Love knows it’s hard to fight the negative

by Craig on May 30, 2011

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It’s for me too – but only because I’m so much like so many of you.

So this is for you – you who are like me – who can’t hear the good words or feel the supportive thoughts, but instead hold on fast to every negative thing said, and support everybody else – but never yourself.

This is for you – who hear the good words with your ears, but somehow they go right through you like water going through a screen – and never get to your heart.

This is for you, for whom the shadow of negative is home, and the light of encouragement is like a tropical island toward which you never seem to sail, much less set foot upon.

This is for you, for whom the negative voices are like hot candle wax, pouring over you, and then cooling, and hardening, and weighing you down, and slowing you up.

to begin with…


I know how, even after the wax of the negative hardens, more negative words find their way through whatever defensive you’ve set up – and it just adds to what’s there – and hardens thicker – and makes moving harder.

I know how much it’s like the never ending laundry pile – where the more you do – the more gets piled on top – and there’s no getting ahead of the game.

So why is it that the positive – the support – the good – it hits and goes right through us as if we’re not even there but the negative sticks – it sticks like tar, all black and grimy, on the paint of a newly polished car?

Why is it the words of support that we disregard?

They could build us up –  and if we listened to them – humbly listened to them – they could make us think that we could do something better with our words, do something grander with our life.

Or just let us know…

that we already are.

It seems such a simple thing to block the negative from piercing the heart…

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and only let the good flow through.

It seems that we should be just as good at filtering out what hurts as what helps.

And I know, for some it is…

but I’ll tell you…

it’s not…

for me.

I want to spend some time on this.

I read.

I read so many of you.

If I know that you read me – then please know that I. Read. You.

I sense a need, and I don’t think it’s just my own.

I have my series on prayer to finish up – maybe two more posts.
I’m going to allow a poem to try to kill me as I write it on Wednesday.

Poems. Hate. Me.

But this…

only hearing the negative,
only thinking the worst,
not being able to feel worth,
or deservedness,
this constant building up of everyone else,
but never of yourself,
never ourselves,

this needs attention.

No?

Or am I the only one?

If I am – let me know – and I’ll scoot right by this topic like I was never even on it.

But if I’m not alone, let me know that too.

In God’s love

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Holman May 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm

This is great – I’m reading a few of those blogs too that you are describing above. There is MUCH need for validation. I know for me I am usually a pretty positive person and it takes a lot to get me down – but I have had my moments in the past couple of months and even past couple of years that have been a struggle. Thanks for your great words of affirmation.

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Craig May 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Cindy, thank you. I’ll say this, it doesn’t take a lot to get me down – but I have never yet met an obstacle that has KEPT me down. I’m not hard to make sad – but I’m a weeble – so I’m hard to defeat. Hope that makes sense. God bless you Cindy, and thank you.

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Nancy May 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

This is something my dear son deals with at a very deep level–almost as though there is a filter preventing positive, encouraging thoughts to penetrate. But God is able, and we look to Him for wisdom and help. And we cling to the promise that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.

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Craig May 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Amen Nancy, the darkness cannot overcome the light. Some of us just have a hard time seeing the light even though it’s shining. It is the strangest thing, that some of us can hear hundred positive things and dismiss all of them – and be slain by a single negative thought. This world is so broken – so broken. I just prayed for your son – hope you don’t mind. And God bless you and Nancy.

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Nancy May 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Mind? You are too kind. I am grateful for any and all who want to pound with me on heaven’s door. That persistent widow in the New Testament has got nothing one me! I read Cora’s sweet comment below as well and am humbled. Thank you, thank you. Blessings.

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Craig June 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm

and Nancy, I just finished praying again – and one of my readers read your comment – Debbie, and she said in her comment that she also prayed – that’s one of the nice things about blogging – a community that can pray for each other across thousands of miles – I heart that. God bless you.

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Cora May 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Craig, you are not alone, believe me. About half my life was spent where Nancy’s son is, so I understand completely what she is saying about filters, etc. The other half of my life has been spent on replacing the old filters and fitting in the new. I love your answer to Nancy, Craig, and I thought about your moon and the light from the sun. As long as some of us have walked with the Lord, there is something inside us that wishes just once He would just sit down beside us with skin on and say the words — the positive ones — like how all the negative ones come at us. I could give you a million reasons why the positive, encouraging words are not received and why the negative ones are. I’ve been in that hole, without a ladder, and without light. And when someone did send down a ladder and light, it seemed (to ME) the risk was too great to hold on to that one encouraging, positive word. What if it broke? I’m so looking forward to your poem tomorrow!

