So what are we going to do?
We can’t kill the wolf of hate because hating the wolf of hate just feeds it. Instead, we need to control this wolf and channel its fire into healthy forms of protection and assertiveness. And we need to stop feeding it with fear and anger.
Meanwhile, we need to feed the wolf of love. This will make us stronger inside, more patient, and less resentful, annoyed, or aggressive. We’ll stay out of needless conflicts, treat people better, and be less of a threat to others. Then we’ll also be in a stronger position to get treated better by them.
There are lots of ways to feed the wolf of love.
We can feed it by taking in the good of everyday experiences of feeling seen, appreciated, cared about, even cherished and loved.
We can feed the wolf of love by practicing compassion for ourselves and others, and by letting these experiences of compassion sink into our hearts.
We can feed the wolf of love by recognizing the good in other people — and then by taking in the experience of the goodness in others.
Similarly, we can feed the wolf of love by sensing the goodness inside our own hearts, and by letting that sense of truly being a good person — not a perfect person, but a good person — also sink in.
Last, we can feed the wolf of love by seeing the good in the world, and the good in the future that we can make together — in the face of so many messages these days that are dark and despairing.
We feed the wolf of love, in other words, with heart and with hope. We feed this wolf by sustaining our sense of what’s good in other people, what’s good in ourselves, what’s already good in our world, and what could be even better in a world we can build together.
We need to stay strong to do this, to hold on to what we know to be true in spite of the brain’s tendency to focus on threats and losses, and in spite of the age-old manipulations of various groups that play on fear and anger — that feed the wolf of hate — to gain or hold onto wealth and power.
So let’s stay strong and hold on to the good that exists all around us and inside us.
Let’s stay strong and hold onto the good that can be, that we can nourish and build in this world.
Let’s stay strong and hold onto each other.
Let’s stay strong enough to take in the good that feeds the wolf of love each day.
Did you find this article helpful? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section.
Written by: Rick Hanson Ph.D. Originally appeared on: Psychology Today Republished with permission