'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 happen often 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.”
What I find powerful about this story is the price of being Real. For the Velveteen Rabbit the price of being Real was losing his eyes and hair and looking shabby (such a great word). For those of us that are not rabbits, the price of being Real (of being loved, of allowing ourselves to love and to feel and to be vulnerable) is that life can hurt. Unlike the Velveteen Rabbit who doesn’t mind being hurt – we humans often do mind. Brene Brown talks about how we numb ourselves from this hurt with alcohol, drugs and …. She points out that the problem here is that we can’t numb selectively for the painful stuff – when we numb ourselves we numb everything. We numb ourselves against the joy of life as well as the pain. I think it takes courage to be Real, but its worth cultivating.