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Self-love and integrity

  1. May 21, 2004 #1


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    Speaking of self-love and integrity (post-what is really valuable?)... if love entails forgiveness, what does that mean for integrity? Not to sound too biblical, but if you go against your better judgement, give in to temptation, but later change, repent, learn your lesson, whatever, and forgive yourself- how can you possibly maintain your integrity? Does it matter that you are a "changed man"? Does it matter if you let yourself slip knowing that you could eventually change and forgive yourself? Even if you do genuinely change, is your integrity restored? Does self-love entail forgiveness?
    Happy thoughts
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2004 #2
    Even core values shift over a lifetime. Life is characterized by change. One must forgive ones self, for errors in the experiment that is life. The experiment has few instructions, and always an uncertain outcome given the variables. Shall we say the outcome is assured, but the means to the end, is usually unplanned for. One must become a loving companion and parent to ones self, only in a light, forgiving relationship with self, can real change occur. Many lapses in judgement, or errors in value systems, have devastating results for others. We must be able to move on, regardless of the error of our ways, and live in peace with ourselves. If all else fails find a useful penance, service of some sort, with the explicit inner agreement, that the wounded self opinion will be healed by improvements in our actions. Forgiveness begins inside the self, and is integral to the use of our personal energies of every sort. This is kind of like polishing the dance floor.
  4. May 22, 2004 #3
    Does it matter? What need do we have for such distinctions?
  5. May 22, 2004 #4
    why would integrity fail to include forgiveness?

    going against 'better judgement' doesn't mean that you were not faithful to yourself. i might do something that goes against the social mores and have negative social consequences, but if it is in keeping with my beliefs, i am still whole.

    now, doing something considered morally or ethically wrong, would not be possible, unless i believed that i was being moral or ethical. at a later time, i might realize that my belief was incorrect and i committed a 'sin'. oops, 'i forgive me'!

    i think back to all the 'sins' i committed growing up. yeah, yeah, i was young once. it is funny how those 'sins' were necessary. that inner drive to explore and stretch the box is part of being faithful to yourself. if you don't 'sin', you are behaving and doing things to please someone else's code, this usually leads to mental illness or psychological disorders(saints?).

    my integrity has nothing to do with slips, mistakes or sins. i probably have made more mistakes than the average bear. so what? my integrity is based on being faithful with self. yeah, i have gone against my personal code and at this point in time, i must say that it was a good thing at least half the time.

    those 'temptations' probably occurred because the underlying belief wasn't that strong or hadn't been examined. we absorb and accept many beliefs from our family and society without realizing they are not for us. in other words, i did something wrong that i believed was wrong and later found that most of the wrongs were needed to stretch that %$#@ing box.

    i do believe that no matter what we do god (whoever, whatever s/he is) forgives us for anything we do. actually, my god wants me to screw up and have fun. SO, only you can grant you forgiveness. now, if you harm or injure another person, we leave the sprititual context of this post. i have never lost anything by saying, "I apologize!". us drunks have had to do that, a lot. lol

    self love is so important that it should be a subject in schools. imagine how many children are 'acting out' because thay don't feel loved and don't know how to love themselves ("if i can't be loved, i'll do this or that to garner admiration, attention or hate").

    i ramble with my morning coffee, sorry.

    love and oeace,
    olde drunk
  6. May 22, 2004 #5


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    My coffee is brewing :)

    Dan, Does anything matter? The distinction matters to me.

    I agree about mistakes, I was younger too. This was meant as a personal matter, not so much a social one. I'm sure I'm a sinner in many people's eyes, but my own are the most important.
    I'm most interested in the case of intentionally doing something that you have reservations about, with the expectation that you can later change, forgive yourself, and be free of it. How does that impact your decision-making process? What is ethical/moral responsibility if you have a Get Out of Jail Free card?

    Hamlet. What's the news?
    Rosencrantz. None, my lord, but that the world's grown honest.
    Hamelt. Then is doomsday near...

    Happy thoughts
  7. May 22, 2004 #6
    It seems that you are referring to christianity. I believe the idea is that you have to trul repent...you can't just say, "I repent; take me up to Heaven." If you perform the act thinking, I can just change my ways later, the change the comes later most likely won't be a true "change of heart" and thus not gain you the salvation that you seek.

