Friday, July 14, 2023

There is a story about a First Nations elder who gave his son a lesson in gratitude. He described how two wolves live inside each of us. The good wolf and the bad wolf. The bad wolf will destroy you, cause you to do wrong things, and make you feel bad about yourself and others.

The good wolf is the one that speaks life. It reminds you of the good things in your life, the blessings, and how you can impact others for good.

The little boy exclaimed, “Yes! These two wolves live inside me, and they are always fighting!”

The grandfather said, “Yes, they always fight inside your head and body.”

The little boy said, “Which wolf wins?

The grandfather smiled at him and said, “Whichever one you feed.”

We all have dual inner voices, one that points out all the hardships we go through and that pulls us down. The other lifts us up by focusing on the good around us.

A friend of mine, Julie Caldwell from Country Jewel Retreats & Conferences, found both wolves battling in her heart several years after her divorce. She and her kids knew it was time to find their next home. Unfortunately, this happened during COVID, when homebuyers had no time to make informed decisions about the properties they wanted to buy.

In the beginning, Julie says she and her kids were so excited. After they failed to get the first and second houses they wanted, they knew the right one would come up. The fourth and the fifth were harder. Losing the offer on the sixth was even worse. But, the 7th! Julie figured it was worth losing out on the others to get this house because it was the best.

As almost every property back then had multiple offers, Julie waited in suspense for the call. She lost that house too.

She and the kids had had enough. She felt vulnerable enough being a single mom and felt even more awful bringing them on this roller coaster ride. She says the negative wolf in her head whispered, “Enough. I’m tired. I can’t do this anymore. I’ll stay stuck where I am.”

At first, Julie gave in to the discouragement and chose to stop looking. Then, she turned it into a pause, resolving that it would show itself when the right house was ready for her. So the family took a break from house hunting and focused on enjoying where they were.

Two months later, Julie browsed a real estate site and noticed a house in an area of town that was different from where she had been looking. Intrigued, she set up an appointment. Literally, on the way out the door, Julie got a call with the unfortunate news that an offer had already been put on the house. She decided it was still worth a look.

Julie’s first thought was, “Oh, here we go again.” But, a little voice in her said, “You know what? I’m already out the door. Let’s just go have a look.”

Appointments back then were limited to 15 to 20 minutes. It was not nearly enough time for Julie, and she went with her gut. She knew it was the perfect house for them in that season.

She and the kids got the house : )

If you are battling to keep your head up in a difficult situation, know that there is natural discomfort in taking a leap into the unknown of a challenge. It is an opportunity to pause, recalibrate, and choose to sit in gratitude at that moment.

Looking back, Julie is grateful for the dropped offers because she would never have found the place that she and her kids now see as perfect for them. She also knows that had she not seen the other 7, she would have had more trouble making the decision for the 8th under such a short timeline.

I’d love to ask, what situation, dream, or aspect of your life do you need to simply press pause on rather than a complete stop?