Processing Disappointment #2

I wrote the previous blog on Thursday night, but didn’t have the emotional energy to publish it until Saturday.

I was quite intrigued with the unexpected insight of how I default to processing pain and pleasure with God, not people, therefore have such a high engagement level with God, easily trusting Him, but not so with people.  It was a very new idea, but quite logical when I looked at the data.

What was maddening is that I am very good at caring about others, and engaging with them in a way that they let me in.  On the last flight home, I was pretty much a mess, but I noticed that the flight attendant was wearing some fun shoes.

Now AA has set the standard for the last 20 years for the least attractive flight attendant shoes, so I wondered.  I waited until she was done with her work and just chilling, and I commented on her shoes and asked her if there had been a change of policy or she was just feeling like a free spirit today.

She instantly grabbed the “free spirit” comment and shared that there were new uniforms coming out, and as of the first of the month, there was a “Nazi” who would be enforcing compliance.  She whipped out her cell phone and began showing me pictures of herself in the new uniforms, with rancor.  Each one merited a more negative comment until she arrived at the last one and said, “And THIS one makes me look like a nun!”

I sympathized.

She let me in and received the caring even though we don’t even know each other’s names and will probably never meet again.

I do that a lot.  I observe.  I comment.  They open up.  I care.  They receive.  I leave.  Life goes on.

So if that is such an ordinary part of my life, why is it so extraordinarily hard for me to receive the same kind of casual, well meaning caring, or deeply felt caring from people I have known for a long time?

I pondered that for hours.  Even though the neurological answer was compelling, my spirit quietly added that there was a lie involved.  I would not receive care and compassion because . . .

I poked around there intermittently on Thursday night until I fell asleep, but never found the rest of the sentence.  On Friday, I still was not up for work, so I began scrolling through the last few days.  I identified people who had done good to me or sent compassion, caring, gentleness, tenderness, love, honor, admiration my way.  I was intrigued with the number of different English words there are for sending good emotions to another person.

And as I turned each event, large or small, around in my mind, examining it, savoring it, seeking to receive it, my spirit would comment, “That one is safe.”

So clearly part of the mystery sentence was “I won’t receive care and compassion because it is not safe . . .” but I don’t know what “not safe” looks like yet.  Clearly Friday’s journey through the recent experiences all passed the fear-based test.  Sure hope I can surface some “not safe” care and compassion soon so I can decode the rest of the mystery.

Meanwhile, on another front, I figured I should explore the possibility of critters causing or exacerbating some of the pain.

According to one intercessor I checked with, there were three different points along the journey where I got mugged.  As a point of reference, God has been taking me on a journey lately exposing me to some really weird dark creatures.  The instructions are to avoid understanding them and simply find out which fractal overcomes them.   Works for me.

First spot I was messed with had a fractal of five critters.  I know that fractal well, so I dispatched him with efficiency.  It had distorted the righteous fractal of five in me, and it took a number of hours for that to come back into alignment.

The second one was a fractal of eight.  It was a structure of two parts, one on top of the other.  Well, I have no knowledge at all of the fractal of eight, but I have a real simplistic theology:  Jesus did it right.  So I fairly crudely pummeled it with my microscopic data and my immense faith that Jesus nailed that fractal too.  It wasn’t elegant, but I eventually won that battle too.

Feels like that fractal in me is not right yet, and I can’t figure out the words to ask God to make it right, so am still circling around it and pondering what there is to learn.

I was quite surprised that with all the work I had done in the last few days, I was still recovering so slowly.  In addition to what I had done, the Holy Spirit had raised up a quite remarkable strike force to cover me in Algonquin before I knew I was in trouble.  It has been fun to hear your reports as you share what you were praying and when.

For all that pre-preemptive prayer, and my pretty intentional push back, things were just creeping along.

Eventually I quit grinding on the fractal of eight, knowing I could come back to that as often as needed, and went to the third spot that had been tagged as a place of defilement.  There it was an unknown critter that was simply parasitic, sucking the life of God out of me.  That was swiftly dispatched and I began to bounce back within the hour.  I am quite pleased to be rid of that one.

So that is the Saturday afternoon report.  Still chasing the fear-based lie.  Wondering about the fractal of eight.  But feeling much better in spirit and soul, and suspect that my body will be more cheerful on Sunday too.

Then I can start some deeper work.

More later.

Copyright August 2016 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub


  1. Pam says

    Hi. Personally I find that sharing pain or tough times most often turns into a monologue of the “Listener’s” experience. I often end up nodding and listening and regretting I started it.


  2. says

    For me the fear-based lie was that if I actually opened up completely to those closest to me, then they would see what I see and would lot love me. I believed the lie that my real unique self, the inner me, was unlovable. In my case it was this way with people AND God. I have been working on both over the years and it’s really rewarding, the glimpses of what I’ve seen, of what it’s like to really feel completely and truly loved… all of me. God bless you on this journey.


