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The Power of Positive Regard

Sometimes writers distance themselves from religious subjects. Religion is still taboo to speak about. Read about it instead.

Positive regard is a term that I learned and adapted from my days completing my undergraduate degree in psychology. After reading Carl Rogers client-centered therapy approach to treating those with psychological concerns, my anthem became that all people would benefit from such an approach. I further believed that Carl Rogers' approach applied to religion putting a diety in the place of a person who possessed unconditional positive regard towards individuals, a diety that would love its subjects no matter what those subjects did or did not due, giving them unconditional positive regard.

My limited view of that potential concept of God being an actualizer for all of humanity is not unique, per se; however, it spawned from my experience with self-actualization and Carl's views as I drank in what I thought was inspiration from God.

My takeaway from my undergraduate in psychology was that religion is the most beneficial stabilizer of the mind, specifically those based on Judeo-Christo-Islamic faiths because they tend to push adherents towards an omniscient God from whom no person can conceal her or himself.

With this in mind, communication with such a presence only reveals more and more about the individual to her or himself rather than confessing the unknown to God. As believers, adherents are always the client, and God always the Therapist who holds the clients in positive regard until they are self-actualized.

Holding someone in positive regard in this article, however, is not about God doing so, but each of us doing so to one another. So the answer to the question is the power of positive regard towards another can influence the subject of said regard. More specifically, the power of positive regard from multiple sources influences or enhances the results. It is easier when people think of positive regard in today's fractured societies instead of the increasingly more taboo word of prayer.

the-power-of-positive-regard

...the power of positive regard from multiple sources influences or enhances the results. It is easier when people think of positive regard in today's fractured societies instead of the increasingly more taboo word of prayer.

How is Positive Regard Prayer?

Usually, when people hope for good things for another person they repeat in their minds a mantra or repeat a feeling in their hearts of wellness and prosperity towards their person, a mental representation, or a number of cognitive ticks that represent a person or ideas regarding that person. The same is true when believers pray to God on behalf of a person. It is psychology.

As used here, positive regard does not equal prayer but can be equivalent to prayer. Unconditional Positive Regard as defined by the client-centered approach to psychology is a "therapist accepts and supports the client, no matter what they say or do, placing no conditions on this acceptance. That means the therapist supports the client, whether they are expressing "good" behaviors and emotions or "bad" ones.1"

It is my opinion that the best type of relationship between a diety and an adherent to the faith(s) of that diety is unadulterated acceptance of the person. Removing the "unconditional" portion of positive regard in this vein describes the motivations of others who seek a certain outcome for a common goal. COVID 19 brings the majority of humanity together for the common desire to find a cure, bless the sufferers, protect the unaffected, and a number of other positive outcomes. This positive regard comes from songs, well wishes, art, marches, hopes, and prayers of billions around the world. Now, these forms of positive regard may not all speak to the same specific outcome, being that some want a cure and some want COVID to disappear entirely, for example, but the positive regard, nevertheless, is a united positive force for improvement.

Billions of faithful people around the planet add their positive regard to the voices of others to heal and protect people, communities, nations, and more from the dreaded COVID. This positive regard becomes a collective invocation of the will of people from all faiths and stations to heal the world of one thing, which by the magnitude of support will bring about the desired result.

Billions of faithful people around the planet add their positive regard to the voices of others to heal and protect people, communities, nations, and more from the dreaded COVID. This positive regard becomes a collective invocation...

Tangible Positive Regard

During the devastating death of my little one in 2010, Zipporah, I had become weary of life and determined to act on that feeling. Blaming myself for her death, I spiraled into a deep depression despite my faith in God and the access I had to Him in prayer. I turned away and told God to take His comfort with Him because life seemed too hard to continue knowing that my daughter would no longer be participating. Still, I sorrow over her death.

Hundreds of people who I did not know discover what happened to my family and sent their positive regard towards my home and family in letters, messages, and prayers. I could literally feel the support of these people as I contemplated joining my daughter to ease my grief. My wife and I discussed this sensation and decided to act on faith as she helped me again want to go on after losing our daughter.

Did this positive regard give me what I wanted? No. I wanted my daughter back alive and well. It gave me support to pick up the pieces and heal emotionally, however. There was a miracle that happened in my life that these PRAYERS brought to me of people who were of different faiths that I cherish. When people are united in positive regard, the miracle that happens may be unexpected and even better than that for which is asked.

the-power-of-positive-regard

When people are united in positive regard, the miracle that happens may be unexpected and even better than that for which is asked.

We are What We Put In

Human beings tend to want to understand everything and control everything. If we cannot do that, we assign something we do understand to encompass those things we don't understand so that we can have a sense of control. What better way to control a situation than to assign a deity who has all-power to something we are powerless to control and give that deity power to determine if something is right or wrong so that we can find peace in the outcome. It gives us control and understanding that we can accept.

Some of us call that deity God. Some of us call that deity chance. Whatever we call that deity, it gives us a sense of acceptance for the most part that keeps us riveted in society, a psychological salve to our minds. The best part about this worldwide phenome is discovering if what we assume is true. Is there a supreme being who orchestrates on another dimension of how life works for the world?

