My Reflection of Rollo May’s Existentialism Psychology

After many years of his hardships in conducting clinical research, May was able to postulate a new way of looking at human beings. With such newly evolved point of view, May saw people as living in the world of present experiences and ultimately being responsible for who they become. Many people, he believed, lack the courage to face their destiny, and in the process of fleeing from it, they give up much of their freedom. Having negated their freedom, they likewise run away from their responsibility.

Not being willing to make choices, they lose sight of who they are and develop a sense of insignificance and alienation. In contrast, healthy people challenge their destiny, cherish their freedom, and live authentically with other people and with themselves. They recognize the inevitability of death and have the courage to live life in the present. These thoughts of Rollo May, I believe, had caught my interest to further elaborate the essence of his theory through my own way of explaining.

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With these, I will be going to set aside all of the other theories. To be bias at this time, I believe will be of good help in further expressing my appreciation so as to justify the reasons behind why I like his theory of personality. At a first glance, I was quite intrigued with the way he was able to come up with his explanation of the personality. And through my first reading, Rollo May’s ideas made me realize that my outlook in life can be somehow reflected to his theories. Existentialism: A Reflection of My Life

Rollo May’s view of people was highly influenced by the writings of Søren Kierkegaard who opposed attempts in seeing people merely as objects, but at the same time, he opposed the view that subjective perceptions are one’s only reality. What Kierkegaard was mainly concerned of is that both the experiencing person and the person’s experience contribute in understanding human beings. In view of this thought, I realized that the events taking into place and the one who is experiencing such event are very essential in explaining life.

I was raised with a pure Catholic Faith instilled in my mind, heart and soul. I can still remember the very first time I asked my parents about God’s existence and how great he really is to have control over our lives. I was then a third grader and was influenced maybe with Religion class for it was also my first time to enter such. Now, I can say, I have, partly, the answers to my questions. As May stated, existence takes precedence over essence. The process by which we are in control in becoming and emerging to what we want to be.

To exist actively and authentically is one thing that we should consider in our search for truth. Since I became more aware of the happenings around me, I assume I was then starting in my search for identity, freedom and true responsibility – all these constitutes in the truth of life. I also believe that each of us is ultimately responsible of who we are and what we become and that we cannot blame others such as our parents, teachers, employers, God, or circumstances in what we do with ourselves.

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. ” We cannot deny the saying which turned to be a basic truth in a person’s life, “No man is an island. ” As in my way of living, I may associate with others in productive and healthy relationships, but at the end of the day, I still realized that I am alone working for a purpose. I realized that my parents are just there to guide me and be the best examples that they can be for me to emulate. I maybe see myself always in almost all situations of my life to being with my friends.

We may share things that I have; we may do things together to attain a goal; we may have the same interests and joy in life, but, still, at the end of the day, I just ponder and realized that I was just really making my choice – my choice to become what I can be so as to become a psychologically healthy individual contributing significant things into the society. Life and death are two opposing forces which somehow lead us to become a being-in-the-world or a nonbeing. As I observe, in every tasks – whether it be simple or complicated – my only thought in finishing such task is to give ustice of having life and living it to the fullest.

To have a life is my goal but I do not consider death as my destiny because my main goal now is eternal life with God – my savior. Death, maybe, is inevitable and for me the thought of it will just deprived me of doing well in life. I believe that people adapt to the natural world, relate to others as humans, and have a keen awareness of what all these experiences mean to them and these would mean to an established healthy individual which I am really striving for, most especially, during these times with which hurdles in life are presented continuously.

Since I enter college and enroll in Psychology, my way of thinking and attaining life-goals changed. I shall say that it became more mature as I would have to strive harder to meet the expectations of my family which I chose to comply with. This implies that my parents may be associated in my search for truth but still, I am the only one working for it literally and with the emotional support of significant others. This is my ultimate choice. Anxiety and Guilt: Problems in Fulfilling Potentialities

We cannot deny the fact that we are encountering problems in times of difficulties with which we are to achieve, at some point, our potentialities in life. Anxiety and guilt arises and there is no doubt that we cannot help but to deal with it so as to holistically achieve our full potentialities as human beings and for us to hone these into a full-blown ability which we’ll be needing in times of crises and another uprisings of unpleasant feelings like worries and doubts.

