A little backstory: Recently, I was on my counselor's couch for my weekly appointment, tears spilling over as I realized what I was feeling was the pain of learning how to be real. The trembling that comes into your fingers as you reach out for help. The throb of your heart as you let your guard down. The shaking in your bones as you share your story and let yourself be seen. This being real thing, this learning to live with open hands and open hearts and wide eyes, it's not easy you see.
And so, my counselor wisely and gently directed me back to a book from my childhood-- The Velveteen Rabbit. I was to read it and write about what it means to be real, he said. And I did. And I wanted to share more of my thoughts here, in hopes that they encourage you to step into more realness, too.
You are real when you let yourself be loved.
You are real when you let things take the time they take.
You are real when you have patience for being in progress.
You are real when you are chosen, wanted.
You are real when you let love in.
You are real when you become shabby because someone has held you close.
You are real when you let your sharp edges be softened.
You are real when you come to see yourself as beautiful.
You are real when love changes you.
You are real when relationship restores you.
You are real when you see with eyes of wisdom and beauty.
You are real when you stay even when you are hurt.
You are real when you become over time.
To be real is not to be carefully kept. To be real is not to box yourself away and stay protected from the world. To be real is to get in the game, to let yourself be seen and known and held, to let love into your heart, to let the transformation begin. To be real is to be beautiful despite the ways you get shabby. To be real is to let your identity be rooted and established in love, to let all that you do come from the truth of all you are. To be real is to let yourself get uncomfortable, to grow, to change. To be real is to enter into the freedom of the fullest expression of your heart and soul, to leave insecurity and fear and doubt behind and come alive. To be real is to let love change you.
Being real will hurt sometimes.
Being real will make you shabby.
Being real won't make sense to everyone else.
But to be real is to be alive-- fully, wildly, wonderfully alive.
This is what it means to be real.