The Messy Truth

The Messy Truth

Routinely, I struggle with depression, confusion, and overwhelm.

sunset, imperfectionMany weeks it’s hard as heck to write an uplifting post when my life is falling apart as it has been for 6 years. I hold back on expressing my feelings because I want this blog to be a place of inspiration, connection, and thriving.

Today, I’m going to share some messy truth, feelings, and fears.

The last few years have been very hard, maybe harder than any other period in my life. I’ve lost a partner, the joy of a new life I was starting to build in Madison, and then my money (again). Upon returning to Fayetteville, I bought a house knowing I was about to lose my job. Then the reality of being back in Fayetteville set in, without my joy or an income, but committed to a house I didn’t love. That began a long spiral into depression, from not knowing what to do with my life, and not liking Fayetteville, my house, or my lack of direction. This was further compounded by poor choices that vaporized my life’s savings that I had just rebuilt from the wipeout after the tech boom and crash of 2001.

I tried to move forward, but couldn’t seem to make decisions and take action. 

I built gardens and love blossomed in my yard and my heart, but still, I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t find a decent job and was afraid to try new things that might have helped me figure out what to do with my life. Finally, a year ago I sold my house to keep afloat financially. I didn’t mind giving up the house, but I had a hard time letting go of the gardens and the special bond with those gardens that I created from scratch. The gardens were my sanctuary and my joy.

I’ve been trying to figure out my life purpose and direction since I was a teenager.

At 58 I still don’t know the answer to the question of what I want to do with my life. Whether we are talking about work, family, geography, or lifestyle, I seem to be perpetually tossed about by the waves of passing ideas and desires, but never settling into one and committing to build something. I’ve tried to figure it out in my head, only understanding in the last year that I won’t be able to figure it out in my head. It’s going to require taking action, being willing to fail, experiment and keep trying until I find what really matters to me.

My fear is that I’ll never figure out a direction or make a meaningful impact in my life. 

One of the only things I’ve stayed with over the last years has been this blog. As I written many times, this blog has been a great comfort to me. It has been an outlet for my feelings, photography, prose and desire to inspire others to better lives. I don’t believe I’m a great writer, nor did I ever set out to be one, but maybe I’ll stick with this writing gig because it’s the first thing I’ve stayed with in my life and it feels good to see the results. And I really enjoy connecting with people around the world and hearing that my stories, photos or words have touched a heart or two.

I’m grateful for this growing community of readers, and the satisfaction of seeing a history of posts and connections over 5 years on this blog. I’ve never stuck with anything else for 5 years; no job, relationship, or passion.

This post was stimulated by the realizations that:

  • I want to be a better writer, learning to both write and live from a deep soulful connection. I love the writing of Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Rumi who make nature and the soul come alive in vibrant and powerful, yet subtle, prose that touches my heart.
  • I want to leave something behind that says “I was here and I made a difference.”
  • I want to bare my soul, and maybe touch a few hearts along the way.
  • I want to make better choices, as discussed in this post called Bitter Medicine.

 Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi

And as I close, I want to remind myself of my higher calling (dare I call it purpose?) to live in peace and flow with life. Here’s a pretty good post on Finding the Flow.

Thanks for reading. I’ll meet you in those fields. 

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91 thoughts on “The Messy Truth

