What are you painting? To be honest, it depends on the day. Sometimes, your pallet is full of colors and well-coordinated. Other times, all you see is black and gray. However, if you push and encourage yourself, you can see the colors. It takes a lot of strength to find the colors by looking for what’s good at that moment. It’s quite easy to find the negative, the bad mood, the unkindness. You almost feel as if unkindness is the natural trait. It comes so easy and without any effort, smooth sailing.
You have to send a search party to find kindness, the good within the unpleasant, within the hurt, within the pain, within the embarrassment and shame. I could go on and on. Why is it so hard? You can hate more quickly than you can love. Holding resentment takes less effort than forgiveness. You feel more pity for yourself than confidence in yourself. Again, why is it so hard?
You know you’re not nice at that very moment. You feel it, you hear it, and you see it, but you tell yourself, I just can’t. That person doesn’t deserve it anyway. Hmm, what do we do? How do we climb that mountain? Maybe we climb the mountain one step at a time? We don’t have to reach the top of the mountain today! When you feel you just can’t, hit the pause button and retreat into silence. Reflect. When you’re ready, start climbing again. Life is not a race, it’s a marathon, and we’re told this mantra over and over again that the journey is the destination. We must learn to refrain and rest. The fight is to defend. Instead, leave that to God.
Quiet strength comes from a place of restraint when provoked intentionally or unintentionally. When you control your emotions, you build resilience.
The story below is one that you will find on many websites. The original author is unknown.
A Tale of Two Wolves:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he says 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 continues, “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 thinks about it for a minute and then asks his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replies, “The one you feed.”
There is tomorrow.
We all have a purpose. For example, we admire Stonehenge, and the artwork prompts questions. What put you here and why? Do you get my point?
Imagine the Northern Lights as another example. Imagine those lights are you on display in the night sky. In all its beauty and mystery. No one has to know why it’s possible but you. You just continue to shine in all your brilliance. You’ll do this by feeding the good wolf, and just allow the bad wolf to roam. Sometimes, feeding the bad wolf feels good. You feel secure. However, it’s only for a short-term reward. A reward without benefits. Eventually, you’ll feel pain and suffering.
The unpleasant character is rooted in one or many of these traits – anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The solution is simple until it’s not. Don’t react; be confident. I know better than anyone it’s so hard to remain calm. It’s hard not to feed the bad wolf. The energy of this fire burns intensely. We refuse to allow someone to get over on us. It’s unacceptable. However, the benefits of remaining calm far outweigh the reaction.
For example, I received a speeding ticket. The speed with which I was going would have saved me only five to seven minutes. I paid a hefty price to save five minutes. Let’s flip this lesson. Just five minutes of feeding the bad wolf can be costly.
Why not practice feeding the good wolf? Don’t worry if someone thinks you’re weak or that you possess a lack confidence or lack of strength. The only factor that’s important is what you think and what God thinks because, ultimately, you answer to Him. Don’t worry about the why. Just keep painting. We’re all a work of art.