What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit….
“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 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 often happen 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 the 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.”
…The rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this Magic of Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.
excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams 1881
Throughout life, I have learned that wisdom can be gleaned from the most unlikely of places and some of the most profound wisdom can be found between the pages of a simple children’s story. I never read The Velveteen Rabbit in childhood but when I happened across it as a teen, the words of the Skin Horse changed how I viewed myself and others. It made me stop living my life trying to be something I’m not (I wasn’t any good at faking it anyway), and embracing the person that God created me to be.
I have never cared for fakedy, fake people. I don’t like to be around them. You know the ones I’m talking about. Patrick Star on Sponge Bob would refer to them as “putting on airs.” Through the years I have tried my best to be authentically me and when the authentic me really stinks, I have to go to that throne of Grace and cry out to God “change me!”
This process of becoming REAL is tough stuff. Getting real with God, family, and friends can sometimes make us sore and leave bald spots in our fake fur. Life itself can leave us battered, scarred and lose in the joints. We sometimes want to wrap ourselves in “emotional bubble wrap” to keep the pain of becoming at bay. We want to look at life through protective cases and scream, “don’t mess with me, you might make me less valuable if you play with me.”
Those same protective barriers also keep us from obtaining an intimacy with God and others that can only happen when we a willing to get REAL. REAL is magical because it puts us in a place where we can receive grace and find mercy. When you are willing to get REAL, you can find peace, joy and abundant life.
This blog is just one gals journey toward becoming REAL with God, others and life itself….
Sometimes it will make you laugh, sometimes it may make you cry, other times it may make you scratch your head and go “what’s this chick takin’?” but it always will be REAL….
concept art above credit http://theartofwarter.blogspot.com/.