Bitter Medicine

Today I’m going to share some bitter medicine. vulnerability, indecision

Yesterday was a hard day financially and emotionally. I lost in one day, three weeks worth of investment gains, leaving me financially and emotionally wiped out. I can’t seem to get ahead financially or emotionally. Then I realized part of the reason is that I keep standing on the shore of life being knocked down by the ocean waves.

It’s well past time to move either beyond the waves into open, deeper waters or retreat to land with stable footing. Metaphorically, I understand this need to decide and take action. The challenge is that I have no clear picture of where I want to go in life. No job or income. No passion that really calls me and a lingering sense of wasting my life, living without purpose and direction.

This morning in meditation, the only thing that came to me as I wrote this post in my head is my lingering desire to travel the world. Mind you, I have no idea how to do that with virtually no money left. Then the idea to go see a fellow blogger, who is dealing with health challenges, popped into my head. For some reason that idea brought a burst of energy, happiness and motivation to move. Mind you, I have no idea if that person wants or needs any help, let alone my help. We don’t really know each other. I simply am aware that they are having health challenges.

If my only consistent passion is to travel, will I surrender to the passion and follow the call? If so, what does that look like? Selling my house, renting it out? How will I support myself with no job or income? And this is where and how I get stuck. With no idea how to accomplish the desire to travel, I write it off and do nothing. I’ve done this for years, even when I had money. There were different excuses back then. No one to travel with, no idea which country to pick. Do I travel alone, with a group or with a friend? The questions are never ending.

As I have written many times, I am good at analyzing and researching, not so much at making decisions and taking action. Writing seems to help me clarify and digest my thoughts. Typically, I don’t write on my blog about this inner turmoil that weighs me down. My reason has been that I wanted my blog to be uplifting for me and my readers with inspiration, beauty, connection and thriving.

I believe I’ve done a fairly good job at living up to those intended intentions. But maybe it hasn’t served me so well. Maybe it’s time to be more honest and vulnerable with all the inner challenges that I feel. So for today, that is what you get. My stream of consciousness, not planned, not organized, not edited, not polished to inspire and uplift. Brad unplugged, sharing his raw thoughts and feelings.

Thanks for listening and caring. 


47 thoughts on “Bitter Medicine

  1. Brad, I relate to this, and share it: “Typically, I don’t write on my blog about this inner turmoil that weighs me down. My reason has been that I wanted my blog to be uplifting for me and my readers with inspiration, beauty, connection and thriving.”
    But we know from your writing that you have a big heart and a talent for choosing/writing stories that uplift. Awesome Stories is a gift to the world, and you uplift many, myself included.
    It’s time for a career coach. That person will help you sort out your splendid gifts and make a path that uses the best ones.
    The way I see it, you have strong talents, just – like most of us at one time or other — need someone to help you stand back, look at them, and focus it all into a plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The challenge is that I have no clear picture of where I want to go in life. No job or income. “No passion that really calls me” and a lingering sense of wasting my life, living without purpose and direction. You say Brad “no passion that really calls me”, I’m not sure, you are a senstitive person, you like to share and pay attention to suffering people (your blog is a proof), so I’m sure that if you think to this “inner” qualities that are yours, you’ll realize you HAVE a passion within your heart, and the question is just to find the way to “translate” it concretely in your life. Think to it: we have a wonderful and very deep proverb in French that says “aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera”, it means “God helps him who helps himself”, but in French, it is “le Ciel” (Heaven), it means angels can help. Try, you’ll see, IT WORKS 🙂 Amitiés 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brad, your writing is just incredible ~ and your attitude even better. Your feelings are the same as I had as a young man, a lot of uncertainty about what lay ahead, but with your insight and ambition to do well you will succeed well beyond your dreams. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement Randall. 🙂 Writing has actually become a mixed blessing. I enjoy writing, more for the avenue to connect, than the process. All the time writing and being on a computer is starting to feel tiresome. I’d rather be out traveling, photographing and/ or directly connecting with people. You seem to think I’m a young man. I’m 56 and have lost most of my retirement money due to poor choices. I don’t know if I have the ambition to build my finances, career and life up yet again, at a time when I’d really like to be relaxing into life, purpose and myself more. And I appreciate that you and others enjoy my writing. It has helped me and seemingly others as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 56!?!?! I had no idea you were that close to me! I’d always though maybe thirties. You have some amazing genes there, friend! But I also understand even more now why all this is so hard. It’s just not that easy to make up for all the lost time and money and more, and as you said too, the ambition. But look at all the feedback you’ve received for bravely taking this step! Help is surely on the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brad, I understand what you mean about ambition. I’m in my 40s, and I’ve been doing what I do for nearly a quarter century. It wasn’t a bad path, but I don’t want to repeat it. I would take your feeling about ambition to mean that probably the path behind you is not the path ahead of you. That’s a good thing, right? 🙂