  1. Brad:
    Have you any idea what an impact you make on others through your blog?

    “…this blog has been a great comfort to me,” you write. It’s been a great comfort to others, too. And I’d rather read your post and poems than a hundred ones that I can’t figure out! Thanks for being accessible to me as a reader especially on my own challenged days. Your posts are an anthem to compassion and communication with ourselves, each other, and the earth; they provide comfort and a gentle but clear challenge to us to do better on those fronts.
    I know of your struggles and I encourage you to share them when you need to, knowing that they will be received in a spirit of empathy and compassion.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I will share part of my story with you, though I fully know that no two life stories are the same. I had reached a point of feelings similar to yours several years ago. For me it looked like failure after failure with no hope of making my way out of the spiral. When I was convinced I had tried all the options open to me and couldn’t see any light in or beyond any of them, I rolled myself up tightly in the fetal position on the bed and cried, no wailed, until I thought I was going to leave my guts on the mattress. I can’t explain what came next but I can just tell you that I heard something like a voice inside my head clearly say, “You’re trying to cover all the bases.” It was like taking a shower after a hard game of basketball. The grime of my fears and anxieties lifted and I went downstairs to talk with my wife and make a plan to move forward. Let me make it clear that this day had come after several years of “trying to cover all the bases,” and the new path of trust in myself and the Spirit, if you will, was to be a work in progress, marked by risks, missteps, and multiple changes. But I always seemed to find my way back to hope and faith and was ever watchful for inspirations I now knew could help me along the way. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Dennis. I appreciate you being vulnerable too and can certainly relate to your story. I haven’t curled up and cried, but certainly felt like it many times. I believe that I’ve turned the corner on my challenges and feelings. I do find my way to hope and trust more often. I just had one of those days recently that triggered the post. And I’m finding that embracing my feelings and sometimes sharing them helps me move on too. Thanks for reaching out heart to heart. I’m glad to share the journey with you.
      Blessings, Brad

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      • I think life plays out similar themes in many if not all of us. So often they seem to revolve around issues of control and trust. We can’t get away from our vulnerabilities. Perhaps sharing them helps open us up to a love and life bigger than our own.

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  3. I savor your courageous candor, Brad. I have on my daily doings list today to do at least three things outside or on the edge of my comfort zone. You’re showing me the way, in “taking action, being willing to fail, experiment and keep trying until I find what really matters to me.” I find that’s a fruitful, if often humbling, approach. Coincidentally, I emailed the “Daring Greatly” quote from Theodore Roosevelt (via Brené Brown) to a friend with whom we were discussing just such matters. He’d never heard it before.

    http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

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    • Kudos on stepping outside your comfort zone Dave, and wonderful quote from Teddy too. I’m writing to remind/ ask myself to do the work. 🙂 I do have one possible item that would stretch me and hopefully be of value; reach out to Josh at the Detention Center about doing some kind of circle work with them.

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  4. Oh Brad, you are already making a big difference through this wonderful blog! But I think I understand where you are coming from, and one thing came to my mind: thoughts are energy. When we dwell on our unfulfilled dreams and occupy our thoughts analyzing what we are not, what we don’t have/do etc., we invite more of the same into our lives. I have seen this for myself and more recently in our family circle. But it can and will change to a much more positive experience when we allow for new, fresh thoughts and follow-up with action. My little twopence with love and hugs 🙂

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  5. Love this vulnerable post Brad… people love reading real stories whether positive or not… let there be no judgement and write about our true experience that always inspires. All life whether light or dark is experience we unfold on our Human journey towards knowing the presence of our Divinity. When we drop our own judgement and observe, embrace and love all of ourself… we can be the true Master we all truly are AND ALLOW ourself to live fully NOW. Love to you dear Brad x

