Saturday, September 23, 2006

What is REAL?

The past few weeks have been filled with deep (and not-so-deep) thoughts - specifically about what being in a relationship tends to do to a person and how some individuals experience drastic changes in these circumstances. More specifically, it seems that some become less and less like himself or herself, almost as if wearing a skin that the owner can't help but pull and twist to attempt to ease its restrictions OR so large and cumbersome that it trips and holds one back from keeping up the pace of life ....while others tend to evolve and blossom into the person they have always longed and practiced to be, an example of contentment and grace, settling into a comfortable rhythm with his/her intended, a synchronicity and pattern so unique and so fine-tuned between the two of them that it is evident only God's hand could have woven their lives together.

With the hope of the latter, it is "funny" (both ha-ha and strange) the lengths that some of us will go in search of this blessing while others feel inexplicably locked by fears and fragility that cannot allow them to open up, take risks, and imagine that the happiness of a relationship might be granted to them. I can understand these fears, this baggage, the pleading not to have to be vulnerable. I've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. But, those have always been short vacations...not places to take up residence. The hope and longing of being with my husband someday has been too great to allow me to consider inactivity and brick walls as options. This is paramount. This is way too important!!!

So, the search continues for so many....not to find someone wonderful (because the world is full of wonderful people), but to find someone (or the one at that time and place) who has the same understanding of the world, who sees the heavens with just as much brightness, who lives his/her life to that same unique, syncopated rhythm that beats in the heart of the seeker. What a magnificent feeling it must be to connect with the one who worries not about what you aren't and what you lack...but sees the beauty in all you've been through, all you seek, and the you you're on the journey to becoming - bumps, bruises, scratches, heartaches, and all.

Today, when reflecting on this, I was reminded of one of my "favorites": a small excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

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"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nan 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 often happen 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."

1 comment:

Sandy-san said...

That was really beautiful, Michelle... I also enjoyed reading the excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit. That takes me back...