During a 12 Step meeting I attended the group was discussing our hopes for learning to live in a state of humility. One man said that humility keeps getting crowded out by pride and resentment in his heart. There was a lively conversation about how to fight pride and resentment.
As I listened, I was reminded of the story of a wise Cherokee grandfather who told his grandson about the two wolves fighting inside his heart—inside every human heart. One was evil and the other good. When the boy asked which wolf would win the battle, his grandfather said, “the one you feed.”
Sometimes fighting the evil actually feeds it. When I work hard to overcome pride and resentment, I am focusing on pride and resentment. The attention I give them feeds them, even if it is negative attention. I judge myself lacking when I dwell on those feelings which can put me into a cycle of guilt and/or shame.
Nurturing something positive, instead, works better in my experience. As it grows, it will crowd out the resentment and pride, and fear as well.
What is that positive I can focus on? What can I nurture that will swell and grow and leave no room for negative attitudes and feelings? For me it is gratitude. When I fill my heart with gratitude and focus on how grateful I am for the innumerable blessings of my life, it crowds out the tendencies of the natural woman toward fear, pride and resentment. My heart sings with joy when I focus on gratitude, and it isn’t about what I am grateful for. Once I started looking, I saw blessings all around me. No, it is about the feeling itself—the attitude of gratitude!
When I cultivate gratitude I am feeding and watering love in my heart. Love for and from God fills my heart and crowds out all negatives. It is an awesome way to live!
- Do you recognize negative feelings or attitudes in your life?
- Are you willing to focus on gratitude to crowd those out?
- List 10 things you are grateful for today. Are you willing to do that every day?
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