When I was five years old, my mother read to me The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. This book is about a little stuffed rabbit who was made of velveteen and satin. The rabbit was given to a boy for Christmas. As per usual with little children, after the newness wore off the little boy forgot about the rabbit and the rabbit had to navigate his way amongst the other toys. The other toys made the rabbit feel like he was ordinary and not worth playing with. Some toys told him he was not made of good enough material, or he did not have modern technology. The velveteen rabbit found a friend in a skin horse who was an old toy in the nursery. The wise skin horse told the toy rabbit that the mechanical toys broke and were thrown away and would never become "real". The skin horse explains that becoming "real" happens when a child really loves you for a long time, you become "real" The wise skin horse explains to the rabbit that becoming "real" takes a long time and does not happen for the toys that break easily, or have sharp edges. The skin horse explains that by the time you are real, most of your fur has been been loved off, and sometimes you look shabby; but these things do not matter because you are "real".
In the story the boys loves the rabbit very much and play with him for many months until the boy catches scarlet fever. Due to infection the doctor ordered that the toys be burned or thrown away. The boy received a new stuffed bunny and our velveteen rabbit was placed in a pile to be destroyed. However, because the rabbit had been so loved by the boy, a fairy came and turned the velveteen rabbit into a real rabbit! The rabbit lived in the woods behind the home of the boy so he could watch his friend and play with other real bunnies.
The life lesson I take from this book is that when our culture or peers try to tell us we are not good enough, like the other toys in the nursery with the velveteen rabbit, we have to remember that we are worthy. The velveteen rabbit was not the most beautiful, most technologically advanced, not the most modern. But he was worthy of the boy's love anyway. The rabbit, as inperfect as he was, became the boy's favorite toy and became a real rabbit!
So next time you think thoughts like....
"If I had that fancy dress, people would think I'm pretty enough to be included"
"If I could just lose those 10 pounds, he would think I'm attractive"
"If I got better grades, finally mom would be proud of me"
"If I can get that raise at work, then she would think I'm rich enough to date"
.... remember the Velveteen Rabbit. You are worthy just the way you are! You have value as you were made by your creator. You have a purpose here on earth and it is not to change into someone you are not. The people who matter in your life will see you for your beautiful self as you are.
Please come back tomorrow to see what children's book Natalie choses to share! As always, thanks for stopping by!
Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT
Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.