A children’s story about becoming real has touched the hearts of many people.
The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams, is about a stuffed rabbit who is neglected, then loved and then discarded by unavoidable pains of life. And just before the rabbit is to be burned and destroyed, he is instead made real because he has been loved.
The velveteen rabbit remained hopeful, a dreamer and sensitive to life.
Even though the rabbit was so well loved that he had holes, patches and a button to replace his missing eye, the wearing out was from being thoroughly loved. And when it comes to intimate relationships, the trials, tribulations and shadow side of love have the most powerful opportunities to alter who a person is.
The irony of intimate love is that the person who was once so beautiful and attractive becomes a source of pain. Yet only when we are cheated on, abandoned, taken advantage of, abused, betrayed, judged, blamed and neglected do we have the opportunity to become real, to see the full scope of life and the entire depth of love.
Ideally, the person we are with will treat us with love, but in reality most of us are still seeking and discovering what love is. People who do not know love, will not act or be loving, to others or themselves.
Every loving relationship has the full scope of life.
How people respond to painful events reveals their qualities of soul. And only when we are hurt is there the potential to deepen the sensitivities and understanding of the people we love—our own self included. It is rare for a person who loves us to be deliberate in causing pain. Normally, the people who we love and hurt us do so because they are dwelling in a personal hell and cause harm unintentionally.
Often times, the pain people inflict on the ones closest to them is the exact pain they inflict on themselves internally, at the deepest levels.
There is a popular ideal in the new age culture that enlightenment is some state of always being happy and content, a bubble of upwelling bliss that giggles at every instance and takes nothing personally. Fortunately, the bliss-bubbles get burst, and reality always sets in. And the deeper truths of who and what we are, and what love is, present themselves. The incomplete surface level ideals of love can mature only in the presence of pain because then we understand compassion, forgiveness, tenderness and have respect for all that life has to offer.
Many religions preach love and most people claim love, but what is Love ?
The bible has a wonderful list of loving traits. Love is patient, kind, does not envy nor boast and is not proud. Love does not dishonor others, nor seek gain for oneself. Love is patient, not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. Love rejoices with truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
When we become a velveteen lover, we become real.
Just as the velveteen rabbit became real from being worn thin and discarded because of love, we also know what love is once we discover and embody loving traits. More than knowledge, love transcends thought and feeling and gives a state of understanding of oneself, others, and the world. Love gives us the ability to be real, to work with the emotional cycles of day and night and to see past superficial skin to the eternal beauty within.
Love allows us to be alive, and to endure, and be stronger for being worn thin.
Love makes us real.
Want 15 free additional reads weekly, just our best?
Assistant Editor: Paige Vignola/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Wiki Commons