During times like this, I realized that intentions should exist in the inner self so as to able to choose and act on the choices I made in my daily life. There are many instances of my school life wherein I failed to build up intentions – intentions such as passing the exam or getting a high score and performing at my best. Sometimes I tend to fail and this, I believe, is because I do not have firm intentions in life which turns to be a key in overcoming anxiety and guilt. But there are times also that I’m able to utilize pure intentions which gives meaning to my experiences and, in turn, llows me to make decisions for a bright future.

Firm and strong intentions, I believe is a strong foundation in utilizing potentialities at its peak and at the same time, it serves to be an anchor in putting up more mature decisions. Care, Love, and Will: More Than Just Empathy-Building Associated with the unpleasant feelings which were noted as the emotional uprisings when people are presented with difficulties and problems are the build-up of the most essential feelings and attitude a human being should possess.

I guess these three are important in a sense that it bridges the gaps which are just more than learning or knowing others’ emotions. Care, love, and will plays important roles in our daily lives for these three aspects do not just create pleasant and wanted reactions or forms of intimate interpersonal relationships but also because I believe that these three should be considered as the soul-base of attaining freedom and confronting your destiny. As May would say, “To care for someone means to recognize that person as a fellow human being, to identify with that person’s pain or joy, guilt or pity. This merely suggests that caring is given for those who you think deserve it and also, it can’t be given for just somebody but for someone who means a lot to you.

Of course, as an active human being we are expected and somehow obliged to show care and respect to our fellow human beings as we are just the same kind of living beings whose primary aim is to seek affection from others in order to give that attention back. Since care is an active process, it should neither be limited nor be stopped in instances such as negative emotional outbursts because in such manner, negative feelings can be easily replaced with positive ones.

Moreover, to love will never be the same of caring but to care is the source of love. To love is to recognize the essential humanity of the person and also, to accept what can be unacceptable with that person. Talking about things like this, others might say, can be a waste of time for they might also insist that they already know the true meaning behind this. But the point here is that care and love don’t just tackle intimacy or sexual arousal but it talks about how really it is conquering all things on earth.

Will, on the other hand, was believed to be rooted from care. It is viewed as the capacity to organize one’s self so that movement in a certain direction or toward a certain goal may take place. Will initiates our desire to do actions in fulfilling our wildest wishes or dreams. We sometimes tell ourselves that if there’s a will, there’s a way which implies that we do really have the capacity to build the will from ourselves so as to develop self-esteem and self-worth which are important factors in the development of a strong and firm intention to do such action.

There may be times that my will is not that strong to motivate me, but when I think that it will be for the betterment of others and not just to me, I always try hard to push more so there’ll be no regrets at the end of the day. Freedom: An Understanding of our Destiny Our own way and style of having freedom in our lives depicts how our destiny can be modified or challenged. Although freedom is not that easy to attain, the joy of having it would tell us that we are really determined to challenge our destiny. To be free does not necessarily mean to be able to do the things that you’ve been wishing for your life.

These are what you call existential freedom wherein we just enjoy all the good things happening to our life at present and worrying no more with what the future could bring. We made choices and we act on it. That’s the way existential freedom should be. Since we are imprisoned of our own destiny, it makes us less aware of the freedom of doing but with the essential freedom. We are born in this world with questions in mind with which we are motivated to search for answers regarding the true essence and meaning of our lives.

Without destiny, then, we have no freedom, but without freedom our destiny is meaningless. The Role Of Myths in My Life According to Rollo May, people who lack myths to believe in turned to religious cults, drug addiction, and popular culture in a vain effort to find meaning in their lives. He also contended that myths are not falsehoods but rather, he sees it as conscious and unconscious belief systems that provide explanations for personal and social problems. People use myths and symbols to transcend the immediate concrete situation, to expand self-awareness, and to search for identity.

