Love corrals all the inner critical voices

by Craig on July 1, 2011


So here’s the finishing up of the first step in the Love War on the negative voices…

Capturing, corralling, and identifying them.

Someone wise once told me that the weakest pen is stronger than the strongest mind. If something is in our mind it floats around and sadly, if it’s good it usually gets lost – but if it’s bad it waits until the most inappropriate time – and it lashes out.

So I did some researching about horses…

and corrals…

•    The corral allows the horses limited freedom – controlled freedom.
•    Corralled horses don’t run wild and cause havoc. This gives the horseback rider a chance to rest and relax in peace.
•    The corral is on level ground, no tree roots, no rocks – a solid foundation. That’s for both the horses and the horse handlers.
•    The corral should be kept in clear view.
•    The corral needs a cleared area connected to it for handling and training – and this needs to be a calm area so the handler can concentrate – and the horses don’t get all crazy and uncontrol-y.
•    And there needs to be a water source on higher ground than the corral. This isn’t for the horses but for the horse handler – it’s easier to carry water downhill.


All of those pretty analogies.
I could spend a week on each one,
but I’ll spare you. (◠‿◠)

I guess in the war analogy,
this is like a P.O.W. camp,
but everybody tires of war.

Who ever gets tired of ponies!?

And this weekend…

I plan on finishing up this first step of defeating the stupid negative voices:

corralling them,
to have some control over them,
and access to both them and…
the hostility that underlies them.

Strays can be added later – but next time it’s onto the next step…

Figuring out where they came from,

The more knowledge we have of the inner critical voices,
the more we can manipulate and control them,
rather than the other way around.

The negative voices aren’t love…
they are the near opposite.

Love – we want spread everywhere,
it only has our best interests at heart,
and can be trusted.

The negative voices need corralling,
they attack us to keep us defeated,
and they lie.

So here’s a new shot of the wall…

A pink corral for the horses…

there is a predator nearby with his eyes on the wall…

so it might have to be moved to higher ground…

and some gaps need to be filled…

but it’s a start.

And the green?

That’s the start of the training area.

And the dot, that’s the One who is Love…
the One to whom I have to keep praying…
the One who has power over everything…
including the stupid negative voices.

I haz a plan,
the plan is unfolding,
and it’s working.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Miz Liz July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I needed a refill… so I came here. Funny thing about ups and downs of life. All the things that pile up when you’re down and the endless to-do lists when you’re up. I’m glad to be better and better and I try to sneak time every day for a respite with one of my cyber pals. I’m so glad to have a battle plan for the negative voices–they can kill a perfectly good up day.
P.S. have you remodeled your Love site??? And thank you for your positive words while I was down. :-)


Craig July 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm

“the hurrieder I go the behinder I know get” – my favorite line from the book Alice in Wonderland – the rabbit with the time clock. So especially when you’re not feeling well – and you slow down – the world never does and you have more to do when you come back. I hope you catch up quickly – I’m glad you’re feeling better. And the site? I’m always tweaking it a little bit – you know how it is – the Christmas tree looks better here, no there, no there, now turned to the left, now turn to the right – you know. Thank you as always Michelle, and God bless you.


A. July 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

for me, that predator, Laska, is ‘ooooooohhhhh shiny! I heart that aminal-yes, that’s how ‘animal’ should be pronounced when referring to cats. so, after getting waaay sidetracked by those juicy cat pics, and chuckling a healthy chuckle, I also read your post and like the corral…can’t wait to see what else you share with us about that! And the well up high so the filled buckets only go downhill-what a great idea! You can see that this was a ‘shiny’ day for me, here. I really did read the post, and really am looking forward to the next (even when i get sidetracked by non-essentials. No, Laska is never a non-essential so I will correct that right now. :)


Craig July 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm

just so you know A., I have always referred to animals as “aminals” – my sister can testify to this. So every time I read your word “aminals” I smile. And I didn’t come up with that idea about the water source being higher than the corral – it’s just stuff I learned – I didn’t know anything about corrals until today. The voices need to be corralled – I heart my corral – my pink corral. And the Laska picture from today that just makes me laugh out loud? The way he was eyeing the wall from the screen door – that just killed me – it’s that “I wil hav thowse!” look. God bless you A.!


A. July 2, 2011 at 12:14 am

“I wil hav thowse!” that is hilarious! that is exactly the look cats get!!!!!