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  6. Okay, I read all these comments and as expected they were voices who appeciated your candor and you sharing your story. Brad we are all walking talking stories, and we are meant to share those stories. We are called to do so, and it is a divine and anointed purpose. And it affects more than just the people who personally read about your story. Like a pebble in a pond wherein the ripples continue outward encompassing more and more of the water in the pond. Like that someone who reads your story may tell it to another you don’t know and then that person tells another that you don’t know and on and on it goes. We never know the full impact of the stories we tell about our lives and our struggles and our triumphs. But I suspect they truly reach much farther than any of us can imagine. And NO ONE, let me repeat that NO ONE, has a perfect life nor do they have everything they may have once dreamed to have. There are NO perfect partners, there are NO perfect houses, there are NO perfect gardens, there are no perfect lives, there are NO perfect anythings or anybodys. Given that there is no accurate way to measure the value of any of the things that you mentioned. We are imperfect people living imperfect lives in an imperfect world and so all we can do is carve out as much of what we want to make an adequate measure of a desirable life. It won’t be the perfect life but it will be a workable life, one in which we can become who and what we are meant to be and in the process use our wisdom, gifts, and stories to help fellow sojourners along the way. Trying to measure what we are and what we have by some kind of standard and trying to meet expectations is what holds us back and puts a fence around us that we are constantly self-restricted by and that as Joseph said exist only in our mind. We do however have to live within the construct of what is as we perceive it, to tap into what gifts we have, and then to find a way to shine light into others darknesses. That is when and where joy will come, purpose will be fulfilled, touching hearts will be realized, and making a difference will be attained. You mentioned three great writers and I would add others to the list. But for now, if you haven’t read THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran I recommend you go find a copy of it and start on it NOW. Lastly, and this is the part you probably won’t like or agree with, but if you can’t find a church than you can handle attending, get a book named JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young and read it along the Gibran’s book. If you truly want to succeed in the things that you’ve mentioned above, you are going to have to recognize the Source of life and all that is and find out what it is that He wants for and from you. He will guide you and He will NOT fail you. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 ❤

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    • Wow Natalie. What an inspired comment filled with much wisdom, compassion, and faith. I can image you were and are a great teacher. I wish you would share more of your life’s learning on your blog. I very much appreciate you, your encouragement and your suggestions. I do have faith, just not as clear or strong as some people. I’ve read the Prophet and loved the feeling of sacred reverence for life. I will revisit it and see if I can find Jesus Calling too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. HUGS! ❤

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      • Thank you Brad. I do insert my life’s story when it seems appropriate and maybe I should do more. If you do find the book by Sarah Young, I hope it is one that has the introduction where she tells her story which is amazing and very inspiring! I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do. The two huge keys are: learning to listen for God’s nudgings and second listening to your heart. The Holy Spirit indwells believers and He/She is not at all shy about letting us know what is right and what is wrong for us. Love and hugs my friend, Natalie 🙂 ❤

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      • That can be right for sure Brad! But in one passage of Scripture we are told that the heart can be deceitful and as mortals who often let their emotions rule their hearts we have to pray and make sure it’s the Spirit speaking through our hearts and not just our wants and emotions. 😊❤️

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  7. When someone shares their messy stuff, it lets us know we’re not alone, that we’re human, because we have messy stuff too. Like when I go to a friend’s house and it’s messy, so I don’t feel like something’s wrong with me because my house is messy. I know I’m not a “great” writer, but I have a story or two to tell. You do, too -stories that make a difference, stories the world needs, like this one. I like to write and read uplifting stories, but the truth is, we need balance.Thank you for sharing your truth, Brad. A bit of my truth is that I went to high school, and three years of community college (I wasn’t sure how to leave) in another military town near Fayetteville, at town where my dad still lives. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live there again. I think if I had to, I’d try to find the little pockets of beauty and enlightenment that must be there, and people who love Mary Oliver, and Wendell Berry or Rumi. But you have a much bigger community here, a family if you will, and you make a positive difference. I’m excited about the path you’re walking, now, and the beautiful garden you’re growing here at Writing to Freedom. Prayers and hugs coming your way!

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    • Your words touched me deeply JoAnna. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your vulnerability. I resonate with the idea of us sharing our stories to help each other. And I love your analogy for growing the garden of Writing to Freedom. That makes my heart smile since I’ve been missing my flower gardens.:) I am grateful for you and many other friends and family in this community. Hugs and blessings!

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  8. Thanks for writing such an honest post- its takes courage! I’ve been through similar phases/ feelings and what I’ve learnt is that this IS the state of a human being who is held captive by the mind. Nothing is ever good enough for the mind/ego and it can only survive in thoughts of past/future, in regrets and hopes. There will be endless desire that the Buddha identified as the cause of all suffering. I have a long way to go myself but I truly believe that none of us can escape this suffering unless we transcend the mind and focus on the NOW which is all that ever exists anyway. Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now is a great book to help understand this. Or the poetry of Rumi if you prefer and are lucky enough to feel 🙂

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    • Thank you Shruti. Great perspective of reminding me that those feelings come from the days I allow ego mind to dominate. I’ve also read Power of Now. Yes, I am blessed to be free in my life and grateful to have so many people who care. Thanks for joining the community. blessings!

