Love doesn’t leave business unfinished

by Craig on October 7, 2011

1 cor 13 love

The other day, my brother walked in, looked at the wall, puzzled and bewildered…
then he stared at me like he was about to have me institutionalized…
and he blurted out, “What the @%#$ is that!”.
I told him, “It’s for the blog.”
He said, “Oh, the blog.” and moved on to things he considered actually important.

Anyway…

for those who don’t know…
that monstrosity is my Love War Wall, constructed from posty notes and little posty dashes.
It’s the battle ground in the Love War against the Negative Voices that hold us back.

The Love War, almost complete…began here
and over to the right and down a bit on the sidebar…
in the “Lots of Love” section…
is the whole history of the war.

This last month, with Sara leaving this earth, I really couldn’t think of much else and so I put the Love War aside. But love doesn’t leave business unfinished – and so it’s time to finish the war.

The one thing I’ve resisted in the Love War is the, “Here’s 5 easy steps to defeating the negative voices” approach.

Because it’s not that easy…

1 cor 13 love source

– it’s never that easy.

That being said, since the war is almost over, and before I finish it up, and since it’s been a while since I’ve visited the whole thing, here’s the Reader’s Digest version of the steps.

1.    I took time – a whole week – to write down every. single. negative. voice. And I didn’t forget the ones that sound all positive – but are really negative, like “eat, you’ll feel better.”

2.    I made a top 10 list – the worst of the stupid negative voices.

3.    I noticed that they fall into categories – with dominant voices. My main three were, “you’re not good enough.” “It’s safer to hide.” And “things are not going to work out”. That simplified things because most negative voices are just variations on a theme.

4.    I interrogated these voices, and asked:

•    Where did you come from?
•    When do I hear you most?
•    What do I do when I hear you?
•    What is the opposite of this response?
•    Is there a positive nugget to be gleaned from you?
•    If I were to pick one true fact that disproves you, what would that fact be?

5.    Knowing all of this – I replaced the old negative voices with new and better ones. For instance, the old voice, “it’s safer to hide” became “It’s safer to connect”.

If the Love war is new to you, catching up on the old posts will be magic.

I promise.

If you’ve been with me all along, it’s time for this war to end.

And it’s time for victory to be declared.

Oh…

and I really heart you guys.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria October 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

pretty cool.

Reply

Craig October 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Victoria, I’m not sure if you were reading me back then – were you? and….

watch it with the cool hipster language young lady!! . God bless you, Victoria.

Reply

Victoria October 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I was not reading you back then…

I thought several things were pretty cool.
1) that you paid attention to your negative thoughts,
2) that you addressed them…even interrogated them,
3) that you turned what you could into positive, and
4) that you’re working through them and as a result, are connecting.
yep, pretty cool. :)
Oh, and if you think that’s cool hipster language, this not so young lady has it going on.

Reply

Susan@ThoughtfulSpot October 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I love the little jar I get from a phrase juxtaposed with an unexpected picture. The because-it-is-not-that-easy-photo resonates powerfully . . .gives pause to contemplate. . .and “interrogating the voices” makes me grin and raise a banner. . .you go, guy!

Reply

Craig October 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Susan, thank you for that – I can’t tell you how long it took to find just the right picture to put in that very spot. And when I found it – I knew it was the one – I knew it would say just exactly what YOU say and it meant. So thank you. Big smiles here! And the interrogation of the voices? All just part of the process of retraining them. The big thing is to retrain them – and then retrain me – like a horse – and a rider. God bless you Susan, and thank you again

Reply

Eden October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Craig,

I love the Love War Wall! I think it is an absolutely fantastic idea, and I’ve been sitting here contemplating what wall I can use to maybe do the same thing! I think it’s great that you’re meeting those negative voices head on, and not trying to banish them, but to make them useful for you. I read back through previous posts, and I think your theory of treating them like horses to be broken rather than to banish them, is a fantastic view. I am interested to see how this journey continues!

Eden

Reply

Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:33 am

Eden, the thing about a love war wall is that it works really, really, really well – but only when you’re living on your own. The freedom to manipulate the posty notes, move them around, “be the boss of them.” Really works well on the love war wall. And visually seeing all the voices all it wants – that works well to. For those who aren’t living alone – and don’t want their negative voices on display for the whole world to see – I figured a gameboard turned inside and folded with smaller posty notes would work just as well – and it’s portable. And I didn’t banish them because love doesn’t banish it fixes, it forgives, so just like wild horses need training, these negative voices need training, and I think, maybe, a banished voice is far more likely to return and be horrid. A broken stallion never goes back to the wild. The journey is already mostly played out – what’s left is working my way through a couple of big voices – and then there will be so many repeat answers to the questions for all the littler voices left over – that should go pretty quickly. We’ll see. Thank you Eden, and God bless and keep you!

