allegedly cure this persistent negativity—I know. Yet, for someone with a very different mindset, it is not that easy to veer off course and change, especially when one is nearly consumed.

But this is me telling myself: this has to stop. I deserve better, and I will start working for it.

***

The Cherokee, a Native American tribe, have a famous legend about two wolves.

It goes like this:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

© Zane Kaiser

Yes, I have been feeding the evil wolf for so long. And it took me years to realize this.

Still, it is not yet too late.

Slowly, I will stop feeding this wolf. I will withdraw from it, even if it becomes aggressive. Even if it bites at the hand that has already fed it for a long time.

Believing in myself once more will take a great deal of work; it might even draw blood and cause pain.

***

My favorite person ever (guess who!) added to the famous saying (and I hope this is not blasphemous, haha):

Rome was not built in a day, and it was not built by a single person either.

So, here I am. I choose to feed the good wolf: I choose peace, love, kindness, happiness, generosity, empathy. I choose better.

I choose to root for the goodness in me once more.

rome

Credits:

Post-scripts:

  1. I hope I am not appropriating any culture here. I am only borrowing the wisdom found in this famous Cherokee legend, as well as the famous saying about Rome. I give my thanks, for these have helped me find resolution for the war within.
  2. The title for this blog entry is the scientific name for the gray wolf. (Sadly, I couldn’t italicize nor underline it. Biology student problems, haha!)
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