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  9. Hi Brad…whoo…you were both personal and universal today. I went through a lot of this in 1995, during/after my divorce. Thank you for being vulnerable. It allowed your sweetness to show, that I have always seen/sensed, that much more. Please text/call if you would like to talk. Leigh

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    • Thank you Leigh. I appreciate hearing that my sweetness peeked through today. I’m spending more time in my heart and less in the worries of mind as others have reminded me here. Thank you for your love and support.
      Hugs and blessings!

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  10. “At 58 I still don’t know the answer to the question of what I want to do with my life.”
    I think the universe has answered you. You just might want to hear what it is saying to you.
    You are joy, a light, and a life, which every blogger who interacts with knows dead straight.
    Isn’t this amazing? That you have such positive impact?
    Isn’t that more than enough?
    You are loved beyond your capacity to understand and your blog sheds light upon the world.

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    • Wow again! My family is kicking my butt! Your words and conviction cracked open my mind, allowing the truth and love to come in. Thank you Cindy. I will do my best to remember and live your faith in me and my writing. Namaste.

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  11. Brad, you’re one of the very few men I know who doesn’t have angst; who is confident and sincere enough to talk about your emotional challenges; who makes friends with us (blogging ladies) without the slightest malice–and we appreciate you even admire you for everything. So, please hang on. Better days are ahead.

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    • Wonderful reflections Aina. I’m glad to be a friend and it touches my heart to know that you find me a safe haven. One of my long-held dreams is to create sacred space for others to blossom. I will hang on and even thrive, especially with all the love I’ve received from our community. Thank you. HUGS!!

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  12. Wow Brad….You just wrote my life story almost! We all have our dark corners. I beat you by several years though (ha!) At almost 70 come spring I still don’t know my direction, finally lost ALL of my money to insane bank bailouts, live on Social Security and now have had to take out a reverse mortgage to stay afloat which will mean I have to sell my house come spring to pay the damn thing off. Life goes on, struggles and all. It’s a tough world and things seem to only get worse. I keep praying, I keep the faith and I wait….Waiting sucks so I have decided I have to take some kind action or risk staying in this world of hell. There can be no flow to life without movement, one tiny step at a time. You are not alone my friend. Allowing ourselves to become vulnerable is the answer. Try this book, The Love Mindset by Vironika Tugaleva…Good book. Hang in there and know there are plenty of ‘you;s’ out here in the world. We are all one! VK ❤

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    • Thanks for being willing to share your story and struggles too VK. I’m sorry to hear that it feels so hard for you. I feel uplifted from all the love, support and acknowledgment I’ve received. I’ll look for that book. I hope that you find love and support too. And yes, we need to keep moving and take action. That has been a weak area for me. May we help each other on the journey to love and wholeness, Many blessings VK.

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  13. Starting with the first comment from Cynthia….she says just about everything I would say….I also want to comment on Natalies suggestion…Jesus Calling…I came across this daily devotional as I was making a huge change in my life. That was 4 years ago and I still read it each morning and still find each days wisdom new and refreshing. It has gotten me through some tough times and continues to be an inspiration to me daily.

    Our life on this planet is not perfect, but that said, the light of love, hope and kindness do brighten up our days and the path we are walking on this journey of life. Most people don’t like to open up and admit their struggles, but the truth is, we all have them and we all seek direction. I applaud you for sharing and want you to know, you have more impact in a positive way than you realize….the light you are trying to share is very important and touches people much more than you realize. We each do have a purpose….keep at it!

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    • Thank you Kirt. It’s nice to know that my words touch others. That was my intention in starting the blog; to be a place of connecting, inspiring and thriving. I sometimes forget that sharing the struggles helps too. I’m grateful to share the journey with you. Blessings…

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  14. You have such beautiful support here on WordPress Brad!. You are very brave to share your vulnerablities and as you can see you are not alone and none of us are free from pain or challenges in life.

