”What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “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 Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.
“When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“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.”
~ from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams (1881-1944)
That Skin Horse sure is a wise one.
Sometimes I forget how much I have gone through to become real.
I allow the busy-ness of my life, responsibilities, duties as a “school mum” and all the rest now, to overshadow what my true purpose is here. The push-pull of party invitation etiquette, swimming and dancing lessons, balance of screen time and outdoor time……. BLAH! STOP! The din consumes me until weeks become a blur and second term has almost come to a close.
What are we doing here?
In a rush to attempt to appear “normal” or “all better now”… do we ever overlook the forest for the trees? I know I do. Quite a lot sometimes. Yes, all things must pass. But don’t let anyone (not society, your next door neighbour, your Mum, your green grocer…) downplay your realness.
This ‘realness’ is what you have gone through and, in the process, discovered about yourself. Look closely and you will see the telltale lines of a mended, once shattered life. We are all products of our bumps and scrapes. But know this:
Take your time.
You will be loved.
Hold true to your core truth and you will find your People.
The ones who will understand.
They may not necessarily be those who you would expect or want to love you in return. It might take you far from your familiar people and loved ones. But you will find them, all the same.
Just as the Velveteen Rabbit found his.