        Not sure exactly what kind of investing you’re doing, but I guess the up and down is a constant 🙂 I suspect day trading is not your calling 🙂

        I’ve seen a class listing before about how to travel without money … I suspect there must be books out there … probably multiple bloggers writing about it 🙂 If you rent your house and have another place to stay (like with a friend), you’ve already got a little income stream going, and if you head someplace less expensive to live than here … hey, I’d hate for you to have to go someplace like Bali, or some other tropical paradise 😉

        It’s an abundant Universe, and it wants to take care of you. It’s just a matter of details.

        I would suggest a retreat. There are a number of abbeys and monasteries–Catholic, Buddhist, etc.–where you can stay for a love offering. Why not go someplace like that, unplug, and meditate for a few days about what the future holds?

        Wishing the best for you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can SO relate! Your second paragraph could have been written by and about me for the past 5 years. Our major difference is that I’m old enough to be draining my “secure retirement” that I worked so many years towards… and it’s terrifying. (As if it weren’t bad enough to have lost 1/3 in the economic downturn.) Simply making one decision, taking one step, can seem so unattainable, yet reap so many returns.

    Having only worked for 13 months out of the 5+ years I’ve been here, plus being homesick and other things out of my control ultimately led me to stop worrying about “What am I ever going to do? What CAN I do? What do I WANT to do? What is my passion?” and instead ask myself “What would make me truly happy?” I decided I needed to go HOME, where I had thought I’d be able to afford to visit at least once a year but hadn’t. I threw caution to the wind (I NEVER do that) and tacked more onto my growing credit card balance. Within two days of arriving, I felt energized and enveloped by the love of family and friends and, during a completely unrelated chat, was given the opportunity to apply for a job at a bookstore that is totally out of my past experience but, after thinking about it, could very well be my dream job. Then I found a little house to rent, again through a fluke, and I’m sure I can be VERY happy there. I also learned that there are a few who still need me back there. That alone can give one a reason to look outside oneself and feel a sense of purpose. I didn’t realize I’d been missing that.

    I’ve been told by several people that all these things surely are falling into place for a reason. I’m hoping, as I make arrangements and pack, it’s true. But if nothing else, taking a little step that led to a giant leap is having an immense effect on my wounded psyche. For the first time in a long time – a VERY long time, way before I even moved here – I’m convinced that following my heart instead of my head is the right thing to do. I’m going where I’m wanted and needed, and I hope it will be my happy ending.

    Maybe visiting your fellow blogger will turn into something similar for you. There has to be a reason your mind “went there” this morning. Maybe it’s your subconscious telling you to let your heart lead for a bit. See where it takes you. What I keep thinking is “After all, what have you got to lose, right?” I look forward to seeing where all this takes us both. We’ll stay in touch.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Teresa. It’s nice to see you here on the blog. I had seen FB posts about your move and am delighted that it is falling into place for you. Congrats! It does sound like you have made a heart choice that is deeply resonant for you, with the universe stepping up to support it. Blessings on your move and changes.

