'Only your heart can free yourself from yourself.'
~ Mark Weeks
The old warrior reached out and gently squeezed his granddaughters hand. The glow of the campfire etched out her beauty, she was no longer the young girl who would ride with him into the wilderness hunting deer and swimming in the creek. She was now a woman, and this would be their last evening together, tomorrow she would leave for her arranged marriage with the Lakota. His heart felt heavy and tears welled in both their eyes. She knew too that by the time she returned, if she did, he would have died.
How can I be true to myself she had asked earlier in the evening, he had remained silent. But now as the campfire dwindled she asked once more, 'How can I stay true to me grandfather, I feel like I will lose myself within this new tribe, and lose the real me.'
The warrior took a deep breath and called upon the spirits to guide his voice.
'To know yourself and understand yourself is to begin to trust yourself. When you begin to have confidence in your own feelings and act on them you are becoming self-reliant, no matter where you maybe in the world.'
The girl gently nodded, and a half smile illuminated her angelic face.
'But,' the old man added in a heavy tone, 'this is never going to be an easy journey, others want you to conform and surrender to their principles, their myths.' He prodded the dying embers with his staff, and returned his gaze back to his granddaughters eyes.
'These battles will continue throughout your life,' he paused for a second, 'yet their outcomes are determined by the two wolves inside every heart. These wolves only live to tear each other apart. This is the bloodiest fight man will ever know. It is terrible, I still feel them everyday gnawing away at each other. They are relentless in their viciousness and power. They drain me of energy and leave me sombre.'
The old man let the silence wash over him, nourishing his thoughts, he had never spoken directly to his granddaughter about his inner feelings before, always remaining stoic, but age does something to a man. Tears welled in his eyes.
'What do these wolves stand for grandfather?'
'One is full of evil', replied the old man solemnly, 'he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, self-pity, arrogance, guilt, resentment, false pride, inferiority, lies, superiority and ego. The other, is good', he continued, 'this wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, truth, generosity, compassion and faith. This same brutal fight is going on inside you too, it is ongoing in every single person on the planet.'
The girl nodded slowly, gently squeezing her grandfathers bony hand, she thought for a minute and then asked, 'Which wolf will eventually win?'
The old man smiled and simply replied, 'The one you feed.'
Post by Mark Weeks