    As a counselor, I see a lot of people who feel overwhelmed and sad about how their life has unfolded, and often what we find is that they have suppressed pain from the past and that these wounds have not been addressed or healed. Explore these wounds within you and if needed, seek support to work through them. When we are able to do that, we release our pain and this helps us move forward and see the path ahead more clearly. You definitely have a beautiful plan ahead, but first you must heal your past. You can always email me anytime if you would like support. Many blessings Brad.
    Karen
    naaron2@hotmail.com

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    • Thanks for your kind words and offer of support Karen. I hope I’ve done enough inner work to be able to move forward, but we’ll see. I’ve gotten better at accepting and feeling my pains to allow them to heal, teach and integrate. I am grateful for all the encouragement and support offered here. Thank you.

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  15. I was listening to a podcast driving home today. You know…I’m naturally a bubbly person, but I have my moments of despair. I’ll share that in my own life, my immediate family (that lives 1500 miles away) is literally about to lose everything – it’s a long story, but my parents’ business is shutting down unexpectedly and they have a business mortgage still to pay and due. Work is perfectly suited to someone with an extroverted personality and I get home each day wiped out. Then are are all the relationships to cultivate, parents and students to mentor and manage, college students to manage, schedules and interviews to hire two new people this week, mid-year reviews for other employees and two grants due on Friday to keep my salary going and keep our program going for another year.
    I share because, honestly, I was crying on the way to work this morning wondering why I was even doing all this. Then a colleague asked me if I cared if we got the new grant. I calmly (and I was quite aware due to my meditative habits) stated that it’s an unfair question because this is a hellish week. But honestly, maybe I didn’t care. I said that. I got it out there. That perhaps I’m not cut out for this job. (I know I’m not.)
    After all this meditating I do, I was wondering about this anger I felt. But then I had this flash of an answer: give into it. Feel it. Maybe even meditate on it. Accept it. Because it’s what I feel.
    Then tonight, as I was listening to that podcast, the guy was saying how “negative thinking” can actually be a really good thing, especially if it does send us in a good direction. He, too, advised just letting yourself “feel” it. Don’t judge it. Just let these feelings be.
    I felt much, much better after that.
    I’m 37 and I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life. There are a lot of us like that, I reckon. I read a book a few years ago about how this is actually a new phenomenon: most people of the ages did not have that choice because they had predetermined roles to fill or just survival to worry about. In other words, that book suggested that while some people can hyperfocus and know what they want to do with themselves, the truth is, those of us who are creative and philosophical and deep thinkers, well…if we could all figure out exactly “what we’re supposed to do” well, we might not ever have the courage to let our creative selves out of the bag to make that difference we’re supposed to make.
    You’re making your mark here. Right now. This blog. And because you’re on this blog pouring your heart and time to it and building a community of people around it, well, why wouldn’t you think THIS isn’t what you’re supposed to do? 🙂 The way I see it, you’ve continued with your amazing posts and you have a whole feel here of love and acceptance and that’s why people come and visit.
    To that end, keep on keeping on. Why not write a book about your journey? I know I want to hear more about it – because it’s inspiring. There are others – so many others – who have similar struggles and triumphs and need to hear your voice. Besides, how do you know that you haven’t changed the life of a person sitting in their room somewhere for having been to your blog? You just never know…
    Sorry for the long response. You just inspired me. See?

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    • I inspired several really long comments with this post! 🙂 Thank you for such a heart-felt response Cynthia. I’m sorry that you feel such angst over your work too and soothed to know it’s a common theme for creative deep thinkers. Maybe part of the key is learning to live more from our heart and body (intuition) versus trying to figure it all out with our mind. And I totally agree about being willing to just feel our emotions without trying to change/ fix or resist them.

      I appreciate you acknowledging that there is a nice feel to my blog and you find value. That is what keeps me blogging; knowing that I’m making a difference and connecting with people on a deep level. I love our WP community. I will consider your idea to write a book about my journey and keep on with the blog as long as I feel a passion and sense that I’m touching and/ or helping people. Hugs and blessings!

