We all have an image of what should be in our minds, and it pains us, like having our tongue scalded from drinking our morning coffee too hurriedly, when we find out that this image we have of that something or someone turns out to be a sham, untrue, or stands several notches below our imagined pedestal.
But it is even more painful if that image in somebody else’s mind is our image. And that that somebody who falls short is us. The feeling of inadequacy and nothingness can be unbearably painful, forcing us to find a place in the corner, wondering why the image and us can’t be a singularity.
We may have repeatedly, in vain, tried to change or at least tried to be a good imitation of the image, but in the end we are only fooling ourselves. We will never truly become the image, and only by being a cheap imitation will be the closest we can get.
And so we either remain in the corner, eternally taunting and hating ourselves for being less than the supposed better version of ourselves, or we head for the door and walk away. And if both options are not viable, we still have solitude and silence to run to, at least they are less complicated, more comforting. The loneliness of solitude is not abrasive; the silence of silence is not painful. And with silence and solitude we get to retain a certain level of dignity.
Nonetheless trying to be the image can be the most diplomatic option. If we can’t afford to lose the person, if we want to be worthy of the other person’s love, then probably changing ourselves to become the image isn’t that bad after all. It does not really strip us of our individuality; in fact, it only proves our humanity and our desperate need to be loved, even if it means losing a portion of ourselves. Love is like that, ain’t it?