      Your suggestion for looking to my heart is on track, yet mysterious for me, as I’m not sure what that looks and feels like. Maybe the urge to reach out to my fellow blogger is a heart whisper. Another clue, is that I prefer to be focused on helping others than worrying about my situation. We share the pull of wanting to be useful and needed. I’ve been out of work for 2 of the last 4 years while losing 80% of my savings. Very hard on the psyche and finances!

      Thanks for caring and sharing.


  5. This is the best post you have made since I have been reading your blog Brad. The downside is that you will receive lots of advice from well-intentioned commenters, much of which will be conflicting, or perhaps not entirely suitable for meeting your inner, undisclosed needs. This may only add to your current state of confusion.

    It sounds as though you have reached a turning point Brad, and you more or less state as much yourself in your second paragraph. You have two choices: to dither in fear of making the wrong decision, or to make a decision and run with it. I have no advice as to which of these two alternatives is best, though it should be obvious.

    I feel for you Brad, and only hope that my words do not come across as heartless, which is far from being true. Sometimes, we need to reduce things down to clarity, strip away all the niceties and simply deal with things. Thinking of a thousand options leads nowhere; it’s just more prevarication, more confusion. Simplify, decide, act.

    Hariod. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • Your first paragraph is very insightful and part of why I hesitate to share this kind of post. I don’t mind feedback, yet most of my readers don’t really know the details of my life to be more aware and helpful on feedback. And no matter what, I have to do as you suggested; simplify, decide and act. Hopefully not too much more dithering! I appreciate your directness and honesty. 🙂 But as to an obvious choice, I don’t see it. What do you see as an obvious choice?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ‘What do you see as an obvious choice?’

        Neither I nor anyone other than you can answer that Brad. In any case, I at no point suggested there is any ‘obvious choice’ to be made – if there were, you would already have made it. When I said ‘it should be obvious’, then that was in reference to making a decision and running with it, and not with what the decision itself should be.

        All I can say is that for myself, whenever there has been the need to make a decision from seemingly endless options, then stilling my mind away from distractions and external stimulus almost always produces the goods. There are no guarantees that any decision will bring sweetness and light, so you might say it’s a question of making a leap of faith, or trusting your deepest instincts.

        Hariod. ❤


  6. So sorry to hear about your financial loss yesterday Brad, and how much it affected you emotionally as well. I can relate to many of the things you shared, and I sincerely empathize. I wish I had some words of encouragement to share with you, but I’m afraid they would come off as sounding rather simple and cliche’. Plus, you’re a pretty insightful guy so I think you already know the things to say to yourself. 😉 Also, I can see that just in getting your thoughts and feelings written down sounds like you’re already working through it.
    Wishing you clarity today, my friend. And I hope that answers will come for at least some of those “never ending questions.” ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for caring Julie. I know the words of encouragement, but not the obvious choice as Hariod seems to think is available. I’ll see if I can relax into the questions to allow more clarity. And it may be time to make any choice, take action and see how it goes. XD Thanks for your support. ❤


  7. My Dearest Brad… Wow, my friend! I think we’re sharing the same boat ride, lol 🙂 Except for being a mom, my only desire and dream left unfulfilled is to become a travel blogger (mostly international.) My daughter has watched me struggle and wait on this for years ~ it’s how I see using all my natural gifts and talents wrapped into one in order to continue helping others. I imagine promoting and volunteering for good causes all along the way to help raise interest, awareness and financial support. Perhaps you and I should talk more. My heart and prayers are with you my friend, and I am so sorry for all your loss as well. You have a great heart and are a wonderful writer ~ it will come together. Just like me… I don’t know how or what exactly yet, but I believe and trust that it will come. It’s funny how when we quit trying to arranging everything ourselves, God is free to line things up along our path (a most recent realization, lol!) Hugs and warm thoughts Brad! In Christ, Jessie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jessie, Yes, we seem to share some similar passions and challenges. I’m glad that you have a clearer sense of direction. I just want to travel, I’m not even sure blogging would be part of it. But how to support myself while traveling is a huge question and challenge.

