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Which wolf will you feed?

Looking back on it, and this is coming from a 25 year old who is a hopefully a quarter of the way done with his journey, I spent a great deal of my time on this planet feeding that dark wolf. Honestly, most of that was because everything inside of me, both emotionally and mentally, was in absolute chaos. I’ve referred back to my teens years as an emotional tornado. Most of my decisions were irrational, my relationships were a wreck, and I was a big stress-reaction to everything, a lifestyle that eventually brought me to a place where it all went up in flames. Whoosh.

Down burned the buildings to a crisp and I was left there standing in the ruins of it all. While I was surprised, somewhere deep inside I knew this nightmare was coming for me a long time ago and simply decided to do nothing about it.

You see, after everything tanked during my sophomore year of college I began to learn about consequences and the size 17 boot of karma. The decisions you’ve made in the past play out sometimes right in front of your eyes or a few years down the line – but don’t be mistaken, they always play out one way or another.

I remember reading somewhere a few years ago about Winston Churchill’s deep depression during hard times and how he believed that there was this beast that would follow him around…which he ironically named “The Black Dog.” Boy did I relate to that. It’s like a tar that is stuck all over your body and you can’t get it off of you. Slowly but surely, you are dragged down further and further until you feel like each of your legs weigh 10,000 lbs and you’re stuck. Numb. Emotionless.

Those times were really bad for me. I think back to that time in my life and while I can remember the events that occurred and whatnot…I am always taken back to this feeling of having hollow limbs and how my hands were always shaking. It seems so strange to me now because I am literally living my life on the complete other end of the spectrum… but my oh my do I remember that feeling.

You see, once in a while we hear these whispers that tell us what to do with our lives. These whispers are so faint that you can miss them easily if you’re not open to hearing them. Those same whispers during our times of darkness are most easily ignored because all you can really think about is trying to get out of your current situation because it hurts so bad. But even after all these years, I still remember the moment when I heard a whisper telling me to pick up a pen and just get it all out. Maybe it was my mind trying to tell me that it was tired of having the same events and words played over in my head time and time again. Or, maybe it was something else entirely. We may never know.

For the next three to six months I wrote every single day, page after page, journal after journal. I got everything out. All of the bad stuff. All of the good stuff. I tried to account for everything that had happened up to that point in my life…and once I put the pen down on that final day I felt…clear. But those journals were left over in the open and there were things in there that I never wanted anyone to read, myself included…so on the front porch of our apartment I lit up the BBQ and cooked those suckers.

I’ve been asked time and time again how I stay positive every single day. The answer to that question always seems to surprise people – I don’t. In fact, I have horrible days. I mean the worst. I remember when I was living in L.A. that I had the type of days where I not only questioned if I was going to make it work, but I was questioning whether anything I was doing in my life was working at all. Talk about meltdown mode.

But the answer to staying positive is not really a secret at all – it all comes down to choice.

Choice – that one word – is what I lacked in my life for those early years before I started to realize that I was in charge of myself. It’s not that I didn’t make good choices once in a while, but rather that I refused to accept any sort of personal responsibility for the fact that I was the result of all the decisions I had made in the past. Trust me, when you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, it’s really easy to blame everything and anything for that failure. So that was my choice – and with that choice comes the dark wolf – shame, fear, grief, hate…the works.

Starting to write in The Better Man Project didn’t automatically illuminate my life. There was no “ah hah!” moment where I immediately transcended into some sort of higher consciousness and could see the way. It was actually quite the opposite – things got worse before they got better. That was okay though because I had made a decision to uncover everything and see it for what it was, not the disillusioned way of how I wanted to see it.

Opening the floodgates to the depths of your heart and unchaining your deepest secrets can stir up some conflict in your life.

But I did it anyway…and it hurt. It hurt real bad. I uncovered secrets in my past, the truth, reasons why I had failed, flaws in my character, lies, miserable attempts at having any amount of integrity, deep seeded hatred, and to save you some time I will say…etc etc here.

All my demons came out to play – but that was the point. That’s what I want to hammer home for you in this post. I walked with my fears and demons instead of trying to run or hide from them…for once. I familiarized myself with my weak points and my major flaws and that opened up the possibility of being able to work on my life instead of be completely out of control. That process by the way was not over the course of a few blog posts. Oh no…that process was over hundreds and hundreds of posts…and to be honest it is still going on today.

But it’s different now. How?

You cannot change your past and the wolf you fed during that time. It’s impossible. Don’t even try to go there. But you can choose which wolf you will feed today. Over time, things will start to look a lot brighter if you make that decision consistently.

There will always be a great force inside of you trying to make you choose darkness over light. We are surrounded by negative people, situations, news, and events that constantly batter us daily. But if you have enough resolve, if you have it in you to make that decision to be a man or woman of light, your world will change many times over throughout the years for the better.

That, I promise you. Choose light.

– Evan Sanders, The Words Of Encouragement