Love deals with the hand that’s dealt

by Craig on July 7, 2011


This is one of the most provocative pictures I’ve ever posted. If you can’t read the writing – click on the picture – it’ll get bigger – and you will read bits and pieces of yourself strewn among the chaos – and you’ll see bits and pieces of me too. I promise – it’s worth a look.

Now, today’s actual post…

If you’ve been creating a Love War wall – or board – along with me, then you now have a posty filled wall or board. Mine looks like this…

If you are just coming in and are wondering what I’m talking about – the Love war against the negative voices began here…
and it’s a category of it’s own…
over on the sidebar…
and down a little…
in the “Lots of Loves” section – third category in the line.

Anyway, back to the wall…

That there’s a lot of posties on that there wall – a lot of negative inner voices.

But they’re all captured and corralled,
and they’ve been sitting there a while.
That’s good – we want them to get used to being corralled.

But like wild horses…
we’ll be taking them from the corral, into the training area…
and breaking them…
and then we’ll put the broken ones in the pretty stables…
so we can take them out, when we want, for nice rides.

I’m not sure yet what we’ll do with the ones refusing to be broken.

I’ll have to think on that some more.

What fate do they deserve?

So the Love War against the negative voices will continue.

But today and tomorrow…

a little background.

It’s time to share with you something that I have only shared with one other person in my life.

There is this peculiar pattern to my school years.

It was due to lots of moving, and the decisions of my parents, one in particular. In my 13 years of school (K-12) I went to nine different schools.

This was after spending the first three years in the same school – which would prove to be the longest stretch I would ever be in one school, with the same kids.

And let’s be real – school is for learning, but when you’re there it’s all about being “in” or “out”.

Here’s a look at one of the quirkiest “in” “out” patterns you’ll ever see:

•    Kindergarten – 2nd grade: PS 51 in Brooklyn New York. It was a public school (hence the PS). It was normal, happy, healthy, lots of friends. I was “in” – way “in”.
•    3rd and 4th grade: a new school – a Catholic school. This, for a kid who had never even been in a church, and had no knowledge of God – much less religion. It was strange and uncomfortable, and I was completely ignorant of the “rules” that were different in this kind of school. I was “out” – way “out”.
•    5th grade: moved halfway across the country, a new school, a public school, and lots of new friends. The old rules from kindergarten through 2nd grade? They worked again, so I was “in” once more. I hearted “in”.
•    6th grade: a new school – but again one where I knew the rules – it was a public school, and so the old rules applied. Plus, as a kid who was beaten by a father once too often, I was learning that charm lent me the ability to disarm. I was still “in”…but not for long…

The toughest and happiest, and most confusing years lay ahead…

tomorrow they all come pouring out…

it’s a little heartbreaking to remember them, and tell you about them…

still, I will…

please come back…

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora July 7, 2011 at 8:40 am

Oh, Craig!!!! Great big sighs here, as I just know. . . .! Even after all these years and years and years, I told someone recently that I would rather just commit suicide than be told I had to live through junior and senior high again. But you know. . . . I just had an “ah-hah” moment —- that’s when most of the negative voices became a part of me. I just came back from my “voices”, and I wrote dates on them all. AMAZING! Try it, Craig. Put “date of purchase” on your sticky notes. I have a new fire within in me —- I want to put “expiration dates” on them all, one by one!

I don’t know whether to say I’m looking forward to “the rest of your story” or dreading it, because somehow, I know where it’s going. Looks like the same path as mine. Thank you for all of this, Craig. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me!


Craig July 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Cora, for me there were moments of both junior and senior high that were absolutely glorious – for me it was the constant going back and forth between being “not in” in one school – and “in” the very next year. Like spinning around in circles – your mind gets pretty dizzy. And you might be wondering why the voices are staying on the wall so long – my sister even asked me if they were staying on the wall too long – especially with no positive voices on the other side – we need them to stew a little while – and they need to be over “there” rather than in our head – and corralled. I heart your date of purchase – date of expiration idea! And the rest of the story isn’t all horrible – but it does explain a lot – and it is the source of a good deal of voices. And that’s why I’m writing it. We need to start thinking of the source of some of these voices – your expiration date idea is a kind of foreshadowing. I’m glad this is helping a little bit Cora, I hope it helps some others, I think it’s helping me (◠‿◠). God bless.


Mama Zen July 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Those can be some brutal years. Really brutal.


Craig July 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I’d gladly take a do over – but I’d only go back – and you can probably see this coming – I’d only go back knowing what I know now. If we just go back it’d all be the same. And I know it sounds bad – but the big point here with me is the back-and-forth – with all the moving – and losing friends – and being on top of the hill – and then the very next year being the bottom of the garbage pile – that was the really confusing part for me – that, and the man who made home a nightmare. God bless you Kelli – thank you for swinging by.


Katie July 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for sharing your heart and a piece of your story today. You have read my story. I look forward to reading what is coming no matter if they were good or bad experiences because they made you who you are today. God loves you for who you are today. His love helps drown the negative voices and helps them expire eventually. I am not saying anything that you don’t know because I have been reading your posts. Schools and kids of all ages can be down right mean when it comes to socializing and bullying and many other things. Yet the same schools and kids can also be the best and most loving at times also.


Craig July 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm

thank you Katie – I think I’m learning that we ALL really do have a “story”. I’m also learning that every single one of us is broken – it really is just that some don’t admit it – or don’t know it – and some are better at overcoming the brokenness – but we’re still all broken. It’s a broken world – it has been since the Fall. And the school thing – I think it might’ve been better to have been at the bottom of the social ladder all the way through – the confusing part was going from the top to the bottom almost every year. That’s what got me all mixed up. Thank you for reading Katie – thank you – and God bless you and yours.


lori July 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm

It’s brave of you to put your experiences out there. And, this whole idea of a Love War wall is interesting. When you really stop to listen to the things you tell yourself, it can be quite eye-opening. Corralling those voices is a great idea :)


Craig July 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I think that this won’t be the only “love war” – love casts out all fear – we know that – I imagine love can cast out all whole bunch of stuff. The plan is unfolding – first pay attention to notice them – then write them down – then corral them – then break them like you would break wild stallions – then once they’re trained put them in a different corral – and learn how to speak to ourselves as supportively as we speak to others. I heart this series – I’m learning so much – and as you can see from my wall there are a lot of negative voices to overcome – but I also sense that I’m not alone in the fight. Thank you for reading Lori, thank you, and God bless and keep you and all of yours.


A. July 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm

This is helping others, Craig, and the idea of letting them stew there in their corral is interesting. I can see how that would really help the process take place and not just be passed over too quickly. I sense some pain ahead in your story, and that reminds me of something you said much earlier in your blog posting about not wasting your pain. You are good at not wasting your pain, I think. That is a good thing.


Craig July 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

A. I learned long ago to put on the happy face – but I look at my life and realize that there were very few times that I was truly happy. Knowing God a lot sooner would’ve helped greatly. There was so much garbage piled up by the time I was 25 – that maybe it’s just taken that long to fix – that long to heal – without harming the patient. And in this fallen, broken world there will be pain – I did learn long ago that a big secret – as you reminded me – is not to waste the pain. God bless you A.


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