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  16. My admiration for you is even greater, having read this post. How courageous and selfless to continue offering such inspiration and hope here, in spite of all that you have faced. Indeed, as others have shared, this post is just as inspirational, if in a different way. Hats off to you my friend! All my love and gratitude always, Harula xxx

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    • Thank you much Harula. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to be perfect or upbeat all the time! I’m glad I shared my challenges to be reminded that many of us face similar issues and how much support I have here on my blog. Hugs!

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  17. Hey Brad,

    Great post, my friend. I think what you’re seeing is how profoundly human this feeling is! I have been in a place similar, I think, to what you describe. I would guess we all have. I had a tree near where I was living that was my companion that year, and periodically I made a trip out there to deposit my tears of uncertainty and yearning into the Earth. Getting to the point of weeping can be good I think. If it comes.

    Comparison has always been a hard one for me–comparing my life to an ideal, never being certain I was doing what I’m meant to do, and comparing my path to the path of others. It’s all really a lot of bullroar, but it seems intensely real while we’re in it. There is a great line in ACIM about depression–about how it comes from accepting things about ourselves that simply aren’t true. It’s hard to break that cycle, but the saving grace and also the hardest thing about it is that we can surrender and allow transformation to occur. We keep thinking we’re the one(s) who have to figure it out, make the moves, plot the course, make the difference. Really, if we wish to have a different experience, we have to let it be given to us, but doing so requires that we put the brakes on many mental processes and judgments that run almost autonomously.

    We have to create the space for the new to emerge, and my only advice is to choose a practice–reading Rumi, reading one of these other books recommended to you, some contemplative or meditative pratice, whatever it may be, whatever resonates with your heart–and stay with it for a while. That type of commitment works miracles. And when the depression comes welcome it–don’t chide from it, don’t attack it, just don’t let it be the only meaning in your life. It’s damn hard, but I find and have found that a daily turning of the wheel builds that strong inner foundation. I find it also helps to have trust in the notion that your feelings are accurate guides: if you’re depressed, it is because you’ve chosen something, or placed value in something, that is not valuable. And you have undervalued the real value that is you. Our feelings always make clear to us what we have chosen.

    Everyone here sees your brilliance, Brad! Sometimes we ourselves are the ones most reluctant to accept it!

    Peace
    Michael

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    • Beautiful reminders Michael. You help make ACIM much more accessible. When I read it years ago, it didn’t really connect for me. Maybe you can teach the simplified version? 🙂

      I appreciate you and the insights on depression. I will use those feelings as a signal to return to center and remember my truth/ light. Thank you for caring and sharing such helpful reminders.
      Hugs and blessings!

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  18. Brad, I can relate to what you say about the struggle to deal with depression or the challenges of your life, while being able to write positive pieces. I wouldn’t have guessed from your positive, inspirational work that you have these challenges in the background, but then we never really know the truth of another person’s life. I’m glad that you’ve found something that has endured for you and I send you all good wishes that you find a contented place in your life soon.

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    • Thank you Andrea. I have found more peace and purpose after sharing this post, acknowledging my challenges, and being reminded of the wonderful support here. And thanks to some insightful feedback, I’m realizing that my blog is part of my purpose so I’m feeling more peaceful and focused. Thanks for caring.

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  19. The society sells the illusion of total happiness in a job, relationship, home, family, etc., however, this is an enormous sell job, the rich are as miserable as everyone else, probably even more so.
    I don’t want to be remembered for anything, that’s another sell job, we are to be discreet and humble servants of the universe. “Doership” is an obstacle in Buddhism and other mystical philosophies.
    I like your raw honesty, Brad.
    Myself, I don’t talk about my personal life on the net, it’s due to the fact that people can get very mean and use things that one has said out of context, if they are mentally unbalanced and/or don’t like a person’s political or other belief system.
    However, having said that, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever be hassled for saying things about your personal life because you don’t talk about Israel (a guarantee that one will be a “Hasbara” target).

