“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 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.”
-- Margery Williams (The Velveteen Rabbit)
I love reading that. Being real ~ transparent ~ authentic. What does that mean and what does it mean to you? I am tired of people who put on a mask and are fake. I strive to be a real, authentic woman. I don't want to be a phony. I know that I am not perfect, but I want people to see me and accept me for who I am, not for someone that they think I should be.
I read a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne today and really liked it ~ "No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one."
What a wonderfully true statement. We all know people, or maybe we ourselves have struggled with authenticity. Why can't we all be real all the time? Is it because of fear? Fear of not being liked for who we really are? I often struggle with wanting to gain the approval of people. I want people to like me. But if they can't like me for who I am, in my weaknesses and strengths, when I'm up and when I'm down, when I'm authentic and when I'm ME, then maybe they aren't someone who needs to be a part of my daily life.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV).
Being a servant of Christ. What an amazing thing that is. Generally being called a servant would not be something that people aspire to. But a "servant of Christ". What an amazing position that is. We are serving in our daily lives ~ serving a living God. And by our lives, others may come to know that God. So if we are not real, are not authentic, how will they see Christ in us?
Being real can be a painful thing sometimes. And it can take a lot of courage, if you haven't been real. But what a freedom in being real. Taking off your mask for the world to see who Christ has created. The beautiful creation that you are!
Jesus never pretended to be something He wasn't. So why should we pretend? I know that I have many faults and have failed many times. I will have failures in the future as well. But I pray that I can just be me and learn and grow through them. Not try to hide them and pretend they didn't happen. They are all scars that make me who I am.
Be the person that Christ intended you to be and continue to grow in His Grace. Serve the Lord our God, and do not live to please the people around you when you must wear a mask in doing so. It will be a blessing and a freedom like you've never known. And when you are transparent, real, authentic, that is when Christ is most at home in your heart.