4. Invisibility: Finding the Passion

Hi Arthur,

I wanted to provide an update on my progress.  I think the legitimacy and joy exercises are taking root and going pretty well (albeit rather slowly).  I feel like I am a stronger, more confident person than 2 months ago.   I am drawing firmer boundaries in my relationships, and interestingly, even family members who used to criticize me appear less willing to do so.  We still have our battle of wills, but it’s at least easier emotionally on my part.

That is a nice distinction.  Some battles go deep, others stay out of the most sensitive zone.

The good news is that these uncomfortable/confrontational situations have allowed me to practice being conscious of my inner self.  Through the Personhood lessons, I started noticing that my mental self shrank around older or dominant people.  I could almost feel my spirit folding into a tiny box.  Even my body language reflected how tiny I tried to make myself.  I knew this wasn’t healthy, so I started putting myself on alert before any encounters and purposefully expanding my inner self.  (It’s difficult to describe but I try to mentally push out that inner self with confident emotions and remind myself that I have legitimacy and value.)  I also correct my body language to reflect a more confident, strong posture.  It seems to be helping.

Well done.  A lot of small choices add up.

I am doing better on the permission front.  As the idea that God wants me to enjoy life (versus the thought that God ordained a life of hardship for me personally) sinks into my soul, I can feel myself embracing the joy that feels like an indulgence.  It’s giving me a greater sense of validity as a person and I can feel my spirit expanding.  I can also see that much of the way I viewed God was a reflection of the way I saw some other people in my childhood.  I am still trying to fully see what it would look like to know that God is always for me and not against me and that He wants to give me good things.  I’m trying to know what full abundance is in Him.  I am still working through emotionally separating God from man, but I think I’ll get there one day.

One interesting tidbit that I discovered hiding under the strong layer of permission is that my resistance also appears to stem from the disappointment and pain of letting joy go.  The bigger the joy, the bigger the pain I experience when it inevitably passes.  I hate it every time. I’m not sure why I resist it so much since logically, I know that I can recreate joy…but there’s something very deep, sad, and nostalgic about the end of a joyful experience that puts my brakes on whenever I want to start feeling joy.

So let me say it back to you.  There is an emotional push/pull.  You have two different emotional messages going on and conflicting.  There are a lot of possible sources of that, but I wonder if this one is an AHS.  Have you listened to the two albums on alien human spirits?  I think that would be a good next step if you haven’t.  

Another obstacle that is creeping up now that the adrenaline of immediate progress is wearing off is fatigue.  My body just feels like it’s wearing down because of my commute and work schedule.  Fighting the feeling of futility and purposelessness in my work is wearing me down emotionally.  I am trying to keep a positive attitude of faith that these things will pass.  But some days I am just so tired.  And it takes more effort to get those good feelings flowing.  I’m having some issues compartmentalizing my other joys so this underlying struggle with futility does not dampen my other experiences.  It has been very difficult though because it feels like the little joys don’t really matter if I don’t have purpose.  I know that’s not true, but waking up to the same situation can be so hard.  I almost feel like if I could just have purpose, everything else would be easier to enjoy.  Is there an exercise or technique that can help in this area?  Again, I know that true victory lies in finding joy in desperate situations, but I could really use guidance in this area.

I think you need to hold two truths in tension here.  First is the fact that lack of purpose and lack of fulfillment are BIG emotional drains in our lives.  And it is OK to acknowledge that.  So yes, small joys don’t compensate for the big pain.  If you have +5 about seven times during the day, but you are at -50 for the fulfillment that day, you net out in negative numbers.  So the small joys only blunt the edge of the lack of fulfillment.  They don’t change that reality.  

On the positive side, all of the practice you are doing now on the small things will add up in the future, so it is worth it to keep on reaching for the small joys when the big pain is not overwhelming.

I think my inner self likes multi-tasking while experiencing my joy, so that technique has been helpful.  It’s been allowing more, longer opportunities to experience the small joys of daily living without worrying that I should be doing something more “productive.”

This is a random bit of news, but I also felt a small prompting to speak against any mountains standing in the way of my job situation because it contradicts God’s will for me according to Jer. 29:11 and John 10:10.  This was new for me because I usually ignore small thoughts like this and I never really thought about speaking against situations because it was not God’s will for me.  (I think working through the Personhood series helped me to embrace this new perspective.)  A few days later, I received an email for a job interview.  It was my first interview in many years, and it was with the Agency that I had administrative obstacles with in the past.  I am not confident in my performance during the interview, but I am using the same technique of speaking God’s good will and purpose over my life and embracing it with faith for a good outcome.  I am choosing to trust that God is bigger than my shortcomings.

That is good news indeed.  Some of the invisibility is shifting.

So how to go forward?

Have you listened to our material on the redemptive gifts of individuals?  This would give us a template for your basic fulfillment zone.  From there, I could ask some additional questions and refine what you were made for.  If you are pretty sure of your gift, write SandyLandry872@gmail.com and see if she agrees.  She is our resident authority on the gifts, and it would be lovely to nail it down for sure.  If this is a new topic for you, then dig into the album.  Once we get the basic frame settled, I can help you refine it.

Fulfillment is a function of design.  I look at football and can’t comprehend the joy in it.  Why would I want to line up across from some bruiser and get thrown to the ground every 30 seconds or so?  I can’t quite find the fulfillment in it.  However, give me a riddle to solve – like you! – and it gets my juices flowing, whereas someone else would feel powerless and panicked in the face of the kind of riddles I deal with happily.

So let’s work on identifying your design, then we can extrapolate where fulfillment will be.  My experience is that visibility is highly related to passion.  When someone absolutely believes in what they are doing, it causes their spirit and soul to be unleashed, and they become much more visible, even when they are not saying anything.  Simple picture:  Sally Nobody is working at the back desk in a big, crowded office.  She is unseen, unloved, not hated, ignored.  Just a nameless, faceless paper-pusher.  

But let her fall in love and become engaged, and even though she says nothing about her romance, it will so turbocharge her spirit and soul, that people will begin to notice her. 

I think you have dealt with the basic negative stuff pretty well.  Now it is time to move into plus numbers and find you a cause that will fire up your passion. 

Copyright April 2016 by Arthur BurkFighting Futility

From home



  1. Elouise says

    I think Sandy Landry is amazing! She was a great help to me too. She wrote a beautiful book called “Alive with Passion and Purpose” (available through Sapphire Lesdership). A book so well-written, that one would want to savour it just a little while longer.


  2. valynda says

    So, so good! Once again, thanks for sharing your journey with us. I’m learning lots from both you and Arthur.


  3. Nichols Web Management says

    “…visibility is highly related to passion. When someone absolutely believes in what they are doing, it causes their spirit and soul to be unleashed, and they become much more visible, even when they are not saying anything…”
    This has given me an unanticipated boost in focus today. Thank you Arthur!


  4. Sonia says

    Wow this is powerful!! Thank you to you both 🙂 I recognize some gold nuggets and similar pieces to my journey with joy and personhood. I am so thankful for this series of posts!!