  3. Arina Myburgh says

    Dear Arthur

    During Saturday night my husband had a dream that consisted of three “chapters” and implicated that he had scars ( and subsequent false behaviour) in the area of acceptance as a person in a group situation.

    We were discussing the dream when I had a vision of how it functioned as fractals:

    There were three discs of the same size floating on top of each other.

    The top one was divided into four equal parts and the issue here was the lack of acceptance from his parenting figures from a very young age and age peers from when he was about 16 years old.

    The middle was divided into eight parts – where he compromised his true identity to be accepted into a certain group of people. He was fully aware of his physical and mental superiority, but the emotional need to belong to a group was so strong, that he did not display this strength and instead went to great lengths to fit in.

    The bottom was divided into halves. This had to do with false teachings and ideologies and the danger of looking through the favourable lenses of past encounters with certain people without assessing their current state.

    Just in case there is something that you can use to shed more light on Fractal 8.

    Kind regards.
    Arina Myburgh


  4. Devorah R.G says

    May you hear God speaking tenderly to you through the kind expressions of humans. May your valley of trouble become a door of hope that no one can ever close again.


  5. Nichols Web Management says

    As I read this and pondered on the fear and the fractal of 8 I ‘saw’ a coin. The significance being the two sides. Heads you win Tails you lose -the same coin holding the power of life and death.
    I will leave it at that. The Lord is using you for a very important work. Thanks!


  6. Sandra Caves says

    Thank you so much for your transparency and honesty. I am so encouraged when I see you struggling with the very thing I am facing at present. Your comment from post 1 … I have been down this road before ….. was particularly encouraging.

    I struggle to receive love and support from others and am in the process of trying to pin down the lie fuelling that behaviour. You are such an encouragement to me. Thank you.


  7. Tanya says

    Thanks for sharing. I read both Disappointment blogs. I just wanted to also share that I’ve been tracking with you for a few years and have greatly appreciated your material and help. Even though you don’t know me, I’ve gotten familiar with your spirit through your blessings and felt I could trust you and that you were sincere .I’ve done the work you had suggested and in return reaped a lot of freedom and healing Thank-you. A question I have is: “do you think you have aimed your focus on others, and their need for help, so the attention is off you and your needs or desires?” Sometimes I have wanted to express sincere care and gratitude towards you , however I never wrote or expressed any such thing, because i I felt you wouldn’t receive it or didn’t care or want any such expression. I would have opened myself a little in a vulnerable way, and you may have just dismissed it. Therefore, I didn’t say anything remotely mushy even as a sister in Christ. I felt a wall. Maybe there is something there? or maybe there is something I also need to work on myself. However I am a very loving affectionate person and I felt always a hesitation in expressing that towards you even in a sisterly platonic spiritual way. hmm…But one thing I can say for sure, is that you are deeply loved and I pray that you receive that in full measure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • says

      Tanya, I am going to push back on your accusation that I am diverting attention from my junk by focusing on other people’s journey. The reality is that a huge amount of what I share with others has come out of work on my own life. If you listen to the various teachings you will see endless illustrations that come from my having walked through that issue first. In fact, it is embarrassing at times how much comes from my own journey. Sometimes I refrain from sharing the source of an idea so it doesn’t look like I am always talking about myself.

      Take the fractal of eight situation yesterday. Somewhere that will end up with application to others, but it began in my own life, as a part of my fiercely intentional journey to understand what God wants me to see about my inner construct.

      Liked by 2 people

      • says

        From an observer’s point of view, I can absolutely agree with Arthur’s statement about his fiercely intentional pursuit to see what he needs to see about his inner world. Let’s just take this whole discussion as an example. It would have been so easy for him to shrug off the botched vacation and go on with life. Instead, he has turned the spotlight inward and is examining his inner world IN PUBLIC. The fact that we are even having this discussion is one of countless examples I have seen over the years where Arthur has embraced the need for change and growth in his own life.


      • says

        Hmm…I totally did not get what you guys got out of Tanya’s comment. And equating your “needs and desires” with your “junk?” That strikes me as a bit odd/off.
        Her post only caught my attention because I resonate with what she said in terms of a wall, and, of course, tremendous appreciation for your body of work and example. (I have been aware of your existence for not quite a year now.)
        I don’t offer any great spiritual insight here and now. I’ve been canoeing in Algonquin- it was a precious time spent alone with my father, our one and only road trip together. Remarkable for a family of five kids. When I read your news, I felt (and still feel) profound and personal disappointment. The scripture tells us to mourn with those who mourn, so at the risk of sounding carnal in light of fractals and critters and deep interior work, I simply say- that sucks, bro.


      • Tanya says

        Thanks for the replies and comments..

