We lie, of course, not only to others but also to ourselves. Of the myriad lies people often tell themselves, two of the most common, potent and destructive are “We really love our children” and “Our parents really loved us.” If may be that our parents did love us and we do love our children, but when it is not the case, people often go to extraordinary lengths to avoid the realization.
I frequently refer to psychotherapy as the “truth game” or the “honest game” because its business is among other things to help patients confront such lies. One of the roots of mental illness is invariably an interlocking system of lies we have been told and lies we have told ourselves. These roots can be uncovered and excised only in an atmosphere of utter honesty.
M Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled