Illusions are necessary ingredients of healthy relationships.
If we see the other person transparently as he/she is, it won’t be easy for us
to love that person.
A few months back, one of my sisters told Maggie (my
wife) that I was a terror for my relatives when I was young. I was. Only, I
didn’t know that. I used to think I was quite a hero in those days. That was my
illusion about myself. Eventually I lost that illusion and grappled with my own
terrifying reality. I became a terror to myself during that period of
self-discovery. I realised how jejune I had been. I vowed to improve myself. I
did improve too because my efforts were genuine and concerted.
But this self-improvement distanced me from people. I
chose the distance myself. I didn’t want to hurt others anymore. I didn’t want
to be hurt either. I became a quasi-recluse. Why did my sister have to remind
me about that bad past through my wife? Both Maggie and I pondered that question
for a while. Probably my image as a terror was better for them. It kept me
inferior to them. They could secretly gloat over my inflated ego and make
private jokes. I ceased to be a joke when I grew out of my youthful fatuousness.
Probably I appeared superior to a few of my relatives. And people don’t like
that. They prefer to have inferior people around them. People prefer people
with as many drawbacks as can provide entertainment to them.
The truth is I am still the same old clown
essentially. But I don’t reveal my clownish sides openly anymore. Now I make
every possible effort to conceal the socially unpleasant or unacceptable aspects
of my personality and project the best ones. That is the illusion I create. We
all create similar illusions. So relationships go on.
Be yourself is not the best advice
for most people!
PS. Written for Indispire Edition
442: Are relationships possible
without some illusions? If we all saw the other person exactly as he/she is,
would we be able to love them still? #Relationship
PPS. This month, my blog has been drawing unusual traffic. I’m pleased to have more visitors. Thank you, dear Reader. [The figures refer to page views.]
Last post: The national symbol called Brij Bhushan