“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 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.”

~ The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

the velveteen rabbit is about a stuffed rabbit that belonged to a little boy and was basically loved to death until its stuffing came out. the little boy caught scarlet fever and worried that the stuffed rabit might be carrying the same disease so it was thrown out with the garbage. the velveteen rabbit, although it was not alive, felt like it was. it found meaning in giving comfort to the boy, loving the boy, and as it grew more and more ragged it grew in love. once discarded it was found by a real rabbit and the velveteen rabbit became a real.

i think that’s all we can hope for, that when we give ourselves to someone and love them without asking anything in return, they’d love us sincerely. and that love will make us feel more alive and more intact. and though various life experiences could have left us ugly with scars, it wouldn’t matter because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

here’s to wishful thinking! we all have to believe in something worthwhile right? 😉