Your choices determine your life
By Ashok G. Vasandani
Here’s an article I read in Radhanath Swami’s page on Facebook that I’d like to share, something that we can all learn from.
THERE is an American Indian analogy that helps us to understand our habits. It explains that within the heart of every person there are two dogs, a bad dog and a good dog. The bad dog represents all the habits that we want to improve on, such as envy, anger, being greedy and being arrogant. The good dog represents the positive habits of being generous, being compassionate, helping others and being humble. These two dogs are constantly fighting one another. Which dog will win? The answer is the one that we choose to feed.
We feed the dogs through the choices that we make. When we make the right choice to express compassion and to live with integrity, it nourishes the good dog and it starves the bad dog. Sometimes that’s easier said than done because for some of us the bad dog has become so strong, and its deafening howls drive our actions.
Meanwhile, the good dog, weak and undernourished is only a whimper in the corner of our consciousness. This is how our habits and addictions are developed. It is said that bad habits are like soft beds. Easy to get into and hard to get out of. When we’ve chosen to feed the bad dog for many years often the good dog doesn’t even have the strength or will to fight. Many of us may experience this in our lives. A habit we want to break one we’ve tried for so long to overcome, but somehow, we can’t find the strength or will to conquer it. But there is a resolution to this. We simply have to start feeding the good dog. Give him the courage and confidence to fight again through the small decisions we make.
At each moment, life hands us the choice to be cruel or kind, dishonest or truthful, greedy or giving, vengeful or forgiving, hopeless or hopeful, to be with enlightened people who lift our spirits or to be with those who bring us down. We just have to choose to feed the good dog.
Studies have shown that addictions form in our childhood or a certain mindset has formed. They take such a hold that we feel almost powerless to resist them. But remember we always retain the freedom to create new impressions and new habits and even break through these addictions. The company we choose is crucial as is the choice to value the joy of giving.
The decisions of our past have shaped our current lives but please remember that the decisions of the present can determine our future.
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