“We had better prepare ourselves (and our children) for reality…All of us must live with disappointment, accept limitations and imperfections. We live in a world of becoming and change. Inevitably you will sometimes be disappointed with friends. You will sometimes be disappointed in marriage, disappointed in institutions and sometimes disappointed in yourselves. Thus, if you are to retain your joy in life you must find much of that joy in spite of disappointment, for the joy of life consists largely in the joy of savoring the struggle, whether it ends in success or in failure. Your ability to go through life successfully will depend largely upon your travelling with courage and a sense of humor, for both are conditions of survival. It is for this reason that I stress the importance of living with reality and therefore with disappointment.” John Silber
Waking up from our dream–the dream that we can project a pretend personality that will be totally accepted as who we are–means becoming completely real.
“One afternoon a few days before she died, I found myself alone with her. Many years ago, we had once discussed how much we loved the book, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’, by Margery Williams. Nominally a children’s book, I think it actually speaks more to adults. A book I have loved since I was a little girl, its real meaning only became clear for me when I was a woman. For her birthday sixteen years ago, I had given my friend a beautiful copy of that book. It nestled now on her bedside, and she asked me if I would read it to her.”
Excerpt from ‘THE VELVETEEN RABBIT’ ~ By Margery Williams
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“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 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 all 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.”
“Step Three, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him,” helped me to stop running my show all by myself. I made the decision to turn away from an insane life towards a saner one. At first, I decided to let my will be guided by God’s will.”
“Today, when my will lets me down, I no longer continue running around in circles. I am willing to admit defeat and trust a source of genuine help.”
“I agree, in my own way, with the author of today’s reading in CTC, “I may find it easier to point to ‘my dry drunk’s’ irrational or self-destructive choices. It is harder to admit that my own behavior is not always been sane.”
“It’s been too easy to react to the jabs of my dysfunctional parent and blame them for my anger. I am finding it more peaceful to admit that my own self-righteous anger is also insane. I can let go of insisting upon being heard or validated by someone who is living in their disease. When I learn to let God be my sounding board instead, I make my sanity a first priority.”
“William Shakespeare wrote, “…to thine own self be true.” In order to be apart from others, one must identify that which makes one unique. Building upon our individuality means identifying our authenticity. Self-awareness is empowering. Do people get a sense of who you are through what you post or tweet? If I met you at a conference, would I meet the person or the persona? Are you that Someone Behind the Curtain, or is there a genuine quality to who you are online?”
“Being fake is not only annoying; it renders you invisible and irrelevant. When our online presence aligns with our offline reality, our effectiveness is magnified. People trust those who are authentic.”