Once you are Real, you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.
- Margery Williams
On Christmas morning, the bunny sitting in the top of the Boy's stocking with a sprig of holly between his paws looked quite splendid. He was fat and bunchy in all the right places, with a soft, spotted white-and-brown coat, thread whiskers, and ears lined in pink sateen. The Boy was enchanted and played with the rabbit for two whole hours until the family directed his attention to all the other wonderful parcels lying under the tree "and in the excitement of looking at all the new presents the Velveteen Rabbit [was] forgotten."
For a long time, the bunny remained just another plaything in the nursery. But he didn't mind because he was able to carry on long, philosophical discussions with the old Skin Horse who was very old, wise, and experienced in the strange ways of nursery magic. One of the rabbit's favorite topics of conversation was on becoming "Real." Here is the heart of Margery Williamson's mystical tale of the transformative power of love, The Velveteen Rabbit, written in 1927.
The Skin Horse patiently explained to the bunny that "Real isn't how you are made. 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."
Becoming Real doesn't happen overnight to toys or people. "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."
In order for toys to become Real, they must be loved by a child. In order for us to become Real, we must become lovers of real life in all its complexity and uncertainty. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we long to become Real, to know what authenticity feels like. Sometimes this hurts. The thought of losing our whiskers and having our tail come unsewn is frightening. In a world that judges by appearances, it's embarrassing having all the pink rubbed off your nose. The Velveteen Rabbit isn't alone in wishing to become Real without any uncomfortable or unpleasant things happening.
One of the ways that we become Real without too much discomfort is by growing gradually into our authenticity. As you learn to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate what it is that makes you different from all the other toys in the cupboard, the process begins. As you learn to trust the wisdom of your heart and make creative choices based on what you know is right for you, process becomes progress. As you learn to endow even the smallest moment of each day with Love, progress becomes reality perfected. Your black-button eyes might have lost their polish, but now these windows to the soul see only beauty. You become not only Real to those who know and love you, but Real to everyone. You become authentic.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy©1995
When a man is on the plains he sees the lowly grass and the mighty pine tree and says, "How big is the tree and how small is the grass!" But when he ascends the mountain and looks from its high peak on the plain below, the mighty pine tree and the lowly grass blend into one indistinguishable mass of green verdure. So in the sight of the worldly there are differences of rank and position - one is a king, another a cobbler, one a father another a son, and so on - but when the divine sight is opened, all appear as equal and one, and there remains no distinction of good and bad, high and low.
- Sri Ramakrishna
I know better than to not trust what my Plan has in store for me, but I forget sometimes. All things seem confusing when viewed up close. Take the middle two minutes of a half-hour television show and try to understand the whole thing. (Guys, you know about this - it's like channel surfing. How many really good programs you might have passed up is something you don't want to know.) Looking at a weaver sewing a tapestry for only a few moments, focusing on only a small portion of the whole, you think that it is a few peculiar threads, randomly placed.
That is how events sometimes seem in my daily rounds. Difficult, distressing, disheartening. Or perhaps joyful or enlightening or heartwarming for no particular reason I can grasp. It happens. It is called Real Life, and it goes on all around me, every day. How I deal with it determines how I feel about it.
I am learning to get a perspective, trying to see the whole, struggling to understand how the few threads of any given day fit into the tapestry of my life. What helps is for me to apprehend the idea that when I am being bombarded by life's experiences, it is a time for learning something important, and I should be paying close attention. Insight and clarity will not come until I master the lesson. The next big help is to grab my bag of patience and toss some of that at the situation. Wait, child.. the purpose of this experience will become clear in time. Last is to flex my muscle of faith, which needs to be exercised often in order to grow strong. I must trust that the events of my life are not random, that my experiences are not mistakes, that the Universe or Spirit or Whatever is not picking on me.
Believe in your heart that what we experience each day prepares us to receive the joy, the love and happiness we are seeking. Be grateful for each day, no matter what it brings, dwell in understanding that it will contain just exactly what you need. Make creative choices, embrace the lessons, and the process will become progress leading to perfection.
Peace and Light, Michael
email: Michael@N-Spire.com - or, send your to me right now!
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