Healing Our Messy Lives

Glennon’s recent post knocked me down and lifted me back up.

healing, acceptanceHer post on meltdowns sent me on an emotional roller coaster. Reading her post, I was sad, angry, awed, inspired and a bundle of raw emotions. I totally relate to her experience of college, and feeling lost and out of place. Somehow I managed to get good grades and a degree, but inside I was a HOT MESS!

I was a jumble of insecurity, pain and isolation that I tried to drown in alcohol on the weekends. I was disciplined enough to keep the drinking to weekends, so I could “perform” during the week. This was my primary mode of operation until my late 20’s when I realized that something had to change. I was tired of the ups and downs, the escapes to alcohol, sex and dancing that didn’t provide any lasting relief. I was a mess, but gradually became aware of the desire for real change.

My first decision was to stop drinking. I quit drinking completely for about 12 years. This was a huge step in the direction of finding my true self. I attended some AA and ACOA meetings, but the 12 step model never quite worked for me. I wasn’t really an alcoholic or powerless over alcohol, and it didn’t feel right to affirm my powerlessness.

My next decision was to explore faith and spirituality. I had a sense that faith was the missing piece in my life and attended various churches in search of a spiritual home, but none of them felt right. I started devouring books on spirituality and personal growth. I read the Bible cover to cover, and felt a spiritual awakening, but not a clear spiritual path. Later, I added meditation and was amazed at the calming effects.

Meanwhile, I was living a yuppie life by daytime. After a couple of years, I came to feel that I was wasting my life chasing money and outer success. Then I made one of the boldest decisions of my life. I decided to quit my job, sell my condo, buy a VW camper and travel the country. After putting those pieces in place, I spent 6 months traveling the country hiking, camping and exploring our beautiful US National Parks. That wonderful adventure awakened a deep passion and connection with nature that has been my spiritual foundation.

Maybe I’ll revisit the autobiography later, but this post is about healing our messy lives.

I’m realizing that I still have messy emotions that want love and acceptance. I’ve written primarily on the spiritual ideals of peace, love, gratitude and deliberate creation. I want to embrace all of myself, so I’m going to share the messy as well as the beautiful. I’m learning how to love my messy, imperfect human self while continuing to pursue my spiritual ideals.

I’m finding a big part of healing is simply the willingness to accept and feel what is happening in my life. My posts on vulnerability, and healing the pain seem to resonate strongly with this community. Glennon has rebuilt her life with a willingness to be vulnerable and messy. Her stories touch strong chords in me, and are similar to the work of Brené Brown, but messier like mine! Let’s be vulnerable, messy and real.

Next up is building more community to listen, support and inspire each other. Glennon calls this her support net. I’ve experienced the beauty of group support with friends, men’s groups and Unity. And my blog has been a place of connection, support, healing and love.

I appreciate my WordPress blogging community very much. You are an important part of my healing net! Thank you for your love, kindness, compassion and support. We all need love and support. ❤

Blessings, Brad

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32 thoughts on “Healing Our Messy Lives

  1. Your mess sounds like loneliness to me Brad, like an unfulfilled desire to be unconditionally loved. But of course I wouldn’t know that. I am just sharing my thoughts. I think sometimes people are not quite honest with themselves about what they truly feel and they end up substituting their longing with something else that can temporarily fill the emptyness. Perhaps we are afraid to be vulnerable, even to ourselves. Maybe our ego is telling us to toughen up and stop whimpering. And sometimes we can forget what it is to listen, we might not even recognize the voice of our own soul, beacuse it has been kept in the quiet for so long. I think the key to healing is to find out what it is that is hurting, for only then can we heal the hurt and fill our life with that which we are truly longing for 🙂 🙂 🙂 You are brave to be so open Brad! 🙂
    Much Love to you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective Trini. 🙂 Loneliness may be part of it. Most of the pain I was describing was from a long time ago. The key for me has been to be willing to be open, vulnerable, feel my feelings and then go deeper into the peace and wisdom of my soul. Thanks for your care and support Trini! 🙂 ❤

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  2. You probably know this because I recite it ad nausea, but there is nothing I believe in more than authenticity and vulnerability. We can all log on to this thing we call the internet and sugar coat the feelings and emotions that are raging inside so that they come off in a positive tone. I know that I have been guilty of that on numerous occasions. What we need as a human race, however, is empathy for the struggles and obstacles we encounter on a daily basis. It is only when we each have the courage to bare our souls and share not only the happy times, but also the difficult times that we establish a true connection with others.

    I commend you, Brad, for demonstrating that courage on an ongoing basis. You are in inspiration to say the least. We all have messy lives. It’s part of being human. And it’s in sorting through that mess and realizing what is really important that we add significant meaning to our lives. Your insight, kindness, and inspiring words do just that for your readers. Thank you!

