What is real? asked the Rabbit one day before Nana came to tidy the room. Does it mean having things that buzz or whistle inside you or a handle that sticks out?
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!
Doesn't it hurt? asked the Rabbit.
Of course, said the Skin Horse because he was always truthful. But when you are real you don't mind being hurt because that is what Real does.
Does it hurt all at once or more like being wound up bit by bit? asked Rabbit.
It doesn't happen all at once, said the Skin Horse. It's a process and it takes a long time. That's why it doesn't 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 looking. But when you are Real these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to the people who don't understand (Margery Williams, "The Velveteen Rabbit", pgs. 16-17).
The second command of Jesus Christ is to "love thy neighbor" (Matthew 22). Easier said than done eh? Love involves pain as modeled by the life of Jesus Christ. Real people love and love really hurts. Unfortunately without Christ many turn away from the pain of love. Selfishly thinking, "I deserve better!" Believing they have a right not to hurt. Some things however can only be experienced through suffering and loss ... being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ is first and foremost.
Getting Real means to expect (even anticipate) suffering and pain in relationship with others. It will involve seeing the heart of God at work rather than Satan through adverse circumstances and in the face and actions of the difficult people you live or work with. Becoming Real means re framing life's expectations to include self-giving and self-sacrificing for others "as unto the Lord" as the norm.
What say you?