“What is REAL?” the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse one day. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit .
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Taking the example from The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams): Being Real sometimes hurts. The alternative to being real, however, is unimaginable.
Being Loved sometimes hurts. Although we do our utmost not to deliberately hurt the ones we love, the truth is, we inadvertently hurt the ones we love (and they hurt us), because our hearts are exposed the most to one another. What greater way is there to communicate and to exist, than to live wide openly and authentically Real with one another?
- I’m not afraid of being in imperfect shape…for that means I’m not left on the shelf, untouched and unharmed.
- I’m not afraid of my ears being lopsided and my eyes drooping by affectionate touches.
- I’m not afraid of the seams of my edges fraying from so much caressing.
- I’m not afraid of going bald because I was rubbed too vigorously (take that ANY way you want!).
- I’m not afraid of my stuffing being enthusiastically squeezed out of me.
- I want to endure all that Love is for the sake of being Real…the good days and bad.
- I want to expose my sunshine as well as my darkness.
- I want to express joy and as well as sorrow, courage and fear, peace and anxiety.
- I want to be challenged when I’m wrong, encouraged when I’m scared and lovingly laughed at when I’m being ridiculous.
- I want to be comforted and played with.
- I want to be cherished and treasured.
- I want to be needed and wanted and liked and loved.
- I want to be seen, heard, felt and tasted.
- I want to experience the full spectrum of Love, the entire meaning of what it means to be Real.
- I always want the kind of love that makes me Real…
- I want to be Real…
In the words of Melissa Etheridge, “I want to live my life pursuing all my happiness. I want a fearless love, I won’t settle for anything less.”