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Letting Go of Fear and Living Your Truth

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Letting Go of Fear and Living Your Truth

The Two Wolves Inside Us
Tom  Shadyac
Tom Shadyac More by this author
May 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Today’s action movies, from Star Wars to Transformers, owe a great deal to our ancient ancestors who passed down stories of the ongoing battle between light and darkness, good and evil, angels and demons. One of my favorites is a popular Native American myth about two wolves that live inside each of us, two wolves engaged in a fierce battle for control of our lives. One wolf, the fearful wolf, walks in anger, ego, envy, greed, resentment, and lies. The other wolf, the truthful wolf, lives in appreciation, kindness, love, joy, compassion, and empathy. For far too long, I have listened to my fearful wolf hollering its bad advice: “You have to fit in! Don’t rock the boat! Do as you’re told!” But thankfully, over time, the wolf of my truth has stood up to his illusory twin, silencing this dark shouter with simple whispers of wisdom: “Seek the truth. Follow your heart. Let go.” Is it any surprise then that much of my book, Life’s Operating Manual, came to me as a conversation between these two internal, warring voices, voices I call simply Fear and Truth?

 The Sufi mystics, the ascetics of the Muslim faith, believe there are three ways of approaching the divine: one way is prayer, a step up from that is meditation, and a step up from that is conversation. The unique structure of Life’s Operating Manual was conceived with this Sufi admonition in mind. Here’s how the book lays out: each chapter begins with a short essay that offers my thoughts on the various challenges we face as individuals and a society in order to birth a more kind and compassionate world. Each essay is then followed by a conversation—the Fear and Truth dialogues—that tests my suppositions and their application in the real world. The format is not unlike a classroom with a lesson plan and an ensuing question-and-answer period. The only difference being—and it’s quite a difference!—both participating voices are my own; my own fear challenging my own truth.

 No Good Angel/Bad Angel

 Understand, the Fear and Truth dialogues are not an exercise in good angel/bad angel; Fear is not bad, nor Truth, good. Fear simply is, and as you will see, it has its place and purpose. Furthermore, the voices of Fear and Truth are not meant to represent everyone’s fear, and all truth. Fear is the voice of fear as it exists/existed in me. The hope here is it will prove relatable and recognizable. Truth is simply how God, Source, Life, is presently working through me. And while I do not speak for all fear, and make no claim to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth, these are two characters I have come to know well: Fear, in my days of holding on, and Truth, as I’ve learned to let go.

 Directing films, I have discovered, is very much about letting go. But, you say, directors are control freaks! Certainly. But when we are at our best, we are simply good listeners, we get out of the way of the work and creativity unfolds. Fear represents our need to hang on to the riverbank, to control outcomes, results, our lives; it swims upstream. Truth is about releasing that hold, letting go of results, and trusting the direction of Life’s current. My hope is that my dialogues will prove instructive and help the reader loosen his grip on the shoreline, and fall headlong into the river’s flow.

 Now, back to our Native American myth about the warring wolves: “Which wolf wins?” you ask, “the wolf of Fear, or the wolf of Truth?” The answer is simple: “The one you feed . . .” May my dialogues feed your own authenticity, further encourage your walk into truth, into your own heart, and thereby, into the Heart of All.

About Author
Tom  Shadyac
A onetime actor/comedian and the youngest writer to work for comedy legend Bob Hope, Tom Shadyac’s writing/directing career was launched in 1994 with the Jim Carrey smash hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In the years that followed, Shadyac would estab Continue reading