We all have both good and bad within us. It is up to each of us to choose which one we use in any given situation. On planet Earth, we have free will – or free choice – so we can freely choose either end of the dichotomy or anything between.
Humans have always attempted to downplay the fact that we all have good and bad within for all of our choices. Often the desire to avoid this human dichotomy is based on fear. Many are afraid of being “bad” so try to be good and, in the process, miss what is beneficial. For example, a friend discovered a great deal of repressed anger and attempted to continue to repress it because she believed anger was “bad”. Her anger eventually exploded on a friend for no reason and disturbed their friendship for several years. Through meditation my friend finally realized it would have been beneficial to allow the anger to flow more gently and regularly. She came to see that no emotion is innately “bad” just how you use it. Since bodies are very emotional, we need to have our spiritual view which can be gained from meditation.
There is a story from Native American history where a shaman was talking with his grandson about good and bad. He told his grandson he had two wolves fighting inside of him – a good wolf and a bad wolf. His grandson asked, “Which wolf is winning?” The shaman answered, “The one I feed”. Which wolf do you feed? It is all choice for each one of us and we need our spiritual view to balance the good and bad within us.
The concepts good and bad have become so disturbing to many people, they attempt to change them to less emotionally charged words such as positive and negative. Actually, positive and negative relate to electrical energy and do not necessarily relate to good and bad. What keeps us from honestly facing the good and bad within each of us? I believe this fear is based on our spirit and body imbalance. Every society has variations on what is considered good and bad and these differences develop to identify people. If something is outside of your comfort zone, it may threaten your identity group. Humans are focused on survival and protecting the norms they have created for survival. You, the spirit, may have one view and your body may have a different perspective from your group identity.
A focus only on the body and its emotional view limits us in seeing what is truly beneficial. That is where
meditation is needed to allow a spiritual perspective for our choices. The old saying that “a little good and a little bad make a happy life” indicates a balanced perspective. When you see life from a broader perspective than just physical, you can more easily forgive yourself and others and move on, instead of being mired in ideals of perfection about what is good and bad.
When you are unsure of your choice, pause to meditate on your issue so you can find a spirit/body balance and enjoy life. Know which “wolf” you are feeding by meditating.
By Mary Ellen Flora