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Craig May 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Cora, such a good analogy – down comes the latter, down comes the light – but the trust is hard. How about I add to that? Down come the ladder and the light – and you don’t know how to react to either – the ladder because you just never seen one before – the light – maybe it’s just so bright that she shy away from it. In the poem? Just pray it doesn’t kill me before I tame it! thank you Cora, and God bless you.

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Melissa May 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm

You are definitely not alone in this. I have been learning, with the help of an excellent counselor, to see myself as God sees me–not to absorb the negative and deflect the positive, but not to have an unrealistically positive opinion of myself, either. (That has never been a problem for me.) But old habits take time to unlearn, and old damage takes time to heal.

Praying for you right now, Craig!

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Craig May 30, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Melissa, that would be the magic – if we could all only see ourselves through the love of God. Negative when it is true and needed – but always by the hand of love. And Amen, old habits do take time to unlearn – old patterns time to change – old damage reversed. Thank you for your prayer Melissa. This year that I’ve named “connect” – prayer has been something I’ve gotten – it’s taken time to get used to. Not quite used to it yet – but I heart it. God bless you, and thank you.

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Joyce L Gibson May 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Oh Craig, you are not alone! Read what I sent last night and perhaps you’ll find a hint of a ladder and a light. At least that is what was in my prayer as I wrote. Out of pain can come healing and blessing to others—and in God’s gracious touch He brings healing and blessing to us.

Grandma is praying.

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Emilie May 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm

You’re not alone, not alone… I’m looking very much forward to reading your thoughts and wisdom on these negative voices. And thanks for reading me. :)

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Craig June 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Emilie, thank you for letting me know I am not alone – I hate alone – most of the time – sometimes it’s good. I heart that you read me – and I heart reading you. Hope the world outside of academia is treating you well – you deserve it. God bless you.

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Debbie May 31, 2011 at 12:17 am

Reading this and all the comments . . .and realizing just how hard it is for some. For me too. God has sent someone wonderful into my life, a cousin who I was close to as a young girl. I’m kind of in shock. She thinks nice things about me, loves me, just wants to be with me doing what I have to do for my daughter. I think I can get use to this though . . .ha! Praying someone like her for you, Craig, someone to see and say all the positive things about you. And for everyone here who needs that and Nancy’s son too!

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Craig June 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

first of all Deb, a new avatar? I’m so used to the little pattern that pops up with your name – an avatar is better :-) We all need a cheerleader. I’m glad you have your cousin. And the positive things – sometimes I don’t hear them even when they’re said – a lifetime of training to undo. Thank you for being so nice Deb. God bless you and keep you.

PS – sorry I’m late responding to the comment – a busy week – a little bit sick – and a knife attacked my finger – so, sorry :-)

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Michelle May 31, 2011 at 4:17 am

Why do we let the negative in so much easier than the positive?……..maybe, just maybe, it’s because we are worthless, we have nothing, we are nothing……

BUT, with Jesus! we have worth. Any maybe the enemy doesn’t want us to know that? In fact, I’m sure that he doesn’t want us to know that we have worth, that we are somebody, that we are loved! And so, he builds these barricades around us (or we let them be built because we know no better), and it takes time to tear them down. We think we have, and then we see another, and another and…..

BUT, there is an end, and we have a Saviour who loves us and has torn down the enemies lies, we just need to see that.

Looking forward to your poem, and praying for you that you have what you need when you need from our gracious Lord.

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Craig June 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Amen Michelle, so much of the work of defeating the enemy is already done. We do just need to notice it – and live in it – but we forget. Thank you for praying for the poem – it’s done and posted now – it was a little kinder to me than usual so I assume your prayer had something to do with that. Thank you – and has always God bless.

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A. June 2, 2011 at 12:11 am

Craig, you are not alone in this. And I want to say thank you…late. I passed this way several very dark, dark days ago and read the words on the picture that said ‘you are not alone’ (on the arms) and that was all I had time and energy to read-and it ministered greatly and shown light into my darkness. i am glad I came back to read the rest of what you wrote, but know that even your pictures do more than you may know. They were the visual shorthand I needed that day. Those words stayed with me and cast a ray of light where it was much needed. Thank you, and know that you, too, are not alone, and that you matter and you make a difference in this world!

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