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#327101 - 04/02/10 11:23 AM What dog should I feed?
Tedure Offline

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Utah
This story helps me with my recovery. It helps me to know what to focus on or “what dog to feed.”

“There’s an old Native American parable, about a young brave that is brought before the tribal elders, who are concerned about his aggressive tendencies. One of the tribal elders is assigned to teach this young man that his anger is understandable, but he needs help. So he tells the young brave all humans have within them two dogs. One dog is good and peaceable. The other dog is angry and evil. The two dogs are in a constant battle with one another, since neither is powerful enough to destroy the other. The young brave asks, ”If they are of equal power, which dog will win?” The elder replies, “The dog you feed the most.”

You feed the angry dog when you cultivate lustful feelings, view pornography, label yourself in a negative way, or associate with activists who aggressively promote immoral lifestyles. Those activists have an agenda, and it includes constantly feeding your angry dog.

You feed the peaceful dog when you seek the Lord’s Spirit. You feed the peaceful dog when you simply stop fighting the angry dog. Don’t let your challenge (your sexual abuse) define your entire identity. You can’t hate your way out of your addiction or into recovery. Just walk away from fighting the angry dog and focus on all the good things you may have put on hold—your education, career plans, social experience, and Church service. Stop focusing so much on yourself, including hating yourself, and spend more energy caring about other people. Build good associations with people. You need to identify the unmet emotional needs that you are tempted to satisfy in false sexual ways. As you do such things, the peaceful dog will grow stronger than the miserable, angry dog.”

This story has helped me perhaps it can help others.

Much love and respect, Ted

When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

#327437 - 04/05/10 09:19 AM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: Tedure]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5954
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA

These are very wise sayings. Thank you for bringing them here.
I really identify with feeding myself hatred, because, I am what I eat, and if I hate myself, I hate others, and hatred is a close kin to anger.

May I add, it may be impossible to walk away. However, what are the benefits to someone who is in these angry situations and activities to "walk away"? That will be question for those who read your post.

From my personal experience, the anger needs to go before the reasoning and recovery set in.

Thank you,


MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#327468 - 04/05/10 05:44 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: SamV]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
hi Ted,

Thanks for posting about what feeds the angry dog:

You feed the angry dog when you cultivate lustful feelings, view pornography, label yourself in a negative way, or associate with activists who aggressively promote immoral lifestyles.

I don't hear enough about the harmful effects of obsession over pornography and cultivating lust, much less only listening to people who are out serving their own agenda and choices.

In Native American culture, young men are encouraged to go on a vision quest, where they spend time alone getting the answers to questions like these-as opposed to the answers others are offering around us.

Knowing that deep, inner part of myself and cultivating it is a HUGE part of my recovery and sorting out conflicting messages.


We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#327471 - 04/05/10 06:33 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: Tedure]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 732
Loc: United States
This is a Cherokee Nation story that was co-opted into a book by a christian preacher where it became well known. Originally it was about wolves and there is no element of religion in the tale. In fact it was about the different elements of human nature:

"One wolf is evil, unhappy, and ugly: He is anger, envy, war, greed, selfishness, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority/superiority, false pride, coarseness, and arrogance. He spreads lies, deceit, fear, hatred, blame, scarcity, poverty, and divisiveness."

"The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, loving, worthy, serene, humble, kind, benevolent, just, fair, empathetic, generous, honest, compassionate, grateful, brave, and inspiring resting wholeheartedly in deep vision beyond ordinary wisdom."

There are many paths to what is good in life. It is important to remember that anyone can "feed the good wolf" by cultivating the beautiful and good characteristics mentioned above without any reference to a religion or a deity.



Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

#327472 - 04/05/10 06:59 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: Tedure]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Much love and respect,

except to the 'activists' judged as morally reprehensible according to the subjective position which characterizes and criticizes certain lifestyle choices as 'immoral'?

while not coming right out and identifying those under consideration in that particular statement, it was probably wise not to do so.

not everyone reads lust as 'evil'; after all, lust brought into existence both the worst AND the best of humanity; porn has been around as long as humans have and has served a purpose.

stereotyping activists as angry, and characterizing anger as 'bad' are relative to one's personal core value system, and not an indicator of what's 'good' or 'bad' except in the mind of the beholder.

while i do agree with the point of this post that the way to inner balance is through
identify[ing] the unmet emotional needs that you are tempted to satisfy in false sexual ways
i don't see how much of the surrounding verbiage helps support the conclusion.

but that's just me, and of course, and with all due respect it's my right to say so, especially when it appears as if an unnecessary critical judgment is being made against unnamed others in order to raise one way of living [ie pursuing happiness] to a higher moral elite level than another.

warm regards,


  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy

#327482 - 04/05/10 08:28 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: Sans Logos]
earlybird Offline

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Sounds to me like the original writer of this post is "Feeding his own angry dog"

Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

#327538 - 04/06/10 02:17 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: earlybird]
michael Joseph Offline

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
thank you for the conversation it was helpful to read all the posts

Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

#327957 - 04/10/10 02:48 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: michael Joseph]
Jim1961 Offline

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1186
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...

This approach has certainly helped me in my Recovery. Keeping my eyes and thoughts on that which is Pure and not "feeding" my lust, which roots are undoubtedly from the abuse. I'm far from perfect of course, but sometimes just the attempt is enough to break free.

Thanks and God Bless,


Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

#328492 - 04/15/10 01:26 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: Jim1961]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Me Too,

I am 71, so I've been in recovery a long time. Actually I only entered recovery when I was about 45 and started remembering "stuff".

And I had some level of DID/MPD.

What has really helped me, and I'm convinced of this, is that I read the Bible through every year for about 35 years since I was 18 years old. That comes to about 4 chapters a day. I'm not bragging, I'm sharing a success story. This really helped me.

So what did I do after that? I decided that I needed to just bask or marinate myself in selected>

#328498 - 04/15/10 01:46 PM Re: What dog should I feed? [Re: pufferfish]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Here is a list of Psalms recommended for survivors of CSA (child sexual abuse).

I obtained this list from a book by David Seamands, Healing for Damaged Emotions. This was the first book on recovery that I read.



pufferfish whistle

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