Credit & Praise, like Love,
is to be Given Generously
by Jef Bartow
A second principle in our principle-centered spirituality may seem fairly simple and straightforward. The power in it for transformation, if applied diligently, is tremendous. Let's see how it works. The key to understanding this principle is Love. Most of us grow up relating to love as being in-love. In-love is emotional state that is narcissistic. This is why it doesn't last and either changes into real Love or dissipates over time. Love has been defined as: "indeed the free-flowing, outgoing, magnetically attractive force which leads each pilgrim home to the Fathers House." A simpler way to embrace Love is as abundant coherent giving. Coherent can simply be defined as an integrated and unified connectedness. In this principle, coherent means consciously focused. So, Love is conscious unified abundant giving. Feel and embrace this Love. This energy of Love is a one-way giving, not giving for what you'll get. In Eastern mysticism, being consciously focused is termed mindfulness. Right Mindfulness is to be "diligently aware, mindful and attentive." "In mindfulness meditation, we cradle the present moment..." In many ways, this is another way to define coherent. Being diligently aware and attentive in every present moment to others is how we move from our self-oriented personality life to an other-oriented spiritual life.
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Applying the same orientation to Loving in giving credit and praising is what this principle is all about. Let's start with credit. We all want to get credit for the good things that we do. But again, this is self-oriented and tends to feed our sense of self-importance. Giving credit generously necessitates that we consciously focus on others. Focusing on how others should get credit for their efforts and accomplishments and then giving them that credit openly and generously is a powerful exercise in learning to Love. The human illusion is if we give credit away, we somehow lose credit for ourselves. In actuality, seeking to receive credit is a narcissistic act of egoism. It reinforces the personality rather than help to transform it. Learning to diligently focus on how you can give credit away is an excellent means of developing humility. As a state of mind, humility replaces our sense of pride or self-assertion. Humility and surrender is the way that we dissipate and eradicate our egoism allowing our spiritual intuitive nature to replace it. But dissipating our ego requires diligence effort in small ways over an extended period of time, not large dramatic acts that are soon gone and forgotten. There is another thing about credit. Like Love, what you give away does not diminish what you have. Internally, you still know what you've positively done. All you're doing is adding to the universe, not replacing it. In my experience, humans don't have see credit be given or taken in every event to ultimately understand the worth or value of a person. Helping to build the self-esteem and self worth in others only adds to the total worth of all humans. Praise works the same way. It is acknowledging the positiveness of another individual, whether their efforts, accomplishments or just qualities of their character. Learning to be a good parent is learning how to praise your child, even if they don't win the trophy. Praise goes a long way in helping build self-esteem in others. Again, it takes conscious focus on others and not self to give praise generously. In Pentecostal Christianity, a significant part of the service is praising the Lord. This act of giving recognition and credit to the Lord is very powerful. In doing so, the Holy Spirit is released and flows freely to each individual and throughout the service. The act of praise connects us to a higher spiritual source, whether external or internal. Praising others can work the same way. The key is to give it generously and genuinely. If our praise is disingenuous, it is about wanting something in return. Genuine expressions of praise are always Loving and life affirming. What you'll find is that it not only affirms and builds self-esteem in others, it will build a positive attitude and self-esteem within you at the same time. This is how praise, like Love, becomes an "attractive force." In fact, it works the same way with Love. The more we Love, the more Love comes to us whether from others, from Christ or from Spirit. Again, the key is to have no expectations. It is to coherently give abundantly out into the universe without seeing what were going to get in return. Actually, our giving is really a way of giving back a small part of what we have been so generously given from God already. You might be asking yourself: how can I do that and still fulfill all the responsibilities I have each day? As mentioned, the key is not large gestures, but small ones that you learn habitually to give more often to more people. You start where you are and you build the frequency of giving credit, praising and Loving.
Set yourself a goal that you can measure each day or week. When you consistently reach the goal each week, then raise the goal. Do this until it becomes an automatic part of your daily life. I guarantee that the changes you will see in yourself will include gaining more humility, increasing your self-esteem, decreasing your egoism and ultimately realizing that you have become an other-oriented Loving instrument for Spirit here on earth.