In our struggle with self-hatred, we obviously do not like what we see. We find it uncomfortable, if not intolerable, to confront our true selves; and so, like runaway slaves, we either flee our own reality or manufacture a false self — mostly admirable, mildly prepossessing, and superficially happy. Defense mechanisms become useful allies here. These unconscious ploys warp our perception f reality and protect us from fear, loss, and emotional pain. Through the smokescreen of rationalization, projection, and generalization, we remain on the merry-go-round of denial and dishonesty. Those of us who have played this game wear a thousand masks to disguise the face of fear.

Brennan Manning, A Glimpse of Jesus