Feeding the White Wolf


Feeding the White Wolf

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

“If you feed them right, they both win.” and the story goes on:

“You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf. But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.

“You see, son, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing.

“How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.” — Cherokee Story.


Rather than fighting the opposing forces in my life, this story of the white and black wolves taught me to listen to the deeper voices that guide me to do what is right. I find this primarily in the white wolf, who represents compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all. At the same time, I understand the power of the black wolf and the need to balance my relationship with the two forces to enable them both to guide me in a good way.


White Wolf’s main focus is Recovery Coaching

We are not doctors, counsellors or sponsors. Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviours.

We work with people who have active addictions, as well as those already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with one’s life and the part addiction or recovery plays in it. We help clients find ways to stop addiction through abstinence, or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviours. This includes accessing resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups, or helping a client create a change plan to recover on their own.

Recovery coaches do not offer diagnosis or primary treatment for addiction and are not associated with any particular method or means of recovery. We support any positive change, helping people coming home from treatment to avoid relapse, build community support for recovery, or work on life goals not related to addiction such as relationships, work, or education. Recovery coaching is action-oriented with an emphasis on improving present life and reaching future goals.

It is unlike most therapy because coaches do not address the past, do not work to heal trauma, and put little emphasis on feelings. Recovery Coaches are unlike licensed addiction counsellors in that they are non-clinical and do not diagnose or treat addiction or any mental health issues.