Believing in myths I believe can do no harm for anybody as long as it is not causing social impairment to the individual and into his society. The myths of May can be compared to Jung’s archetypes which are considered as the avenues to universal images that lie beyond individual experience. I, myself, have some myths which help me, I believe, in the betterment of my psychological well-being for I know these would have benefits on me like it would allow me in opening up a new reality. To Challenge Destiny: My Favorite Theory of Personality Destiny is our destination and our goal.

It seems to be like a force for us to be triggered, to be motivated and to be ignited to face the challenges and solve the problems that life has to offer. Just as I allow destiny to mold me, there are times also that I was like awakened of the thought that waiting for it to take place will be a waste of time. I also allow myself to respond the way I want to respond to the absurdities of life to be able to prove that destiny does not dictate how my life should be working. With this, I don’t let my destiny dictates me of my outlook in life.

As we challenge our destiny, we gain freedom, and as we achieve freedom, we push at the boundaries of destiny. I would say that to challenge destiny is my primary mission right now most especially that I am facing a lot of hardships in school. But I will not disregard or deny the possibility that real life begins on the outside world wherein, at that time, I will be no longer showing my potentials in the four walls of the classroom but instead, it will be evolving into a bigger place or dimension where many competitors will be present and will be more ready to spice up my quest for a ell-defined-destiny. As a student, I have been looking for answers in my true identity with which I may be able to relate well to others. I have been also, looking for the things that will satisfy my needs just as what other theorists would suggest but I think Rollo May’s Existential Psychology helped me realized more the true essence of living for a purpose. I might be very expressive in showing my appreciation to May’s theory but still it just ignited my desire to push through life as good as it can be.

As a son, it made me more realize the fact that I have my parents living with me and supporting me always. They serve as my support system although I understand that at the end of the day I am a single individual working for my own purpose. But still, I know that I exist up to this day because of them and their very good upbringing. As a friend, I now knew the true meaning of showing care, love, and will not just to those person who are close to me but to every single person I meet in every day of my life. They are the best company that I can ever have.

They are really the best buddies I can ever have in good or tough times, but still I always see to it that I will be not dependent on them most especially when I’m at school doing assignments projects and any other requirements. This attitude of mine is my own way of taking preparations for my future endeavors and also, for me to be really able to do the molding and modification of my most to be expected and to be geared up aspect of my existence – destiny. As a child of God, I now realized the reasons why he gave me the potentials I knew that I can make use of to excel in every manner of my daily living.

Prayers will always be at the top of my most used weapon in challenging my destiny. it will always be my first defense in coping with all the changes that life will be presenting. Existentialism made me realize all these. It just helped me mold my belief of things that are not that vivid to me before. But now that I have already all these belief systems, I will be making sure that on the next single conversations that I will have in the future, I will see to it that I’ll be imparting those knowledge. “To grasp what it means to exist, one needs to grasp the fact that he might not exist”.

This quotation of Rollo May strongly implies his desire in imparting his theory to us individuals and to how we can be able to make use of his theory through the modern way of perceiving such knowledge. Overall, I’ve learned from his theory that to exist also means to live life with its full essences – that destiny will be the key for molding these hidden essences that will soon to be revealed when the time comes that you are ready and you can finally say that you are able to challenge your own destiny as you desire it to be. Death is emphasized with this quotation of May.

He contended that we can never escape the fact that death may happen and what’s striking the most is that it may arrive at the least expected moment. But although May insisted the fact that death is inevitable, I’m not preoccupied with the frightening thought of death but what I am afraid of is the thought of dying. On the other hand, understanding death, I believe, helps me in doing more quality things making it more meaningful. Confronting such issue of our nonexistence is somehow a key for us to live harmoniously. With this, we can be able to assert our freedom and be able to mold our own destiny.

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My Reflection of Rollo May’s Existentialism Psychology. (2016, Sep 08). Retrieved from