Saturday, July 30, 2016

Getting Old, Getting Real

In the Velveteen Rabbit, two stuffed animals talk about what it means to be loved and to become Real:

"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."
Women, decorate and take care of yourselves over your lifetime because your beauty is not dependent upon what culture has told you to believe.  Decorate and take care of yourselves because you are already beautiful.  Men, tell your women often that they are beautiful because you know the truth, which is that they are already beautiful.  Don't roll your eyes due to the fact that they need to hear this from you often and why won't they just believe the truth?  What you need to understand is that it is our role and our power to tell them the truth in this area so that they can believe the truth over time.  Women, this is where you offer your vulnerability.  

Men, this is where you nurture their vulnerability.  When they fail to believe you, it isn't because there is something wrong with you, it is because they need your help to believe the truth about themselves.  They really need us and this is where we get to use our strength over and over again.

Men, take care of yourselves physically and emotionally, not so that you can prove your power, but to demonstrate the power you already have.  Your body will break down but your strength will not.  You will have to find new ways to exert the strength you have.  Your power will come from your words.  Men, you have the ability to tell others their identity - your wives, your children, and other men in your life.  As you grow older, your new power becomes your words.  In fact, this is the way you become like God - you instill the words of identity into others.  Your wives and daughters learn their beauty.  Your sons and other men learn their strength.

Women, believe your men when they tell you who you really are.  Don't demand them to declare words of identity to you.  Instead, invite them to do so and tell them the type of beautiful power they have to do amazing things to your heart.  It is a huge risk to stop demanding and start naming your desires with only an invitation.  Refuse to criticize him for not doing it the way you want him too.  Instead, explain to him how he can be most powerful and how his words can affect you most.  He will know if you are inviting or demanding.  It will take amazing patience.  But, in the end, your man might find the strength he thought he was losing.  Your invitation, instead of your demand, is the way in which you invite his strength.  This is one of the best ways you can love him.

Women, believe in your beauty.  Men, declare their beauty.
Men, exert your strength.  Women, invite their strength.