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Tired of Trying

Last moments of the year, late in life, I confess to my readers how spent and irrelevant I’ve become. 

I try to come up with something interesting and useful every month.  Posting here at EarthlyReligion has become the echo of my earlier rounding up pertinent issues and images to codify into a twenty-minute sermon rooted in the larger context of the Sunday Service and the community hosting it.  I devoted myself to that as a UU minister, doing the best I could with the limits and talents I have. 

That all came to a big nothing.  I left what would have been a lucrative career in funeral directing to take on the larger ministry and task – addressing life as we live it using the thoughts and tools we inherit and transmit.  So, I did.  I did my best in hundreds of emotional crux and challenge points. I’ve boxes of sermons, big historical files of weddings and memorials.  I’ve an elaborate library of religious, psychological, ecological, and humanistic classics.  So what? 

Niel Young once encouraged his audience to clap, explaining it’s a cycle of energy given out by the performer and given back synergistically.  Some traditions pump up their preachers; UUs pick at them.  Pick at them in petty power plays. 

It was a year later that I found out about the suicide of the husband of a couple I had married.   Having written an honest remembrance of why it was hard for me to try to continue in the ministry after the shoddy, hurtful process I had been through earlier I was declared “out of covenant” for not signing on to a 17,000-word hyper-legalistic code of ethics document (the existing one wasn’t stringent enough), it resulted in my being taken off the newsletter list.  The inexpensive electronic form was denied to me. 

I’m alone for this but not alone in it.  Lots of decent life-long UU ministers were driven out or dropped out due to the hyper-woke narrowed focus that some affinity groups had come to use, wielding power in the UUA.  It’s a scandal you won’t see in the UU World.  Here’s just a few of the threads on the topic in social media. 

https://www.blockedandreported.org/p/how-the-unitarian-universalist-church

Intolerance and Illiberalism in Unitarian Universalism | Looking at Artifacts and Ideas

The fairest and best summary showed up in the Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/ec58bccb-668b-445f-ba7c-824297eb885d

Most of my readers won’t be interested in this draining controversy.  I don’t have something pertinent to add at this point.  I’m drained in many ways. 

Not only am I “out of covenant” in the “beloved community” they seek to impose, but I also haven’t developed one on my own.  I spent a lifetime building up an institution I’m estranged from with relief. 

Trying to relate to the new emerging psilocybin program in Oregon has also been frustrating.  I wrote a sincere, intimate application to the Leela training here in Ashland, leery of their expensive tuition (almost $10.000) in hopes of a simple conversation with Eli Jaxon-Bear only to be snubbed.  They returned the $150 application fee rather than read or reply to my letters.  This is the third time he’s deflected my attempts to converse with him.  He has slick edited PR shows online explaining his “True Friend” counseling approach.  Sounds good, but he’s not even friendly. 

The major interests of my life have come to nothing.  I earn no income from anything UU.  I barely make mortgage payments every month.  I’m left to live out what I used to preach about on my own.  I’m jaded – tired, bored, lacking enthusiasm. I’m chagrined – distressed in my mind from humiliation and disappointment. 

Earlier this year, I fell for a woman so fully I fell on my face.  Decades of suppressed yearning for a love that powerful welled up in me only to be dashed.

So, late on New Year’s Eve, getting this published before midnight, I confess to my dear readers how out of it I am.  (Recurring throat and mouth infections also sap my energy.)  It doesn’t seem my decades of building up this site has achieved very much.  One person sent money for a while.  My search for relevance and income is laughable, given the context of what earns followers and income these days.

Sorry, readers, for this whiny, draining entry.  My enthusiasm is zapped.  Maybe I’ll do better writing in future installments.  Maybe I’ll stop writing or do something different.  I don’t know.  I’m tired of trying.

Byron has been using his writing and public speaking to engage, challenge and inspire audiences for over 40 years. Reverend Carrier's mission is to rescue and revive our earthly Eden, including our human worth and potential. If you enjoy his work, consider supporting him with Patreon.

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Vernon Chandler
Vernon Chandler
4 months ago

Hang in there, Brad! Every moment of life is a precious gift. I very much value you as a friend and colleague.

Lilise
Lilise
4 months ago

It’s that time of year depression that I’m pretty sure gets all of us sometimes brother…
You should be very proud of you and your accomplishments!! So, try to imagine a huge audience when I send these ???????????????????????????????????????????? to you!!
Be proud brother! You’ve done more in your life than the rest of us have… That’s for sure.

Hold your head high and pat yourself on the back. I would, but, you live too far away and my arms just aren’t long enough!!

Love ya,
Lilise

ps. Do you still have your tonsils? ????

Teja Ray
Teja Ray
4 months ago

Dear Byron Bradley,

I hear ya.

I get it, I truly do.

In my experience, “tired of trying” means to rest for a while and then see what’s next…. but each time I’ve done the next thing I’ve failed again!

Once again, I’m resting…..

I hope you can find some peace of mind, and be happy with all that you’ve contributed to Goodness on our planet.

Sending you lots of love and good vibes!

Teja Ray
Teja Ray
4 months ago
Reply to  Byron Carrier

Glad to hear you are happier, and I forgot to say that I was glad that you were honest and shared your real-time feelings. It’s good to keep it real!

Lilise
Lilise
4 months ago

All those question marks and actually hands clapping!! Not sure why they didn’t show up..

By the way, kip and Melissa are have a girl!! Alice Jackaline (not sure on spelling) it’s after her grandmother… She due in June!

Jim
Jim
4 months ago

I’m disappointed, Brad. This lament is evidence that you’ve forgotten some of the wisdom discovered by The JoyMongers, decades ago: “Is it Now yet?” Most of our deeply conditioned global culture is stuck on a timeline of cause and effect, with beginnings and endings and a teensy little moment relentlessly scooting along it — the little “now.” The greater truth, which we discovered together once upon a time, is that Now is known as “real time” for good reason. We have our stories of struggle, pain, ambition, dreams … and past and future. But Real Time is beyond story —… Read more »

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