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  3. Thanks my friend. Your compassion and words touch me deeply. I am inspired to be as kind and uplifting with my words as you. I appreciate that you too are willing to be authentic and add meaning with your words and actions. Together we rise. 🙂 Thanks Dave!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, Brad, we seem to be coming to a similar conclusion of late 🙂 It feels somehow liberating to acknowledge the less than perfect parts of myself…to understand that it is all relevant and all deserves to be loved!! Thank you for this wonderful post ❤

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  5. Healing comes slowly and is different for everyone, and accepting love after being hurt can be difficult but you are an amazing person who has opened up his kind heart with the words you share and I hope nothing but the best for you…Before acceptance comes realization and I think you are already there 🙂

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  6. That 6 months in the VW camper sounds wonderful! My family and I are always talking about how fun it would be to rent an RV and travel around the country visiting all the National Parks. Maybe some day…

    We’re all just trying to work it all out aren’t we? Figuring out what really makes us tick, being authentic, being vulnerable, sorting through various emotional baggage (healing our messy lives), it’s a process. A lifelong process, really. For me it’s all about finding the joy in the journey, each day, even while the messy things are happening. As you already know, nature is always a huge inspiration for me, but my faith is also an integral part of it all too… knowing that no matter what, Someone’s got my back, loves me, and is watching out for me, that assurance makes all the difference for me as I travel along in my journey.
    Thanks so much for sharing this post, and for your openness, Brad. Wishing you many blessings on your journey! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Julie! The trip was amazing, especially enlightening for a city boy turned nature nut. 🙂 Great perspective on finding joy along the way. Yes, we are all doing the best we can to find our way, ideally, with help from our faith, family and friends. I love how you find so much joy in the simple things in life. Thanks for your kind words and support. cyber hugs! 🙂

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  8. Been there. Done that. Have the t-shirt.😉
    Thank fucking god, I dug myself out of that hole! I am so happy that you listened to the voice inside and did the same. We are now spirit living in human bodies and therefore we will always be balancing (or trying to balance) our human emotions. Don’t try to wipe them away, that is trying to wipe out the human. Be gentle if yourself when you fall out of balance! (As you know, we judge ourselves far more harshly then we would anyone else we know and love.)

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  9. I love René Brown and the willingness to express and share what is vulnerability. Once express perfection now imperfection is so much fun. I can resonate with your story I was once in the abyss of my heart now I am experiencing Light and Love. I feel less alone and more connected in the Universal Consciouness. Thank you Brad for this post. God bless you! Diane.

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  10. Brad it takes a lot of courage to write about the ups and downs in our lives and for me writing about them has also been part of that healing process.. I think our awakening often has to come from the deep trauma’s we go through.. We can only know about lifting our selves up if we have gone through those lows in our lives..
    I think for me my breakdown was all part of the lifting UP process..
    At the end of the day we all are searching.. We search for that Missing part and think to find it in the Bible, within the Churches in a partnership, in love.. in a career… Drugs, or in a bottle….. the lists go on and on.. and I was pleased when you said Meditation helped..
    We seek external to ourselves.. thinking we shall find that something that lifts us from the feelings of being lost, maybe lonely..
    And yet at the end of the day what we seek is right here inside of us all along.. We but need to look inside and make friends with who we are.. And LOVE us Warts and all.. once we do that.. we are on the healing Path..

    Great post Brad.. and I mean that.. it was written from your heart..
    Many thanks for sharing.. And I am proud to be part of your community 🙂
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a beautiful and heartfelt response Sue! ❤

      I am grateful to have you as part of my community. Yes, learning to love myself, especially the difficult feelings and aspects, has been healing, including writing and talking about it. I still occasionally fall in the trap of thinking something outside myself will "save" me, even though I know better. 🙂

      It is interesting how some days, I can simply pause and feel connected to my spirt and other times it's a struggle. The journey continues. 🙂 Thanks for being part of my heart and support.

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      • I think we are all the same Brad, and anyone who says they are on a High ALL the time, I would challenge it… For we grow in spurts and overcoming our emotional selves and the baggage we have carried over a life time and beyond is not shed in one load..
        I view it like an onion.. We peel off our skins one at a time.. and each one can bring with it tears.. But with each new skin we let go, we become more polished and mature..,,
        I too still struggle, but I recognise now what makes me cry.. And I have learnt to go within to heal that which stings And learn while I can forgive others I also have to forgive myself more.. 🙂 We are all of us upon this Healing Journey.. Some just do not see it yet.. 🙂

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      • Sue, you continue to touch and inspire me. Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom so that we might meet in the fields of life and gardens. I’ve heard the onion analogy before, but today it resonated more as we keep peeling, shedding, releasing and harvesting the gems. I would say your gardening has served you well; passion, joy, wisdom and lots of veggies too! 🙂 Thanks.

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  11. Brad, every single time you open your heart, it inspires all your fortunate readers to dig a little deeper within our own souls! Thank you for that!! You clearly are NOT alone in your struggles and sentiments. No matter what path we walk or what our exterior shell appears, I believe EVERYONE traverses a similar journey. Some days I feel like I’ve got it together, and then — BAM — I’ll start second-guessing: Am I a good wife, friend, neighbor, human? What am I really contributing to this planet (I’m a flight attendant for goodness sakes!!)? How am I making a (significant) lick of difference in anyone’s life — much less those who are so much less fortunate? Am I’m missing the entire purpose of life by not having children. And does this make me “selfish” as many suggest? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. We’re in this crazy mess together and remembering that is half the battle. Sending you huge HUGS!! Xoxo

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    • You’re most welcome Shauna. Being open and vulnerable comes fairly easy for me, decisions not so much, but that’s another messy post! I’m surprised by your self doubts, but can totally relate. I experience you as a very gracious, kind and loving person. I’m glad we’re in this mess together. XD
      Thanks for your kind words and loving heart. HUGS back at you!

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  12. Brad, you just about leave me speechless. Thank you so much for this honest, powerful testimony of where you’ve been and why you went there. The movement forward taking shape is exciting to watch. You sound strong and hopeful in your uncertainty and vulnerability. I must say it is wonderful, while sad, to know you better. And yes, our opening ourself up does bring down the walls, doesn’t it?

    So glad to be on this journey with you.

    Love and respect,
    D.

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