There is a Cherokee story about a grandfather explaining to his grandson that he has two wolves fighting inside him, one evil and one good. The grandson wants to know which wolf will win the fight. The grandfather replies, “the one I feed.” That’s how it is with nurturing. We decide what we want to grow. If we spend all our “food” worrying about dismal outcomes, we will nourish that. If we spend our energy focusing on what is good and true and desirable, we will grow that.
One of the challenges with nurturing a vision is that we usually have no idea how to make the vision a reality. Not knowing the “cursed hows” gets in the way of our faith. The way it should work is that we maintain faith and then we discover how to proceed. There are steps that we can know in advance however. These are the steps of nurturing itself. We don’t know how a seed actually grows, but we know we need to give it good soil, sun and moisture, and protect it from strong winds and insects.
Likewise, with nurturing our dreams, nurturing our ability to be the people we aspire to be, we can follow steps of nurturing. One is to create an environment that encourages growth. Being a member of a spiritual community that resonates with our beliefs, and attending services where we receive spiritual feeding and get communal support, is a very important step we can take. Reading books and watching videos that focus on the power within us is nutritious for our faith.
This fall, Unity Community will be using the book E2 by Pam Grout to fortify our faith. This book presents scientific experiments anyone can do to help us recognize the power that is shining within and all around us at all times so that we can use it. Reading this book will be nourishing. Reading it with a group will be far more enriching because as we hear the testimony of others in the group, we share in their nourishment. It’s easy to say we believe a higher power is operating in our lives. It’s harder to make the commitment to do the work—like meet with a study group and share the results of our experiments—that will take the knowledge from a cerebral state to a deep practical knowing. But that’s what a commitment to nurturing involves. We don’t just talk; we walk our talk.
So whatever “wolf” you want to prevail in your life, commit now to taking concrete steps to nurture it.
Rev. Jane Meyers Hiatt’s talk on 8/31/2014: Nurturing | The Season of Spiritual Literacy