The better I know myself, the more I realize that my core fault — and the source of many other failings in me — is that of believing on a deep level that everyone and everything in my world must be perfect, especially me. If I had seen any of this in myself as recently as 10 years ago, I would have dismissed it as a small failing that showed up only every now and then, but I now see it as the wellspring from which my other sins are born. It’s such an insidious belief — and one that can look on the surface like a reasonable desire to be good and right — that it’s hard to acknowledge it as the inner cancer it is. But until I understood this, it was always going to be impossible for me to get over my deep shame about my imperfection or to accept the love of another person, because she is bound to be flawed, too.
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