We don’t want to regret anything. Mistakes are one thing, but regrets are a no-no. So what do we do if we have a regret? Change a memory so it becomes a mistake. This takes time. Over the course of say, five or ten years, you can train your memory to forget or to change a happening into what would have happened if you had known the right path, if your ideal self had acted. So this ideal self becomes your real self, because it is the self we carry around with us, this past self.
This is our real self because it is how we remember our self, how we know our self through its experiences. This self is the one we show to our lovers, it is the one our parents used to know (and may still), it is the self of love.
But the subconscious fights it. The subconscious is realistic, it says don’t be tricked by your own mind. Things happen that you don’t want to remember, that you should worry about, that affect you without your wanting them to. And these things get stored up over time and can come out in different ways. Because this is also your self, even if you choose not to acknowledge it. In a way, this is your ideal self, because it is the self you cannot control, the non-persona, non-mask. You ideally want to reconcile your real self and your ideal self and it is different according to context, a party, in your room alone, at work, on a date. This is the post postmodern dilemma. This is the story I am writing.
This is also Carl Roger’s theory of congruence and self-actualization, with the definitions switched around a bit.