A young Metis-Man once visited his Elder for fresh advice.
"Elder, in my dreams that are nightmares I keep seeing the same Black Wolf, running scared in an alley, scavenging for food."
"Yes, go on." The Elder said
"In the nightmare, I'm with another man who I don't know and can't see. His presence is beside me as we've cornered the Black Wolf in fear. I see only the man's rifle barrel in the dream."
"As the barrel of the rifle rises, the man beside me whispers:
"Shhhh! Be Still! I've got this."
"Elder, I'm so confused."
"Go on, spoke the Elder to the young man. Tell me more. I wish to learn."
The young man continued as he sat with the Elder on the Elder's blanket, laying upon the ground.
"You shared with me long ago, a story of The White Wolf and the Black Wolf battling inside of me."
"You taught me and have guided me to learn the lesson of the story."
"Yes. You asked me which wolf wins the battle. The story I shared tells us that the Wolf that wins inside is the one we feed."
"You've helped me learn. You've guided me. I have learned and I am grateful."
"There is a rifle barrel on the Black Wolf in my dream, Elder."
"Shhh, I've got this," says the man in the dream."
"In my dream, as the rifle rises, the Black Wolf moves to a Tall Wood Fence between trees. There, he paces, fear in his eyes."
The young man went on.
"I watch as the man's finger starts it's draw to fire at the wolf for the kill."
"Elder, I wake up from this dream every time, cold, sweating, and very afraid. As if I must now run."
"Tell me more young-man, coaxed the Elder."
"I wake up afraid. I'm not in fear of the Black Wolf." The young man says with a mimicking of the Elder's Authority."
"Why the fear on waking?" Asks the Elder.
"I'm afraid of the man."
"Why is that?"
"As he draws on the trigger of the rifle to kill The Black Wolf in the dream, I charge the man, knocking him to the ground. I throw the rifle away behind me. I then run at The Black Wolf, screaming, "Go-Run-Be Free."
"Yes." Says the Elder with the tiniest of grins. "You're confused?"
"Yes" Answers the young man.
"I feel defeated."
"I've fed The White Wolf inside as you guide me to do. The White Wolf is alive in me now. I'm grateful and more at peace. But I'm afraid of the man with the gun. I have a new question."
"I don't understand why I fight in the dream to save The Black Wolf that's caused me so mush suffering? Can you help me understand why I fight the man to save the Black Wolf's Life?"
The Elder put his eyes closed. He lowered his head. His breath came out in a new rhythm-he spoke with whispered words for a minute that the young man could not hear clearly nor understand.
After a number of breaths and whispers, the Elder raised his head to speak.
"You've heard the story I shared. You've learned deeply. For that, you should be gently proud. You've followed my guidance willingly. As you fell along the way, together we helped you dust off from the fall to begin from the place of the fall to move you forward."
The young man nodded his head. "Yes. I'm so happy to learn what you teach."
"You heard me too," said the Elder. "When I taught you that to be whole in this life one must stand in the awe of only the life that is today. You heard me and have learned how better ground yourself in today. You've learned willing to look back at the past for reminders of your suffering-but in doing so, you've learned well how not to stare."
The Elder smiled.
"You've learned how to better accept others for who they are as you've learned to accept your own frailty as a man. You heard me and trust that like us all, the others in our lives most close, carry with them along life's way the same two wolves, battling for control."
"You accepted with the teaching that every man carries a bag of snakes that will bite and tempt our darkness with the venom of the snake we call insecurity."
"Yes. I understand all of this. But, The Black Wolf, Elder, is ready to die inside. Why won't I allow him to be killed?"
The Elder paused before he spoke. "As you've heard before, my son. Hear me again now."
"The Wolf we feed inside becomes the one that lives strongest. The one that is your gentleness, compassion. Your empathy for others. The honourable part of you is what lives when White Wolf is alive."
"White Wolf alive inside, permits your wounded spirit to grow as the spirit learns and with work, the spirit inside the man thinks differently, speaks differently, and does differently than before the White Wolf received good food-opening you up to accept her love, compassion, empathy and care for yourself."
"My son, the one we feed-lives as the Wolf inside that is our power. The power is the energy of our reconciled spirit."
"I want the White Wolf to live and I want to Black Wolf to die, Elder. I want my spirit reconciled. Why will I not allow the rifle to fire?"
The Elder then only smiled before he spoke.
"We are not to kill inside the Black Wolf that across our life's-way has brought us into places that caused us and others so much needless harm."
The young man stared at the Elder. Confusion lit up his eyes.
"We aren't to kill The Black Wolf, young man."
"Why, you ask?"
The young man nodded, waiting for the reply.
"White Wolf. She is our gentleness."
"Black Wolf, our Protector."
"Should Black Wolf perish, we risk that we might perish as well."
"He is Our Protector?" Asked the young man.
The Elder guided: "We need The Black Wolf to defend us in this too-often evil and dangerous, still quite troubled world. For as the Black Wolf in you once ruled your thoughts, your words, and your deeds. So-to is the Black Wolf acting out his need for power in others."
"Why can't I let the Black Wolf Die. White Wolf is strong now. What am I to do if I'm not to kill Black Wolf and allow White Wolf her reign inside?"
"Therein, lies our next lesson. We're not to kill the Black Wolf my Son."
The Elder then took one final short pause.
"Now you can learn to allow yourself to be a fully honourable man."
"As you learn now, White Wolf will have freedom to walk with you inside without tether. Keep feeding her good food. Respect her gentleness. Allow her to keep you gentle-this a man must learn to do."
"You are becoming a man, my son. The Elder spoke to the young man with gentle, compassionate authority.
"While you master the ART now of being a GOOD man, my son. I can teach you how to keep Black Wolf alive inside and in his place."
The young man pleads for wisdom from his Elder.
"Where is that Elder? Where is that place Black Wolf is to be kept inside?"
The Elder leaned in, looking into the eyes of the younger man, speaking directly with wisdome through the eyes and into the young man's soul.
"With you and White Wolf, together alongside your inner-spirit."
Silence . . . . .. . . .. .
"For now, my son . . . . . . . . . ..."
"White Wolf is our gentleness. Black Wolf our Protector. As we need Black Wolf with us, White Wolf needs him too. As her protector, he's there to call her back to the side of spirit when her compassion has caused her to trust too much."
"Where does Black Belong?" The Elder mirrored back to the young man a final time.
"In his Masters control . . . . always protecting inside . . . . disciplined rightly as his Master learns the necessity and art of keeping Black Wolf tethered."
"Alive my son. But on a leash. That's where Black Wolf will now learn with you he belongs."
"Black Wolf needs a Master. Self-Control with new wisdom will become for you his leash."
"Go and think on these things now. Come back when you're ready to learn more."
With that, for the day, the young man and Elder parted.
Later on, in sleep, the dream that was a nightmare returned as it had arrived in the blackness to haunt the young man, night after night for weeks.
The man was there. Black Wolf was at the fence, pacing back and forth in fear.
"Shh." Says the man in the dream, as he'd said in every dark night before.
"I've got this."
This time in the dream . . . . there was no raising of a barrel with the rifle.
"Kneel down with me, " whispered the man.
"Black Wolf will trust. . . . . . kneel-be still."
"Breathe peace with me . . . . while we wait."
Certified: Community & Workplace Trauma Educator Traumatology Institute.
Associate Member American Academy Of Experts In Traumatic Stress.