        Hmm..,I do not agree with the word ” accusation”, perhaps there was a better way for me to try to explain what I was wanting to ask, but I did not have too much time to process a better way. Maybe it’s a poor choice of words on my part. But in no way was my post to “accuse you” of that, but i felt to ask you a question. Clearly, definitely, you have used your own life struggles and victories in order to help others. I agree and acknowledge that 100%. I don’t know how to rephrase it, and in my spirit i know what i’m trying to say and ask and i’m not finding the best choice of words. Maybe I’ll just leave it at that. I was being honest and sharing my thoughts and gratitude and also trying to tell you that you are deeply loved. I hear some pain in this post and frustration. But i’m clearly not the enemy. I am for you and not against you. I appreciate your vulnerability to share this in your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Devorah R.G says

          Hi Tanya… Could it be that you were sensing the factor that highly compassionate people are very onwards and upwards focused, and thus find it more challenging than others to take the time to savor what has already been accomplished. All things being so very relative and subjective, the myriad of problems that are still clamoring for attention are a very noisy crowd to those deeply sensitive to them, and the joy of those “few” who have experienced some degree of progress in a endlessly difficult world has a hard time competing for volume. I don’t think there is any simple solution to these dynamics, but at the end of the day, expressing our gratitude and seeking to honor those deserving of honor is an exercise that benefits the giver even more than the recipient. My resolution is to rejoice in all of the good that I can see in others NOW, even while I explore MORE effective ways of sharing my joy in the greatness of those that I desire to celebrate… Shalom, Devorah


  8. says

    Is ‘not safe’ tied to the idea that it is not safe to trust ? To put the guard down? To be open to the inevitable negative/nasty arrow? Why is that inevitable? Or more likely?


  9. Noeleen says

    If there’s a small parched, cracked part of you that needs to be watered may it receive gentle drops that can be absorbed and may the mighty swell of ocean of love for you be held and administered in the right way at the right time. May the hand that opens the door be your own strengthened hand. May your own ‘not safe’ ness not be distorted or magnified in any way that makes you afraid of it or believing that it’s somehow not good.


  10. says


    It is with a certain reluctance I am posting this. I do not want to be analytical about what is going on with you, that is an area where you are quite adept on your own. To come alongside is what I hear you needing and requesting; indeed, it has much greater value, and is my desire.

    There is something that, though it has been uncovered in my own life; I am still in process. May I share? See if it has value for you.

    My wife and I process pain in very different ways; that has been a real sticking point between us.

    When hurt, it seems that we are driven apart, never working from the same book, and certainly not the same page. Painful indeed, and serving only to compound the initial injury’s.

    I won’t go in the process by which insight came as eloquence in the written modality is hardly my strength. Instead, typing is a painfully frustrating experience for me. But the essence is this: she and I tend to experience grouping in times of crisis very differently.

    In light of my current understanding, I would say that she views the confidence and agreement of friends in somewhat the same light as a herd of buffalo in time of crisis: Put you backs together and face the world from the strength of unitedness.

    Myself on the other hand; from pain and wounds, tend to view encircling and agreeing together as: a pack that is forming. To my spirit, packs are dangerous, like wolves they seek the wounded and devour the weak; packs are where you get hurt, maimed, mangled, and destroyed. So, to be a part of a pack is to compromise the very integrity of who I am, attempting to steal the very things I have sought to give away.

    Of consequence, I cannot bring myself to accept the request: to come, enlist, be a part of the herd. (or to my spirit, the pack) Such an involvement feels a violation of my very essence. In turn my wife also feels violated and rejected by my being unable to come alongside, and support her, in her times of pain and grief.

    I do get it; this is a distortion. I am seeing things thru a lie. Somehow truth has failed to penetrated that area of pain; to change my reality. But.. I am seeking the giver of truth: to reveal more fully who he is, that I may truly portray his character, and find healing for our relationship.

    Still in process


  11. Louisa says

    Thank you very much for sharing. It feels like there is hope! For all of us! I also do care! To show disappointment in a group setting is really brave. Thank you for being very brave!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Rosemary Williamson says

    Perhaps it’s the Mercy part of your spirit causing the problem? I am a Mercy and find it incredibly difficult to receive but can give out endlessly and genuinely care about others but rarely find anyone I consider ‘safe’ enough to let past that guard to return the care.


  13. Maria says

    Seeking to get closer to a solution, but knowing I’m at the risk of being an analyzer rather than a bear-er . . .

    As I thought about what “’not safe’ care and compassion” could look like, it seemed linked to “parasitic.” I’ve met people who seem to feed off my issues somehow, even as they seem to offer care and compassion. There’s somehow a greediness behind it. I don’t understand how or why, but that’s my sense of it.

    In case it helps.

    I’m beginning to realize that this post sounds alarmingly like things I could say if I would pause long enough to look in my own heart, and therefore I’m eager to hear the conclusions the Father leads you to.

    And with Megan, I care, too.


    Liked by 1 person