Debbie July 2, 2011 at 3:15 am

Laughing and so glad to be here . . .learning and laughing! :) Thank you! I like the idea of corralled negative voices. And as I was reading this, our little blind kitty had to reach up and find with her paw some little horse statues of my daughter’s. It was an “I wil hav thowse moment. :)
God bless you and Laska!


Craig July 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

I really heart the look on Laska face in that picture – so sneaky – so determined – you could see the wheels turning. It was only moments later that he was up and exploring the sticky-worthiness of the posties. Cats have lots of “I wil hav thowse” moments. God bless you, and your kitty, and your daughter, and all of yours Debbie.


Michelle July 2, 2011 at 5:41 am

I haz a plan,
the plan is unfolding,
and it’s working.

In the infamous words of Maxwell Smart: “I love it when a plan comes together.” Hopefully, no surely, your plan will come off better.


Craig July 2, 2011 at 7:56 am

is that where that quote came from? I thought it was the A team? And here’s hoping that my plan will come together splendidly – stupid negative voices! Thank you Michelle, and God bless you as always.


Michelle July 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm

You’re right. It is A-Team. We have been having a lot of Get Smart and A-Team watching lately, and they get all confused in my head.


~linda July 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Craig, this is just what I needed to read today. The analogy of the corral and horses compared with our thoughts and self-incriminating voices brings so much home…lassoed and brought into the guarded fence. Makes it much better to identify and then cover with love, leaving them in God’s hands rather than mine.
Thanks for visiting me @ Being Woven too.
May your weekend be wrapped in freedom and independence and, at the same time, dependence and submission to our Lord.
~ linda


Craig July 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

thank you Lynda, I kind of just fell into the corral analogy – and once I found it – a little more reading showed me that it fit perfectly. Like you said it carries the idea of bringing our “self-incriminating voices into the guarded fence…makes it much better to identify and then cover with love, leaving them in God’s hands rather than mine.” that was so awesome! It reminded me of maybe the most important thing in battling these stupid negative voices – that although it’s good to apply a little psychology, and a little bit of positive thinking, THE most important thing for us to do as Christians, is to take these thoughts in captivity to Our Lord – I forget that sometimes – thank you for reminding me – prayer is THE thing. God bless you Linda, and thank you.


Dawn July 3, 2011 at 12:02 am

What? No dogs?

Mickey really LOVES horses so I read this to him. He totally gets the corral stuff. Horses are big so there needs to be some limit to their advance.

‘night, Craig,


Craig July 3, 2011 at 7:30 am

in the grand scheme of hearting animals – something tells me that horses rate even above the beloved “dog” – I could be wrong – but who doesn’t love ponies? And Mickey is right, horses ARE big and need something to limit their dance – brilliant! Thank you Dawn, God bless.


Debra July 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I just came back from reading all those negative voices via the handwriting on the wall – those yellow slips of paper saying stuff like “Hypocrite, you give into the negative voices even while you write about defeating them” and “The nice things people say they don’t really mean – ignore the lies” and “Why try when you know things aren’t going to change” and “If you just give up now you’ll save yourself embarrassment.” These sound like the voices I used to listen to once upon a time. Until I went to a conference on this very subject you’re now writing about: these critical voices. It was a four day retreat with Keith Miller, author of A Hunger for Healing and other books. He said basically what you’re saying in this series on recognizing the critical voices in our head. (Laska knows instinctively that these voices are bad, don’t you think)? We have to bring them into captivity. (2 Corinthians 10:5) With the visual of the horses in the corral and the handwriting on the wall we have a clear picture of how to herd these wild random thoughts in and contain them. Think I’ll save this lesson forever.


Craig July 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

you might have missed Laska’s post on the inner voices that he’s now dealing with – yes he knows they’re bad – but yes he still listens to them – and is a little bit scared of them. This is the final day that I’m going to try to pay attention to the negative voices, I’ve been corralling them for more than a week now, and there comes a time when you stop corralling, and you start training the wild horses. I’ve been using the analogy of love war – I guess part of love war is corralling and breaking the wild horses – so I wonder if there is something in the study of breaking a wild horse.Hmmmmm. You have my mind, and all of its squeaky little wheels moving now. Thank you Debra. It’s always a joy to know that you have read me – even though everybody knowing the contents of the posty notes is a little disconcerting.Oooooooof – transparency- meh. God bless you Debra.


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