The secrets hidden within our self-defeat reveal surprisingly simple and paradoxical answers. Universal childhood errors of thinking unconsciously lead us to cause our own pain by pursuing mere illusions, such as pure love, perfection, certainty, security, and grandiose power. The secretly vengeful victim role perpetuates these self-defeating strivings through the unconscious, powerful, and computer-like operations of its satisfying fantasies. We recover when we give up polarized thinking, own all inner parts, accept life's limits and pain, settle for realistic satisfactions, embrace disillusionment, forgive our lengthy folly, and accept reality as balanced and paradoxical. The secrets are acceptance, balance, compromise, deflation, and forgiveness.