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The Forgiving Self: The Road from Resentment to Connection Paperback – July 8, 2003
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Robert Karen is careful, at the beginning of the book, to make clear his intentions. He is not using forgiveness as a blanket application nor is he discussing the forgiveness of great atrocities (the Holocaust, 9/11, etc.) or the forgiveness of such terrible violations as sexual, physical and verbal abuse. He is exploring, rather, forgiveness as a step towards wholeness: the recognition that people can be both lovable and infuriating, that we ourselves can be flawed and yet worthwhile. Karen is encouraging the reader to move beyond "good guy--bad guy" tags, to accept that people--our parents, ourselves--can be imperfect without being the enemy.
This acceptance and recognition, Karen makes clear, is a process. He is not advocating forgiveness as something easy or instantaneous or even, sometimes, appropriate. Forgiving, from Karen's point of view, is a dialog, whether it is a dialog with another person or with our past. The hallmark of this kind of forgiveness is honesty--to honestly admit, "This is how I feel, this is what I'm doing, this is what I experience." Karen is not interested in "fixing" problems: "Okay, I won't do, feel, experience that anymore." He is interested in illustrating the achievement of being able to say, "Okay, I feel this envy or this malice. I don't like it. That's also part of me. I'm a whole person."
Wholeness is the object of Karen's book: how to achieve personal wholeness through recognizing the potential wholeness in other people: "I can still love someone even though they are flawed." In this, Karen accesses a deep truth, call it religious or ethical or whatever (and why should religion and ethics be removed from mental health?Read more ›
Robert Karen is a wonderful writer. This book is like having a conversation with your most intelligent and intuitive friend, the one who tells it to you straight and also makes you laugh through your tears.
Karen takes us to the deepest reaches and farthest frontiers of intimate relationships. Using novels and movies -- from Chaplin to Aldomovar, Shakespeare to Dostoevsky -- Karen holds up a mirror and exhibits us our universal struggles, as parents and children, siblings, friends, lovers and partners. Robert Karen is a great storyteller. This is most evident in the way he brings his own therapeutic practice to life. Moment-by-moment, he shows us his patients as they transform their disappointment, shame and rage to understanding, compassion, and love.
I can't recommend this book enough. It's a gift!
Reading THE FORGIVING SELF helped me realize I not only carry the pain, but it influences the way I feel about myself today.
What Robert Karen has achieved in his book is so important. In beautifully written prose, funny, charming and insightful, he helps us understand how to LET GO! To send the pain and hurt away for good. Or at least to come to terms with it. To accept that we had and have every right to be angry and hurt. But not to let it go on spoiling our life in the present.
Karen helps us understand that to forgive those who have hurt us, to forgive ourselves for the pain we've caused others, and to accept our humanity, warts and all, is the road to true freedom of the heart and mind. PEACE, it's wonderful!
GO FOR IT!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a clinical psychologist who just finished this book (which I happened to find in a thrift store) and overall found it to be an interesting and educational read. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jennifer May, Ph.D.
Just bought it, have not read it, I expect to love it. Was recommended by a trusted friend.Published 19 months ago by Kimberly K. Brown
So honestly I couldn't keep reading this book. It really does seem to boil down into a sort of 'I'm okay, you're okay' kind of treatise in which brokenness and dysfunction give way... Read morePublished 23 months ago by J. D.
So much more to this book than the title suggests. Robert Karen once again helps us to understand ourselves and others and why we are the way we are. Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by Frances Andrews
I think this book should say from the outset that is just for people interested in psychoanalysis. If you like Sigmund Freud's approach to help you with your problems, then it is a... Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by proferr