When Philip, the architect immobilized by his relationship with Nicole, first sought Rollo May as his therapist, he was paralyzed with inaction because he had refused to accept his destmy. He saw no connection between his adult pattern of relating to women and his childhood strategy of getting along hi an unpredictable and "crazy" world. His destmy, however, was not fixed by those early experiences. Philip, like other people, had the freedom to change his destmy, but first he had to recognize his biological, social, and psychological limitations; and then he had to possess the coinage to make choices within those limitations.
Philip lacked both the understanding and the courage to confront his destmy. Up to the point of seeking therapy, he had tried to compensate for his destiny, to consciously deny it. "He had been searching for someone who would make up for his having been born into an unwelcoming world consisting of a disturbed mother and a schizophrenic sister, a destiny that he did not in the slightest choose" (May, 1981, p. 88). Philip's denial of his destmy left him resentful and confused. His inability or unwillingness to face his destmy robbed him of personal freedom and kept him tied to his mother.
Philip treated his wives and Nicole in the same way that earlier had proven successful with his mother and sister. He could not dare express his anger to women, but instead he adopted a charming though somewhat possessive and protective attitude toward them. May (1981) hisisted that "the freedom of each of us is hi proportion to the degree with which we confront and live hi relation to our destiny" (p. 89). After several weeks of psychotherapy, Philip was able to stop blaming his mother for not doing what he thought she should have done. When he began to see the positive things she did for him, he began to change his attitude toward her. The objective facts of his childhood had not changed but his subjective perceptions had. As Philip came to terms with his destmy, he began to be able to express his anger, to feel less trapped hi his relationship with Nicole, and to become more aware of his possibilities. In other words, he gamed his freedom of behig.
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