Margery Williams’ famous story “The Velveteen Rabbit” is about a stuffed animal- a velveteen rabbit- who was a gift to a little boy one Christmas. It tells the story of how the rabbit wasn’t always the favorite; in the beginning he was often cast aside in favor of more expensive toys. The Skin Horse, an older (and wiser) toy, befriends him in the nursery and teaches the rabbit about being loved and becoming “REAL”.
REAL is “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. It doesn’t happen all at once. 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 have to be carefully kept.”
Do you allow yourself to be real? If not, how exhausting it must be to walk around all day, everyday, trying to be someone who you know, at your core, you’re not.
When you look in the mirror, not in the way most of us do daily (assessing what our appearance looks like to those who “see” us physically), but by REALLY looking into your eyes, what do you see? Do you have those “sharp edges”? Do you “break easily”? Do you have to “be carefully kept”?
We play so many roles in life that we sometimes forget who we are. Maybe we’ve never even THOUGHT about who we are.
As we’ve aged and taken on more responsibilities and more challenges, and as we’ve created the life we now live, we’ve continued to add more and more tiers. When we strip away all those layers, and get back to our core, we have an opportunity to see ourselves through a different lens.
Being real requires being honest, and you have to be honest with yourself first. If you stop lying to yourself about who you are, you take a big step to becoming a person who is genuine with others. Believe in yourself enough to take that chance. Your world probably won’t change immediately, but you’ll be on the way to living a genuine life.
Stop pretending to be someone you’re not. Stop TRYING to be someone you’re not. Whether you’re still attempting to measure up from a message you received as a child, you’re recovering from a relationship that minimized you, or your own ego simply can’t wrap her arms around being “less than”, STOP. You are great just the way you are.
There’s a proliferation of advertising that screams at you, “THIS is how you should look, act, behave, or LIVE”. We often try to “fit in” by changing ourselves so that we’ll be accepted or respected or admired or loved (or whatever it is that means so much to each of us individually). We may take a stand, remain silent, live in fear, or even hate ourselves just so we can be someone we really aren’t. If you’re like me, you may be your own worst critic and need to quell THAT voice.
If you’re true to your core, to the God-given beauty of you, chances are the right people; the other “real” people, will love you, just for being YOU. You may never be the most intelligent, most attractive, or the most interesting person in a room. That doesn’t matter because no one else will ever be you.
If there’s not even one person with whom you can be “real”, with whom you can be yourself, with whom you don’t have to “pretend” that everything is just fine, with whom you can spend time and just “be”, then I’d suggest you seek out a person to fill that role. In order to be real with another person, you need to allow, invite and expect, that person to be real with you.
At the core, we’re all alike in a lot of ways. We’re made up of skin and bones and organs. Some of us are blessed to have the ability to do a lot more with our bodies and minds than others. Some of us have hardened hearts, ravaged by life. Some of us keep “reinventing’ ourselves thinking that, “maybe one day I’ll get it right”. Some of us have never even attempted to “dip a toe in the water of REAL”, because no one has ever encouraged us to do that, so we’ve never given ourselves PERMISSION to do that.
What happens when you risk being vulnerable, when you say what you think, when you decide to be yourself? What happens when you decide to LOVE yourself? What happens when you decide to be REAL? Take a chance…find out.
©2014 Peace Full Home