Hello. I am an idol.

Don’t be afraid, it’s just me. I notice you’re turned off by my name: “Idol.”

It’s okay. I get that a lot.

Allow me to rename myself.

I’m your family.

Your bank account.

Your sex life.

The people who accept you.

Your career.

Your self-image.

Your ideal spouse.

Your law-keeping.

I’m whatever you want me to be.

I’m what you think about while you drive on the freeway.

I’m your anxiety when you lay your head on the pillow.

I’m where you turn when you need comfort.

I’m what your future cannot live without.

When you lose me, you’re nothing.

When you have me, you’re the center of existence.

You look up to those who have me.

You look down on those who don’t.

You’re controlled by those who offer me.

You’re furious at those who keep you from me.

When I make a suggestion to you, you’re compelled.

When you cannot gratify me, I consume you.

No—I cannot see you, or hear you, or speak back to you.

But that’s what you like about me.

No—I am never quite what you think I am.

But that’s why you keep coming back.

And no—I don’t love you.

But I’m there for you, whenever you need me.

What am I?

I think you know by now.

You tell me.

Editors’ note: This article originally appeared at Scribblepreach.