Modern thinkers remove the idea of such dependence on a deity leaning more to empirical methods of discovery in their estimations. The celebrated Stephen Hawkins has been credited with expressing:

...did God create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur? In a nutshell, do we need a God to set it up so that the Big Bang could bang? I have no desire to offend anyone of faith, but I think science has a more compelling explanation than a divine creator.2

Hawkins taught God is no man that we seek after like a father but could be the laws upon which the universe is designed if we need a god. He teaches his view as a fact because it is what he wholeheartedly believed in life. He put his faith in science, That ever-changing religion that is so universal and evident. Believing that everything came from an accidental release of energy that created the universe means that morality exists only in our imagination to further society. Our kinship goes as far as evolution allows and our conscience permits. Life's meaning is to exist and die. There is the argument that we are only as valuable as our imprint on society.

the-power-of-positive-regard

We are No Matter How Much or Little We Put In

Hawkins' view never did answer the question of whether is a God or not. He challenged the assumption that there needs to be one and expressed his doubt that God does indeed exist. Let us reverse what Steven wrote

God did create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur (If that theory was even what was the cause of the creation of things). In a nutshell, we do need a God to set it up so that the Big Bang could bang (Again, if that was how things began.) I have no desire to offend anyone without faith, but I think a divine creator has a more compelling explanation than science.2

The perfect thing about God is that He will meet us where we are and help us along life's path however far we are willing to travel in faith, and not an inch farther. There is no force when it comes to Him. Ask God if He is there in prayer and expect your own independent answer. Whatever that answer brings to your mind, trust it as your guiding post to view the world. It is worth a serious try for as long as it takes to make a determination. The answer may take a minute as it did with me or a lifetime as it has with others. Knowing if there is a God is worth the study of a lifetime.

As a believing follower of Jesus Christ, I joined with millions from around the world in April 2020, to fast for the COVID situation. I fasted by going without food or water for 24 hours while I prayed to God to ease the economic, social, and health burdens of the pandemic on the world during that time. COVID did not go away. In fact, my family received COVID scares several times and quarantined ourselves because of them.

The benefit of that time in prayer among other prayers was that I learned a little more empathy for my fellow human beings. I learned to appreciate my family a little better. I learned that going through challenges may not end the challenges, but it can increase my capacity to care. I chose to focus on the good that came from my period of crisis instead of the fear that came with it.

Wrapping it Up

Does prayer work? Yes. It is not a wish. Prayer should be a hope that if realized will bring joy, but if not, will bring connection and understanding.

Is God real? Yes. Can I prove it? No. It sure feels good to have faith in Him and experience His presence during times of trial.

Is it placation? Yes! Is it make-believe? No! Again, I cannot prove that there is a god or that any religion is true. The only thing that is sure is that I have known peace and comfort and fear and pain. With my relationship with God, He sends the former two when I need it. He has for billions of people who testify that He lives. He provides the unconditional positive regard people seek in the modern world that social media does not. Just because His existence serves a psychologically positive purpose for most people in the world does not make it untrue.

If it is true, which I believe it is, that means, life does have meaning. It means we are God's children and therefore siblings. It means even the poorest and most unintelligent among us is valuable. It means that all human beings need positive regard.

Sources

Kendra Cherry - Unconditional Positive Regard in Psychology1

Maria Popova - Is There a God? Stephen Hawking Gives the Definitive Answer to the Eternal Question2

© 2020 Rodric Anthony Johnson

Comments

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 15, 2020:

I appreciate you reading this, Bill. I am still needing to take your writing course. I need to sign up today!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 14, 2020:

I love the core of this article, my friend. It travels to the heart and soul of many who walk this planet. Keep walking your journey of truth, and keep doing that which gives you strength.

And, as always, do all things with love.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 13, 2020:

John, thank you for reading and posting here. After interacting with Pamela and the insight I received from her perspective I am indeed grateful to have read your words. Carl Roger helped me feel that I proved a case for the need for religion in my budding undergraduate chest!

I hope this feeling doesn't go away if I let it stay. I also appreciate your positive regard!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 13, 2020:

Pamela, I felt this peaceful feeling come over me as I read your comment and I know that it was the Spirit of God letting me know that you speak the truth. I will live in the NOW and the Spirit will help me in the NOW to be what I need to be to be what God needs for my salvation and the help of those He put in my path to help. Right now I am happy I read your words. I am going to live in that happiness for now.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 13, 2020:

As Pamela said, this is a wonderful article, Rodric. I had not really heard the term used other than “such and such was held in positive regard” or was that “high regard”? Anyway, my wife studied psychology at University and she had high regard for Carl Rogers, so O have read some of his theories as well.

I totally agree with all the points you make and I hope this article attracts a lot of readers. I was lucky to comment before it is moved to a niche site. After that it is too late. I am glad you have recovered and are back writing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 13, 2020:

Rodric, It is a day at a time. I have been doing the same thing as you for quite a period of time now. I am reading the Bible first thing in the morning, different amounts on different days and I pray then and at bedtime. I have found I am happier since I adopted this routine.

I would say to not worry how long it will last, but if you miss a day just move on the following . If you have to ask for forgiveness, then that is easu too. You can let him control your life a little at a time and I try not to look at the big picture, just the next few minutes sometimes.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 13, 2020:

Pamela, thanks for your positive regard! I think that there is great power in prayer, but people are so tired of hearing about religion we have to come up with creative ways to gain people's attention. How many few people would have read things if I would have titled it "The Power Of Prayer"? I don't know.

A weak ago I heard the leader of my church describe Isreal as "to let God prevail." If I let God prevail in my life, how would my prayers be different, how would my associations differ?

I am looking to let God win in my wrestle with Him and see what He tells me to do and say. I am literally working on surrendering my will to Him and actively allowing Him to control my life--not as some automaton, but willingly doing what He says because it is my will to let Him lead me. I wonder how long I will last?

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 13, 2020:

This is a wonderful article, Rodric. I like the term "positive regard" and I think that is exactly how the Bible tells us to treat others. I can only imagine how awful it was to lose your daughter. I am sorry to hear that. I do know pray has helped me tremendously with life's more serious problems. God bless you, Rodric.

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