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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Let's Be Real

When I was young, I wasn't much of a reader. Then, I read John Steinbeck's The Red Pony in eighth grade and that began my love of reading. While my mom read to us often when we were growing up, I had never read or been read The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. One of my aunts sent it along with some others she had picked up for my kids and I fell in love with the story. If you're a fan of Toy Story by Pixar, you have a bit of the picture of how this story goes.

There's something magical about the story, though. It's about being "real". How the love of a child can transform a favorite toy. I have shared an excerpt from the story around this premise below and a link is available below the picture if you want to read the whole book (complete with the original book's artwork).

"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."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always." 
Being "real" can hurt, but you won't mind the hurt because there is benefit from it. Suffering, difficulties, tribulations, troubles...all of those things hurt, too, but those feelings--while uncomfortable and challenging while you're going through them--have real benefit in our lives. So, don't miss out on embracing where you are in any given moment of your journey because it's part of living your real life and making it a good life!

#BeReal

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