Maintenance of Spirit Potency

Another important principle of formative spirituality is “Maintenance of Form or Spirit Potency”, which is the “inherent impulse to affirm/ appreciate one’s self and actualize one’s potency”.  I have found that the movement from depressed to appreciative living and thinking may be one of the most challenging aspects of spirituality.  At its core, appreciative living necessitates a certain harmony of dispositions that create awe as a byproduct.  If any or one of these dispositions is deformed, the move to appreciation becomes a task of discipline.  On the other hand, appreciation is created in the human heart that is fully dependent and reliant upon the divine mystery.  A striving for appreciation based in one’s pride will only ever lead to further frustration and endless willful failures.   In order to make this transition, we must first rely on the Holy Spirit.  It is my hope in life to engage the appraisal process in greater ways to discern how the Spirit may be equipping me to engage in appreciation. Since appreciation can be practiced, I hope try to do so especially when I am disappointed. I hope to transform disappointments into opportunities for formation.

A second movement includes a move from self to other centered attitudes and actions.  One way involves the practice of listening.  I have noticed that I usually guide conversations by my own insights and advice giving.  I hope to become more skilled at the practice of utilizing what they other is saying as a basis for furthering the conversation.  In this way, I am serving them where the spirit is truly forming them  instead of where I think they should be heading.  Another path to other centered actions and attitudes includes evoking the divine nobility and unique-communal life call of others. This process begins first with the practice of seeing the divine nobility in each human, a task not easy given the raggedness of humanity.  The next process includes especially the formation of the dispositions of compassion.  Such a practice will keep me other-focused.

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