      I’m glad that your faith is strong and you are able to trust and let go of having to arrange everything. Blessings, Brad

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Brad. I can certainly relate to times of deep, personal darkness and “not-knowing.” It looks like you already made a great decision that recognizes the power of thought – you got the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Observing how the energies of our thoughts change when we get them out of our head, and onto paper, can be really enlightening. It is not to get rid of the thoughts, but to get a good look at them, maybe even dialogue with them. So, I commend you for having the courage to do so, Brad. I offer no more in the way of advice except to say that I said a prayer for you today on my Medicine Walk. Blessings as you ride this wave of the journey, Brad. We are all cheering you on. Hugs, Amanda

    Liked by 3 people

  9. You are welcome Amanda. I don’t mind sharing and being honest and vulnerable. I am hesitant for too much advice when people don’t really know all the details of my situation. So I very much appreciate your approach to listen, offer general support and prayers. Hopefully, more clarity will come from the writing, sharing and dialoging. And I appreciate your Medicine Walk prayers! It’s nice to have your (and others) support. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Brad…I have been off – line for a few days.. and it will take a while for me to catch up …but I wanted to make contact on this post.

    Looks like some wonderful people have rallied to offer advice…I won’t add to that…I will only tell you that for me…When I was feeling what you described, it was my soul yelling at me…taking all my joy away…because I was not honoring my authentic self. I had made decisions with others in mind for most of my life…doing what was best for them…not me.

    I truly believe that we can do ANY THING we want to do…ANY THING WE BELIEVE WE CAN DO…where there’s a will…there’s a way. You seem stuck in knowing what you really want. I agree with Frédéric’s advice…deep down…that voice you hear when you are still…is Angels…and I think of all the advice you may hear…the Angels know everything about you!!!

    This is the time of life when we have questions. ..and the amazing thing about life is that the sole reason we are here is to ANSWER those questions….This is all normal” Brad…good luck…try to enjoy the process 🙂 Much love ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sharing this from a sage mentor, for what it may be worth…

    There’s a common defense to everything and to every critical voice in your life. It’s the thing your ego is saying to you in order to prevent you from having to do the hard work of changing and taking action. “I know I am a good person on the inside.” It may be phrased as “I know who I am” or “I just have to be me.”

    Don’t get this wrong: who you are inside is everything. Every bit of misfortune or bad things you’ve ever done has started with a bad impulse; a grounded negative view — some thought bouncing around inside your head until you finally acted on it. And every good thing you’ve ever done is the same — “who you are inside” is the metaphorical dirt from which your fruit grows.

    But here’s what you need to know, and what many cannot accept: “You” are nothing but the fruit. Nobody cares about your dirt. “Who you are inside” is meaningless aside from what it produces for other people.

    Inside, you have great compassion for poor people. Great. Does that result in your doing anything about it? Do you hear about someone in need or a terrible tragedy and say, “Oh, those poor children. Let them know they are in my thoughts?” Because fuck you if so — find out what people need and help provide it. Countless watched a viral Kony video, virtually all of whom kept those poor African children “in their thoughts.” What did the individual or collective power of those good thoughts provide? Jack fucking shit. Children die every day because millions of us tell ourselves that caring is just as good as doing. It’s an internal mechanism controlled by the lazy part of your brain to keep you from actually doing the hard things.

    How many people are walking around (or sitting at their computers) right now and saying, “She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting and caring person I am!” Really? How do all your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? With or without a plan? Do others want to be a part of your woes? Or your actions?

    Consider applying the same standard to yourself that you apply to everyone else. Don’t you have that annoying Christian friend whose only offer to help anyone ever is to “pray for them”? Doesn’t it drive you nuts? I’m not even commenting on whether or not prayer works; it doesn’t change the fact that they choose the one type of help that doesn’t require them or you to get off the sofa. Their internal dirt is as pure as can be, but what fruit grows from it? (The fruit metaphor is from the Bible. Jesus said something to the effect of “a tree is judged by its fruit.”)

