One of my favorite children’s books is The Velveteen Rabbit by Marjorie Williams. Remember it? One reason I love it is because it speaks to children and adults alike. I find this conversation between the Skin Horse and the Velveteen Rabbit especially inspiring.
“’Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘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 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.’”
I agree with the Skin Horse that becoming real takes time and endurance. It comes from being wounded many times and learning how to heal. It comes from being discouraged and depressed and learning how to recover.
Are you real? Are there times in your life when you feel more real than others?