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  • Lyn Suggs, LCSW

Your World, Inside and Out

My first blog post has been partially inspired by a Native American proverb. There are different versions, but a shorter version is this: An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth." The boy thought about it and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf

wins?" The old man quietly replied, "the one you feed."

In our world today, it is easy to focus on the hate, anger, and ugliness that is around us. This in turn can cause us to be angry, jealous, sad, hateful and mean. We can also carry resentments, emotional wounds, revenge, and bitterness. Between the outside world and our internal world, it can cause great magnitudes of suffering. OR, we can choose to still find beauty externally and internally; forgiveness, kindness, love, generosity, acceptance, hope, joy, calm, patience, light, gratitude and peace. The choice is ours. The choice is ALWAYS ours. No matter what is happening outside or inside of us, no matter if our boss yelled at us, our partner was unkind, our child ignored us or we woke up on the wrong side of the bed, we can still choose the better path, the good wolf. We are not the victim in our lives, we are the creators. And the more we realize this and choose where we put our focus and how we handle life's hurdles, the better our lives will become.

This becomes much easier when we do our internal work. If we're triggered, often due to old wounds, it is on us to heal those wounds. We owe it to ourselves and those around us to do our work. But even if that hasn't happened, we can still choose to focus on the positive. We can wait to respond to an unkind snark from our partner. Instead of replying with a cutting remark, we can ask what that was about? Is everything ok? Is there something you're upset with me about? When we can find curiosity both with people in our lives and with ourselves, things go better. When we find ourselves perseverating on something negative, be curious with yourself. Why is this bothering me so much? Why can't I let this go? What is this about for me? We can often find that it relates back to an emotional injury. So important to be curious and both kind and forgiving to ourselves, especially when we struggle. Curiosity, compassion, and caring are great ways to keep the good wolf at the fore.

When we find ourselves focused on negative, learn to bring focus to the positive. Practice hope, look for the good in situations, silver linings are almost always there, even in tragedy. Practice visualization. If you worry, visualize how you would like it to be, hold that vision, feel how good that feels. This is a powerful manifestation tool and much more positive than worry and anxiety.

Find your way to good self care and a daily or close to daily practice of spirituality and/or connection to the world outside of you. When we are depleted it is much harder to be positive. Find what works for you, what feeds you, what helps you stay in a positive place. Anything that can help you be more heart centered.

Practice gratitude, it is a great way to start and end each day. It shifts our mind into a positive space. Look for things to have gratitude for, big and small. The beautiful flowers you drive by, your great neighbors, a beautiful day, your husband finally put the seat down. You get the idea, if you are looking for it in your day, you will find it. If you start your day with gratitude, the good wolf will be by your side much more often. You choose.

Love and blessings, we are all on this journey together.

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