    I’d add my own personal thoughts, Brad, but I know you know from where I’d be coming. Put simply, it’s you, your choices and your taking action. Few of us have had the clarity or direction you seek before taking action. We simply believed in ourselves and what we thought, in that moment, was the right path to travel and explore. But for God’s sake man, lamenting your situation is not going to propel your forward. Act now. Analyze and be curious about what manifests later.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks for caring and commenting Eric. Your advice is sound. There is truth and wisdom in the quote, but I’m not fond of the language, harshness or action-only view. I happen to believe writing and encouraging others is a worthy vocation and action, not simply a fruitless endeavour. Thankfully, it’s my life to choose, lament and act or not.


    • Just wanted to add a PS to my previous comment 🙂 I was walking around the house after writing it, and ‘travel guide’ pinged into my head. I guess that’s a possible answer to how you could support yourself …

      I’m someone who likes action, but I want to know what I’m doing and why before I act. The question of what to do with this ‘one wild and precious life’ is an important one that can take awhile to answer. Passion is a great place to start. To me, everything comes down to love and fear. If you move toward the passion, I suspect you’ll be moving in the right direction …


    • So Brad, for all of the listening you have been doing and the encouraging comments that flow to you, you remain where you were six months ago. Today you have little more clarity, direction or financial stability than you personally shared with me in April. Why? Because you continue to defer taking action and holding yourself accountable for moving forward, intentionally, positively, and constructively. You are living the life you are, as a result of inaction.

      I actually brought you up in a face-to-face meeting with 13 other empathetic and compassionate professionals this afternoon. Without identifying you, I shared your backstory and your situation. I mentioned that you blog and the outpouring of comforting words, encouragement and support you receive. And unanimously the questions asked of me and the resulting consensus was, What action is the guy taking? And is anyone encouraging him to do something besides bask in the compliments and feel-good sentiments that he enjoys.

      To your words, Brad, “it is your life to choose to lament and act or not.” I wish you well with whatever you choose.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Brad,

    You’ve got lots of wisdom and support here. I don’t have any advice on what, but a little to say about the “why” perhaps, based upon my own experience. Finding a job after graduating college, and entering the “real world”, was an extremely difficult period in my life because I wanted to do something “meaningful” and change the world. I didn’t want “just a job”, but a “passion”. I wanted to be a “difference maker”. I put these words in quotes because from the outside looking in, it can be a trap.

    Once we do something, anything, that puts us alongside of other people, we discover there are worlds within worlds within worlds where our presence, our love, and our willingness to connect can make a difference. We miss them when we’re caught by indecision, which I found in my case to have been due to all sorts of judgments and misperceptions about what other people and other businesses and situations were. They’re probably not. Anything you do is an opportunity to connect, build character, be excellent, be Brad, give secret handshakes, share Love, share presence. Anywhere you look into the eyes of other beings each day and agree to share a purpose, can be a good place. So, I’m kind of saying, it doesn’t matter what you pick… Become a garbage man for a year. Wait tables. Work a food kitchen. Sell soda. Tend bar. Do some freelance. Write a movie. Become a lawyer. Let go of the thought you know what products or situations or efforts are worthy and which are not, because that thought is obviously rife with all sorts of value judgments that simply keep you stymied.

    The universe can crawl inside of any choice you make, into any situation, and meet you halfway.

    Much Love

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Brad, you’re a wonderful person and a fine man. I couldn’t even sense any “turmoil,” or whatever when we exchange comments. However, as a finance person, please allow me to assure you that any number related problem has a solution. And it’s just a matter of addition and subtraction.

    On writing, it’s healing. You are on the right track. Don’t let any numbers bring you down. TC, and thanks for this very moving post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for being vulnerable! It warms the heart to see so much love and so much caring sent your way through these comments.
    I hope you are able to choose an action and execute that, whatever it is. I have found that faced with options, we as humans tend to be overwhlemed and freeze. Fearing making the wrong decision. But it’s only right or wrong in hindsight. So make a choice, and make it the right one. Few things can’t be undone or revised.
    Best to you in your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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