Self Forgiveness is fundamental when you have acted destructively towards others and wish to find peace of mind. There is no other way but to take responsibility for the acts committed and to repair the damage as far as possible.
Lack of self forgiveness leads to a blockage of emotional life and vital potential. This process is often made very difficult by the establishment of a mechanism called “moral disconnection”.
Self forgiveness can be a complex process. This has a lot of importance in individual life, but also in the social sphere, especially in communities where there is a lot of conflict, even war.
Moral disconnection functions as a sort of veil or blur of consciousness. What a person did not allow themselves they now consider to be permitted. It is a form of deception that, on the one hand, opens the door to atrocity to a greater or lesser extent, and, on the other hand, prevents self forgiveness.
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We are not born with a morality and an ethic: they are built and develop according to society. In this way we acquire principles and guidelines for behavior that allow us to react to situations based on certain values based on experience. Their function is to preserve individual and collective well-being.
However, neither this scale of values nor these principles are a permanent reality. In certain circumstances, they are suspended. When there is a war, for example, taking the life of another human being may be legal, while outside of that context it is not.
This phase of suspense or this break with principles and values gives way to a moral disconnection. To return to the example of war, killing or cheating on the other ceases to be reprehensible behavior because, in these circumstances, he is no longer associated with morals and ethics.
Mechanisms of Moral Disconnection
According to studies on this topic, moral disconnection occurs in four ways. All relate to a change of perspective and justify behavior that would not be tolerated otherwise. The four mechanisms of moral disconnection are:
Spread of responsibility. This happens when a morally wrongdoing is done with the support of a group. The fact that others act in the same way somewhat dilutes individual responsibility.
Shifting responsibility. This happens when you assign responsibility for your own actions to another person. We obey an order or we avoid punishment, etc.
Minimization of consequences. It happens when we minimize the harm done to others.
Degradation of the victim. This corresponds to cases where the damage is justified by the alleged lack of dignity of the person on whom an immoral action is exercised.
What is Self Forgiveness?
What is the relationship between moral disconnection and self forgiveness? In principle, it is impossible to forgive something that has not been recognized as an error or moral wrong. For there to be self-forgiveness, we must first stop operating these mechanisms of justification or minimization. Otherwise, it is impossible.
The point is that in many cases the abuser sooner or later returns to moral ground where reason and justice predominate. This is what happens, for example, after a war. If this happens, a kind of vacuum opens up.
Such a vacuum can be resolved in different ways. For example, by denying the facts, by concealing his participation or by adopting a cynical position. It can also happen that remorse takes hold of someone who then chooses self-flagellation and self-punishment.
Truths of Self Forgiveness
Self forgiveness is the humiliating slip-ups or redundant disappointments is by one way or another accommodating us to reality – when our best compensations are made – so we accept, and constantly allude to, that fact. These Truths are:
1. We can’t rewind time. Let’s just leave the past behind us. Focusing won’t fix anything.
2. We as a whole commit errors – most clearly on the grounds that we come up short on all the data and we’re, on occasion, influenced inwardly.
3. We, regularly, are our cruelest adjudicators. Others influenced aren’t normally devoured by these occasions as we seem to be. They’re devoured more by what’s going inside their minds and hearts; it’s consistently unique to our thought process.
4. We made an honest effort at that point; the reality bears thought – we’re not generally large and in charge. We know no one’s ideal, so for what reason do we place ourselves facing such a grandiose and unreachable norm?
5. Every one of our ‘transgressions’ are forgivable – our God exists, under the New Covenant system, to strengthen that condemnation and self-condemnation are squashed by the intensity of beauty. To clutch such condemnation is to really resist God.
6. We are harmed on the grounds that we love, or we hurt since we need love. These two clarify the premise of so a considerable lot of our activities. Love is acknowledgment, security, prosperity, congruity, the pleasure in trust and regard. At whatever point these are undermined – by us or others – we are sent into a volley of disarray since adoration is briefly not our own. We scramble to recover it.
7. We are continually trying – now and again insufficient; once in a while to an extreme. Exertion is an unusual reality; an authentic blade edge. Staying there on the edge, yet without such strain to cut us, is the spot of God’s reclaiming quality. However, when we’ve missed the mark or exaggerated things by means of exertion, we comprehend it’s an absence of judgment; that’s it in a nutshell. Staying securely upon this blade edge is practically unthinkable.
Self forgiveness is the extraordinary thing God needs us to encounter. For what reason do we invest energy and exertion excusing others but then battle to pardon ourselves?
Self Forgiveness in order to Move Forward
There are conflicts behind which moral disconnection has no way to operate. What is healthy in such cases is to create the conditions for forgiveness of oneself, followed by a reasonable act of reparation.
If not, the person either becomes an impostor or is crippled by the feeling of guilt. These two cases do not solve the situation: they distort it and lead to a very costly emotional diversion.
Self forgiveness begins with admitting responsibility for actions, without excuses. It is then a matter of repairing the damage, materially or symbolically, as much as possible. Asking for forgiveness from another is fundamental to healing. Only then can we make peace with the past and move forward.