A Coaching Model Created by Ann Marie Donlin
(Life Coach/Mentor Coach, UNITED STATES)
A Cherokee Parable
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.”
Which one do you feed?
We all have two wolves. The root of all emotion is either Love or Fear and we can choose which we want to feed. There is a very different thought process around both basic emotions. It takes practice and mindful effort to choose Love where ever possible. Most often we react to what the circumstances life brings and often that is a fear based reaction.
As we see in the story of the wolves Fear leaches from it negative emotions like pessimism, pity, flight, doubt, arrogance, hubris, violence, lust, jealousy, envy, greed, pettiness, meanness, anger, power struggles, worry, selfishness, narcissism, guilt and so much more. Love blooms all the positive emotions like joy, serenity, generosity, bliss, happiness, humility, excitement, hope, faith, forgiveness, trust, optimism, laughter, endurance, patience, peace, abundance and so much more.
Discerning which is happening while you are in the middle of a situation can be very difficult. Time is the only thing that can help. Stop and think, where is this coming from? Give yourself time to discern which do I want to feed? This can produce great results. Choose to respond instead of reacting to any given situation.
There is no fear when you choose love. The more you choose love, the more love is in your life. It gets easier and easier. ~Melissa Etheridge
With every change in a situation there can be an emotion solicited from you. Knowing which one is presenting itself and which one you want to present takes practice. The first step is to breathe and determine which emotion is being heightened. This requires a pause in time. A moment taken to do a quick check of your body, mind, and spirit. What is the most pronounced emotion you feel? What is the root of this emotion? If you find it is fear, what is causing this fear based reaction? How can I look at this situation differently with love?
Then, what can you do about it? Can you see the situation from the other side? Often using sympathy or empathy can help to focus on an alternative emotion. Walk a mile in the shoes as they say. Try to understand and feel what the other side of the situation is going through or feeling.
Now you can make a conscious effort to choose a base emotion more in line with how you want to live. Respond with this emotion in mind. There is always a choice no matter the situation. A knee jerk reaction or a thoughtful response.
A coach can assist in preparing for emotional situations.Let’s look at the following situation:
John was having difficulty communicating with his adult daughter, she always seemed to be accusing him of not being there for her while she was growing up. He professed that this wasn’t true and even listed examples for her of what he had done and how he had sacrificed. This would generally cause her dig in exclaiming that “he would never understand” and she “can’t believe him”. After questioning the situation, John admits he is reacting out of frustration at not being able to convince her to see his truth. He ultimately discovered he was reacting out of the fear of judgement. He did not want to be thought of as a bad father. After some time, John begins to see that if he stops trying to prove that he was a good father and arguing his point with his daughter there might a chance for change or at least peaceful time spent with her. John decides he will set aside his truth about what kind of Father he was and he begins to sit quietly and listen to his daughter. John allows her to say whatever she feels without jumping in and releases judgement of the story. John was also able to identify that his daughter had a truth about her life that was different from his own. John turned his emotion about the situation from fear of judgement about himself to kindness and humility towards his daughter’s story. John reported back sometime later that his daughter’sstories of childhood had changed as they grew closer. She now saw her life through the filter of love. He indicated that she felt heard and honored by John when he stopped trying to prove himself to her. Now her childhood is shaded with the love she feels from her father and for her father. John letting go of his own fear about how he was being seen as a father helped to heal what was in his daughter’s story.
In the case study above, both parties held on to emotions they felt entitled to, but did nothing for their relationship. If we can find the root emotion we can often shift just enough to foster change. At no time did John have to admit that he was a bad father, he just had to stop arguing that he was a good one.
Everyone has emotions live in this emotion. Assisting a client in discovering and even changing theirs allows them to find the emotion of choice.
- What emotions are you feeling as you tell this story?
- What is the root of this emotion?
- What do you want to have out of this relationship?
- What would it look like if you change the way you see this?
- What does this situation look like through the sense of Love?
Two Wolf Story from: http://www.virtuesforlife.com/two-wolves/
Read more quotes at: https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=love+and+fear