Facing the Gap

Danya Ruttenberg

Addressing harm is possible only when we bravely face the gap between the story we tell about ourselves—the one in which we’re the hero, fighting the good fight, doing our best, behaving responsibly and appropriately in every context—and the reality of our actions. We need to summon the courage to cross the bridge over that cognitively dissonant gulf and face who we are, who we have been—even if it threatens our story of ourselves. It’s the only way we can even begin to undertake any possible repair of the harm we’ve done and become the kind of person who might do better next time. (And that, in my opinion, is what’s truly heroic.)

excerpt from On Repentance and Repair, p. 49