    As for a job: that’s why it’s called work, people get paid to labour unless they are predators and live off of the labour of others.

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    • Thanks for caring Genie. I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience with sharing personal matters online. I had a little of that on FB over politics this year. I agree that we need to find our own path, not what is pushed by the mass culture. I still want to do things and leave a mark, and I realize the most important aspect is who I become in the process. Hugs and blessings…

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  20. Brad I am so pleased my eye was drawn to this post upon my returning to the world of Blog for a time..

    You know.. Its the Messy Truth that is the glue that holds Life together.. For no one is without their shadows and it takes great courage to share the truths of our lives in public places..

    I can only commend you dear dear friend for sharing your love and inspiration and uplifting posts that you do.. You show us that to every situation there are two sides we can look at things.. You choose to show us the positive side even though as you flip your own coin it often does not come up as you called it..

    Some times we get too busy with the searching for the positives in life, we forget to LIVE in the moment of it.. I like you can all too often become easily depressed.. Having suffered with it throughout my life so I can so empathize with all you are saying. Which is why I detached for a time.. to connect back within my own space for a while,
    I now understand being ME is who I am.. and YOU Brad are leaving your mark of YOU where ever you go..

    Trust that you are Making a Difference.. When we let go of our goals, when we let go of trying, we ease into the flow of BEing..

    You my friend are a beautiful Human BEing my friend.. Be proud of who you are.. and ALL of that which you have achieved..

    Love and Blessings and a wishing you a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful, New Year xxx

    Hugs Sue ❤

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  21. I feel like the people that have been through the most are able to offer the best advice and wisdom, and ultimately are the strongest because they’ve built their life on an uphill battle, and got just as far as everyone else with a far greater weight to carry!

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  22. Thank you for sharing your story so open. Life has been hard on you that’s for sure! But they say you need to know what pain and suffering is in order to understand happiness and being grateful. Situations like yours have made you stronger and made you think about your future. Keep on writing!

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  23. Obviously we build the strongest connections when we’re real, B. In my hardest moments, I’ve expressed gratitude for oxygen. I’m not stuck alone on Mars! We round yet another corner of a new year. May it bring some answers, and truer joy.

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  24. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I really appreciate hearing the depth of longing for purpose. I think you’re connected to a very universal human experience which can help people to feel a sense of belongingness when they hear you describe it. Was it soothing for you to acknowledge it?

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    • Thank you Naomi. I hope my sharing can help others figure it out sooner and more easily than I have. I agree that we all want to belong and have meaning or purpose. Yes, I felt soothed and energized to have a sense of purpose and direction. Now the trick is to not keep questioning the choice, but assume I’m on track, moving forward and living without so much analyzing. Allowing life and myself to unfold with more ease. I hope you find purpose and meaning. blessings, Brad

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Perhaps the answer lies more in the “being” and less in the “becoming”. Looking back over a long and varied life, I have been many things, but the most fruitful and precious times I didn’t realize the value of when I was passing through them. Accept that your life is on perfect course for you to be/become that precious individual – you. Perhaps you don’t need a path because you are already there, you just don’t see it yet.
    Confusion is a sign of growing depth.
    These things are hard to articulate – hope this makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Claire. Thanks for your wise counsel. I understand your perspective and agree that being is the cause and who we become is the gift. I also feel it’s also important that I create more focused action. My life has been rather directionless. You’re also encouraging me to trust myself & life which I’m working on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Brad, I’m catching up on my blogging stuff. Thank you for your very honest and authentic sharing here. We need more of this truth-speaking in the world, as there are so many of us who feel these things too, and we think we are alone. I wish you all the best for 2017, lots of joy and peace. You have clearly impacted many people in a very positive way. Namaste, Aleya

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re most welcome Aleya. I agree that it helps to share the human frailties as well as our divine potentials. The trick seems to be how to acknowledge the messiness without getting stuck in it. to be continued. 🙂 blessings, Brad

      Liked by 1 person

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