Reply

Eden October 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm

No fear here of someone wondering why there are post its all over my wall. Even my family rarely comes over, and the cats don’t care as long as they have food and sunny spots to sleep in. :)

I’m going to give it some thought and figure out the best way to approach things. I do love the stallion analogy. I think you’re right on target!

Reply

Craig October 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

… and by the way, how goes the “eye” problem? it’s just the love Kitty here – should anything like that happen – as did with the wasp sting a while back – and the hartz flea drops thing – both of which have been blogged about – well – the good thing is – it’s just four paws to deal with – not 20. And the stallion thing – it has worked wonders for me – I’m looking forward to finishing this up. And I’m really glad that you hearted this idea a little bit. Thank you Eden. God bless you!

Reply

Eden October 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I did heart it a lot!

The eyes are all clearing up. We still have 3 days of drops left, and they’ve learned that when I pick up the bottle, it’s time to run and hide. I keep telling myself just x more days. You can do this. :) Thank you for asking!

Reply

Craig October 12, 2011 at 6:32 am

*snort* they’ve learned that when you picked up the bottle it’s time to run and hide – that sounds like cats. Cats really are smarter than dogs. They’re just not as trainable – because dogs are so eager to please – because of their pack mentality. Cats are more independent – and I think – smarter. I’m glad that your days of eye drops are ending.God bless you, Eden.

Reply

Emilie October 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

it looks like you might singlehandedly keep post-it note companies in business! 😉 but i love the wall… and i’m excited to hear your thoughts on beating the negative voices. :) ~ emilie

Reply

Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

that’s only one package of posty dashes and one pad of Post-it notes – so, I hope they’re not depending upon me for their survival. ツ And Em, most of my thoughts about defeating the negative voices are in the past posts – this war is nearing the end now – all that’s left is beating a few of the big ones – and then so many of the littler ones are just divisions of the big ones that I think defeating them will be pretty quick. Then I need to figure a way to put it all together so I can have at my fingertips and easy reference sheet for how to replace each negative voice with the positive voice whenever it rears its ugly head. That’s the plan. God Bless you Emilie.

Reply

Cora October 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Craig, you know I’ve been following through this whole war thing. I can’t believe how routine it has become for me to automatically turn a negative voice around into a positive and to question the negative as to whether it is a lie or legit! Slowly, but surely, I’m finding the horses in the corral are taming down. Snorts now and then — but I know what to do with them. I have come to the place of clinging to “And you shall hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk ye in it.” This always seems to be the “final say” to any of the negatives as I turn from them. I’ve gone back several times to reread the whole series. Just fantastic, Craig. Thank you so much for this!

Reply

Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:45 am

Cora! You have been the master horse trainer! Right along with me on every single step. I hearted that. Thank you. And the Bible quote that you cling to – that’s beautiful – and on the love war wall – it’s the dot in the center. We are thinking alike – just different. The bottom line to defeating any personal wrong is the dot. God bless you my friend.

Reply

Debbie October 8, 2011 at 2:23 am

I cracked up at your brother’s response to seeing the wall. hahaha! I thought of the movie A Beautiful Mind. And I realize too that most people don’t understand my blog world. And I can’t explain it. It sounds . . .unimportant in contrast to their work and experiences. I don’t even try too much any more. But thank you for going back to the negative voices. I have some trying to tell me I can’t do something, that I’m failing, am a failure. Back to the wall with them!
God bless you as you finish up this business!

Reply

Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

Debbie, one of the lines that got edited out was that non-bloggy people just don’t get how awesome our bloggy world is. And I’m glad – that YOU”RE glad I’m returning to the negative voices – it is unfinished business – and we really need it finished. God bless you my friend!

Reply

Carrie October 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

First, allow me to thank you for the unbelievably sweet words that you left on my site. They made me cry. And they meant more to me than you know. Onto the war, I’m fairly new to it so I’ll be revisiting your earlier posts. But one of your big negatives has been a consistent player in my life: “You’re not good enough”. My second is: “It doesn’t matter how you feel”. These have dominated my life and I believe I’m in the beginning stages of my own war. I’m printing out this post and keeping it close to me, Craig. Give yourself a high-five because you’ve helped your fellow man (er, woman) in an incredible way! Blessings to you, always.

