“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.” — The Skin Horse, The Velveteen Rabbit
I loved to read to my children. My favorite books were those that would touch my children’s hearts, and mine as well. I’ve always marveled at how some of the greatest life lessons can come from children’s stories! 2020 has been a year of massive evolution for many of us. I know it has for me. As this year fades out and we begin a new year and an opportunity for a new beginning in 2021, what comes to mind for me is a very special book I loved to read to my children and the beautiful lessons it has taught me at Midlife & Beyond … Lessons that only deepen as the years and decades pass by.
“The Velveteen Rabbit.”
It’s the story of a stuffed animal, a rabbit, and his journey to becoming real.
Once you become real, you can never become “unreal.”
Becoming real happens naturally through the alchemy of love. In this wonderful child’s tale, it is a young boy who loves his bunny so much that he in turn, learns to love himself.
Loving himself is what makes him real.
Loving ourselves is what makes us real.
Through all that love, the hardships, the tears, the ups and the downs; the process of life softens the bunny over time into a Velveteen Rabbit. The boy loves him more as the bunny’s perfection fades. The years pass and it begins to “age” – to soften, to lose its shape, to become a bit shabby and disjointed really. The boy’s love for the rabbit is not for its appearance, but for what the rabbit has become to the boy … real on the inside.
Midlife is the most powerful time in a woman’s life. Midlife has a way of softening a woman. It isn’t the love of a young child that makes you real but the love of yourself, for yourself.
Midlife is a choice point – a time to choose love. Love of SELF.
As we begin a new year with a clean slate, perhaps we can take with us the lessons from The Velveteen Rabbit and consider a Velveteen Midlife.
A new year oftentimes brings with it resolutions, setting us up for failure as they often fall by the wayside, leaving us full of self doubt – beating ourselves up for not being perfect.
What if perfection – you know the hard edges, the carefully maintained facades – keep us from being loved up – keep us from being real?
To be real is to be loved.
To be real is to BE LOVE.
Once you know that all you are is LOVE and all you can ever be is LOVE, you’ve become Velveteen – you’ve become real.
Once Real – Forever Real.
Cheers Beauties, to a Velveteen Holiday, a Velveteen New Year and a Velveteen Life.
Because in the end, ALL WE ARE is LOVE SWEET LOVE – and that’s what makes us soft. That’s also what makes us LOVE-ABLE.
Perhaps the only resolution we need at the new year is to know that WE ARE LOVE.
Do you have a favorite children’s story that touched your heart and shaped your world? I would love to know!
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