    Of course, I don't believe in religion, so I don't plan on receiving any salvation in the first place.
  8. May 22, 2004 #7


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    I knew it might seem that way, that's why I said, "Not to sound too biblical." I don't subscribe to any established set of beliefs. I don't have anyone to tell me what is right and wrong. I don't have anyone to blame or anyone to answer to- only myself. That is why the distinction matters to me.
    I'm talking about a personal decision, personal integrity, and personal forgiveness. The idea of unconditional love and forgiveness seems to undermine the concept of personal responsibility and accountability. How do they cooperate?
  9. May 22, 2004 #8
    I think self-forgiveness is a survival tool. So is denial.
    Ignoring integrity, if an individual is successful in completely blotting out any of their wrongdoings what might this say about his/her character? It may require an ability to mind read before rendering a final judgment. Some people may have difficulty forgiving themselves and so they turn to a higher authority for relief. Sometimes it can be seen outwardly that person A injures person B and instead of seeking forgiveness from the person they injured turn to self or a god for absolution. Outwardly this appears wrong to me but in truth I have little or no idea what torment this individual may be going through. I think what I see as central, as well as what is expected by others in order to avoid their condemnation, is at least some form of acknowledgement of responsibility. I don’t believe it is healthy to dwell endlessly on past mistakes, but neither do I believe it is honest to ignore them. To move on with your life and to be able to grow from your mistakes begins with a personal acknowledgement of responsibility. Beyond that I’m inclined to not go for the present moment.
  10. May 22, 2004 #9

    normally this would imply committing a sin with the intent of repenting later.

    why bother with reservations and repenting? these terms belong to organized religion. within sane limits (not harming or hurting anyone), if you want to do something then there must be a reason. most of us meet this conflict with sex. "they say it's wrong......but, why oh, why do i feel so strongly that i must".

    why repent? there are no real sins. regret? maybe? even the deeds we regret have a way of making us wiser. always, always forgive yourself. now please do not go out and bomb the capital. there can be no justification for violence.

    love N peace,
    olde drunk
  11. May 22, 2004 #10


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    Okay, I think I've figured it out. The process works like this:
    You make a decision to do something and do it. You later realize that what you did was wrong- in whatever way *you* define "wrong". Forgiving yourself is not unconditional. It follows from learning your lesson and changing. The lesson learned is the knowledge that what you did was wrong. The change is the decision to not make the same mistake again. This is the condition of your forgiveness- that you really have learned and changed. The saying "forgive and forget" is wrong- you must remember your mistake, your lesson, and your decision to change.
    How does that sound? It sounds so obvious to me now :smile:
    Happy thoughts
  12. May 22, 2004 #11
    I like it quite well actually, with the only exception being that part about later realizing it was wrong. Where would be ther forgiveness for someone who realized it was wrong prior to doing it?
  13. May 23, 2004 #12
    if you realized (knew) it was wrong beforehand then you would damage your integity. this is the slippery slope that once done you continue to delude yourself. once you lie to yourself, i believe you are moving toward being a sociopath or physcopath.

    without integrity you can not love yourself. if you do not love yourself, how can you love your fellow man and all that is involved within reality???

    now, can you regain your integrity after violating your code??? naturally! within the grand scheme of things there really isn't any right, wrong, good or bad. it is easier to be creative if you love yourself and integrity is an important ingredient. for me, the most important point is to enjoy our time here. i don't bellieve that liars, sociopaths, etc are happy IMHO.

    the no good, bad, etc. is my opinion if viewed from the greater reality. we, as physical beings in a physical world have rules of behavior for the good of society. we also know, intuitively, whether an act is a violation of the universal process. men going into a physical confrontation or combat seem to detach themselves from their real persona. they feel that violence is wrong, but have been convinced that it is necessary.

    love N peace,
    olde drunk
  14. May 23, 2004 #13
    Som interesting ideas here:
    http://www.rosanna.com/sufiwritings/glossary/adab.htm [Broken]
    but in terms of self-respect and respect towards others.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  15. May 24, 2004 #14


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    I agree. I don't think a person can be judged by one act alone, there are more things to consider: the circumstanes of the act, the person's reputation, behavior patterns, and so on. This is why, even when you forgive yourself, the forgiveness is conditional, and you should not forget what you have done.
    Happy thoughts
  16. May 24, 2004 #15


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    You can love yourself even though you make mistakes. Love does not entail an all-encompassing approval.
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