“Although to be driven back upon oneself is an uneasy affair at best, rather like trying to cross a border with borrowed credentials, it seems to me now the one condition necessary to the beginnings of real self-respect. Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count or nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions."
-- Joan Didion, "On Self-Respect," in Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Self-knowledge! All my study of happiness, and habits, brings me continually back to the challenge of self-knowledge. It sounds so easy -- after all, I hang out with myself all day long -- but it's tremendously challenging. Every day, I remind myself to Be Gretchen, to accept myself and also to expect more from myself.
Do you find it difficult to fight the impulse toward self-deception?
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