By Susan Kavanaugh
I have a story to tell.
First, please read this passage from Margery Williams’ “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
“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 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 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.”
My favorite childhood book shares a narrative that seems pertinent to why I am ready to become real. I have lived a long time (63 years). I have had several close friends and family members who have loved me for a long, long time, and I am beyond the point of breaking easily or having sharp edges. I’m literally loose in the joints and shabby, but I am more of who I am than any time ever in my life before now.
My life experiences—my pain, my path, my discoveries, and my tools are ready to be shared with anyone who understands even a small portion of my story. You can read about it in the flyer I’m posting here.
I have created a gentle and safe new program that puts the knowledge, the tools, and the roadmap to work for anyone who has experienced even half of what I’ve gone through. I’m not asking you to be real unless you are ready. I’m only telling you I am a safe person with whom to speak. And I am ready to share what helped me move through the darkness and into the light of HOPE.