*This blog post is written as an entry for Alayne KayChristian’s My Gift-Your Gift Contest.
It’s something we all want.
I learned this lesson early on when my mom read The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams to me as a child.
“What is REAL?” the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse one day. “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 Velveteen 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 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 your 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. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Margery Williams so beautifully conveys how love can sometime hurt and wear you down. We try not to hurt the ones we love, but invariably, it will happen at some point because our hearts are laid bare and we are real.
What better way to live than to be real and authentic with one another? The thrill of exposing yourself to a first love, the love a parent has for a child, or the patient love you have for an elderly parent.
Do not be afraid of being imperfect, or “well loved.” Real love happens when you are at your lowest. When you are ill or when you no longer look like that 20 year old your husband first met.
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful world if everyone took the lesson of love from the Velveteen Rabbit? Let love begin with you & I. Spread love to those you meet, let’s love until it hurts.