Reply

Craig October 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

not so sweet Carrie – just true ツ and you’ll love the war – and that number one voice – it’s the number one voice of a lot of us. It’s amazing how these voices can dominate our lives – it’s only turning directly to them – confronting them – and retraining them that I think maybe we can turn things around. God bless you Carrie.

Reply

Katie October 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Craig,
Your whole journey is inspiring and I fight my own battles all the time. It is safer to connect SPOKE volumes to my heart tonight as I read this for so often all I want to do is run and hide. It seems that God is constantly reminding me of this message for several weeks now. I have begun to open up to those around me again instead of building walls. Thank you so much for your inspiring blogs!
Grace, Peace and Blessings!!!

Reply

Craig October 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

if you read back on my posts – you’ll find where this voice began. Every voice has a beginning. And the way this voice began for you – it’s different from the way it began for me – but it ends up doing the same thing – it builds walls around us instead of bridges – and I always thought it was just the strong way – to face things alone – and maybe it is – but it’s not God’s way. Katie, thank you so much, and grace, and peace, and blessings to you too!

Reply

Katie October 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Oh yes, I am aware of the voices and where they began and how — for protection while I was abused. I continued on building walls any time I was fearful. God has shown me. He is breaking the walls. He is breaking the fear connected with sharing with those that I need to share with.

Reply

Craig October 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm

and mine began that way too. Easier to hide – but hardly ever possible to. I smile as I think of God breaking down your walls – thank you for that smile my friend. God bless you.

Reply

Layla Payton October 9, 2011 at 12:32 am

Hey, friend. As always, your blog makes my day!

I have a prayer request. I am on week 4 of a liquid/baby food diet. I have an autoimmune disorder that is wreaking havoc, and I cannot swallow food. This is not the first time this has happened, it’s been going on for four years (seven, if you don’t count the swallowing thing). I see a new neuro on Thursday. In the meantime, I would SO love for my throat to loosen, so that I can eat things with a FORK and not a spoon/straw. That said, God has kept my weight at a pretty stable place (114 lbs.). It fluctuates a little, but my norm is 116-118 lbs.(obviously I am not shy about that. LOL). This is a BLESSING, as I have gone way lower than that in the past. I don’t feel anemic, so the three Ensures a day are helping. I hate to “spam” your blog with this, but I don’t have any other way to contact you, and I know what a prayer warrior you are. You are a true friend, and I thank God for you. You encourage so many on a daily basis. I like to read all, or parts of your blogs more than once. The bloggy world ROCKS!

Don’t stop the sticky notes. They are so creative. God gifted you. He gifted us all by pushing you through those fears, and giving you the courage to blog about them.

Thank you, Lord, for my precious friend.

In Jesus Name,
AMEN.

P.S. There are a couple of new entries on my SignUponMyHeart blog. Just in case you have a free moment. :) I think that you will especially love the pic in the newest one.

Reply

Craig October 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

Layla, my friend, of course. I’ll pray for you, I have already, and will again. When I look at life in just my own small circles – I don’t see the brokenness because everybody hides it. I’m thankful for our community – I’m thankful for you, and the place where we don’t hide these things, that we come together and strengthen each other. I guess two brokens bonded by the love of God can get fixed. But broken all by itself just keeps getting more broken. No? You are a treasure Layla – a real treasure. And I get – I totally get how frustrating it is to have a body that just doesn’t work right. So God bless you – and I’ll head over now to check out the hubbub – bub ツ

Reply

Lisa notes... October 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm

You have the victory, Craig! Thanks for letting us all tag along on your journey. You’ve definitely connected this year.

And the blog, the blog is SO important. Keep at it!
Blessings, friend.

Reply

Layla Payton October 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Yes! It is true, we need each other. God made us that way, so that the pieces would fit together, and hold each other up. Of course, brokenness is a part of this world, but not of the one to come (yay)!

I know you get how frustrating this is! :( I pray for you to find rest, along with all of the goodness that comes from that. I am not happy (at all) that you have health struggles, but I am happy to have a friend who understands…and prays. Thank you. :)

What Lisa said…yeah…keep it up. Your blogs are important.

Reply

Craig October 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

and that you have Layla, a friend, who understands, and prays, and I know that I have that too. And thank you for saying my blogs are important – I’m still struggling with that negative voice – but – if you say it – I believe it. Thank you, God bless you.

Reply

Layla Payton October 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: