The Forgiving Self
The Road From Resentment to ConnectionBook - 2001
Can we be forgiven our insensitivity and betrayals? Should we always forgive those who have hurt us? What enables us to reopen our hearts when we do? Interweaving themes from literature, movies, current events, and from his practice as a clinical psychologist, Robert Karen addresses the difficult questions at the heart of many human dramas, highlighting the struggle between our wish to repair our relationships on the one side and our tendency to see ourselves as victims who need revenge on the other. Dr. Karen writes that our capacity to forgive reveals much about our character--including our ability to recognize the humanity in someone who has hurt us and to see our own limitations and complicity in whatever went wrong. He argues that the forgiving spirit not only liberates us from feeling victimized by others but frees us from compulsive self-hatred and regret as well: for forgiving others is nothing but the mirror image of forgiving oneself. Throughout Karen insists that we are not saints, that forgiveness is a struggle for everyone, and that we cannot be truly forgiving if we do not allow ourselves our negative emotions, especially anger. If our harshest feelings are suppressed, we can never move beyond them. Forgivenesssheds light on the envy, narcissism, and paranoia that threaten relationships; the childhood experiences that magnify those qualities; and, finally, the processes of mourning, healthy protest, and what he calls "the redeployment of love" that can help us to let go and move beyond them.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2001.
Characteristics: viii, 288 p. ; 24 cm.