Getting Your Rabbit On: Becoming Real

When the SOUL is neglected, it doesn’t just go away, it appears systematically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of MEANING. ~~Thomas Moore

One Christmas season, I saw The Velveteen Rabbit on television. This was before I had started doing the work on myself that I so desperately needed to do. It touched me so deeply that I went out and bought the children’s book for myself. There was something about that story and the journey to becoming “real” that I knew I had to have. Maybe buying it was the only way I could do that at the time. I remember reading it over and over again.

That analogy of being the one chosen got to me. I’ve written in previous posts that I was terrified of being unlovable. The story of The Velveteen Rabbit is about a toy rabbit that is finally chosen as a favorite of a boy and is just literally loved to pieces. And, that’s when he’s no longer a toy; he became real.

Now, I see it a little differently. Yes, I want to be real. I want to be loved to pieces. But, I don’t believe it will ever be because I’m chosen. I don’t believe it is a lottery or a personality contest to be loved. There’s so much love to go around. And, God definitely chose me when he created me. That’s a given. So, He definitely loves me to pieces. I believe it’s an inside job. I have to love myself. I have to choose to touch my own soul in order to become real. I also hunger for others to really see me. To me, that is what loneliness is….the desire, the longing to be truly seen by another person. I have been lonelier in relationships than I have ever been when I’m alone because I wasn’t seen.

I read a book called Soulprints: Your Path to Fulfillment by Marc Gafni in early 2000. In it, he has “Soul Print Practices” that are exercises to touch your soul and to develop your soulprint. I love that the book is experiential and outlines steps that I can actually take to explore my soul’s desires. It was my first understanding of the kinds of things we do to leave a soulprint. For instance, he talks about letter writing. You can leave your soulprint through a letter to another person. Ever find an old letter? Wow! When I find them, it’s like a treasure, and I love reading them. I feel truly connected to the other person through their words and handwriting.

He tells a story of one person receiving another person’s soulprint. An elderly couple was walking down the street. They were both so old they looked to be past the century mark. The woman’s shoe was untied. They looked into each other’s eyes briefly, and he began to bend down to tie her shoe. Marc describes it as being so slow I never knew anyone could move so slow. It probably took a full five minutes…. She waited patiently and allowed him to do it for her. In Marc’s words, the act was a symbol of a lifetime of knowing each other’s soul and receiving each other’s soulprints. They took time to see each other.

I try to pay more attention to receiving other people’s soulprints. Often, I’m busy or distracted or don’t do a very good job of it. But, I really do try. I know it honors the other person. But, I also know that I love that feeling when I allow someone else to share their soul with me even if they are not aware they are doing it. It’s a spiritual high that I cannot even begin to describe, and I won’t even try. I believe we are all spiritual beings. My friend Suzanne told me, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” That reframes it, doesn’t it? It is such an honor for anyone to open themselves up to me even for a moment. When I think of it as a spiritual interaction, it adds so much more depth and meaning to the experience.

Ultimately, aren’t we all like that velveteen rabbit, longing to be loved to pieces, to be that chosen one that is seen for our inner light. It’s not about being chosen. It is about being received. We are all chosen by God. Being seen for the beautiful beings that we are by other beautiful beings is our innermost hunger, it is what we call loneliness. The deepest, darkest loneliness can only be quenched by true connection with another person. I hope to do that for someone today. It will be so much fun!

14 thoughts on “Getting Your Rabbit On: Becoming Real

  1. I love this. I, too, read the story of the Velveteen Rabbit and was deeply moved. I read it to Hannah, but she was quite young and not impressed by it. I love the way you use it to get across your message. I agree; we are all longing to be loved like the rabbit. In a way, being loved does make us real.

    • Yes, being loved does make us real. Especially when we are loved with our seams ripped, one eye missing and our hair falling out. You are loved, Susie, like that…by me.

    • I know…I’ve remembered that story for 10 years. It’s one of those things that makes me say, “I want THAT!!”

      Love you, girl. See you in a few weeks.

  2. You are so right about how it feels to find an old letter or card. We had such fun going through my grandmother’s house 2 years ago; we found postcards that I sent her from the beach when I was 10. She kept everything.

    My second sponsor gave me The Velveteen Rabbit for my 2nd birthday. 🙂

    • Awwww…what a sweet sponsor. Letters…I so wish I still wrote them, but I’m afraid I’ve let it go. I went through a bunch of old letters awhile back. It was so fun.

  3. I have kinda joked about this very thing sharing with others there is one small simple thing I want in life, the sky opening up and God’s loving arms reaching down to embrace me as a baby being cradled. I can so relate to what you wrote, it reminds me of a conversation I had with someone just last night. ; ) Now I am going to have to buy the Velveteen Rabbit and read it, knowing full well that I will probably cry and mess my sinuses up for a whole day.
    I have a similar experience when I watch the old classic movie, Miracle on 34th Street. While Santa is working at Macy’s there is a little Dutch orphan girl waiting in line to see him because she believes he is real. Her adopted parent is worried about this because she doesn’t believe he is real and that this will greatly disappoint the little Dutch girl who is already new in a Foreign country where no one understands her language on top of her loneliness from loosing parents.
    But then the miracle when Santa starts to sing a Christmas song in Dutch!! That’s when my tears fall like Niagara! I believe I relate because in the Dutch girls lonely despairing world, she holds on to some faith and belief in Santa who represents acceptance unconditional love and care. He acknowledges her, accepts her, embraces her in love, and understands her language when no one else does. Thanks Sharon

    • Okay…now I’m crying in the airport! Maybe if you are real nice, someone will read that book to you. 😉

      Hearing Meryl Streep narrate it was such a treat for me.

      Thanks…now go connect with somebody!

    • Really? That is wonderful! At least everything I’ve gone through isn’t wasted on just me. Thanks for your encouragement. It really does mean a lot.

  4. Your writing also reminds me of why it is important to open ourselves up, so that others can see us. It is a risk to be vulnerable, to be seen, but it is also the only way that others can truly connect with us.

    • Yes, I believe it is the only way. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to discover that, but it takes whatever it takes, I guess.

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