Intimacy, Transcendence, and Psychology

pp 81-106

Forgiving Another, Recovering One’s Future

  • Steen Halling


In the previous chapter, we saw how much our sense of self and our hope for the future are contingent on our relationships with those others who are an inspiration and a source of support in our lives. Whenever we are disillusioned by someone on whom we depend, our lives lose much of their meaning: we are no longer sure of who we are and the future becomes uncertain and unattractive. In the long run, we may come out of such crises with gains in the form of increased personal maturity and self-reliance. Yet, the more immediate consequences, such as grief, loss of confidence, and diminishment of the sense of one’s value as a person, are deeply felt. The stories in Chapter 2 involved significant breaches of trust or failure to live up to what most of us would regard as reasonable expectations. Surely, it is not peculiar to think that therapists should act professionally and in their clients’ best interest or that parents should care for their children.