I wanted to be Wonder Woman. Instead I turned into a worn out Velveteen Rabbit. There was a time in my life where I might have worn a shirt with the logo, “Perfection or Bust.” I wanted everything in my world to appear to be perfect. I was determined to have the perfect house, the perfect husband, and the perfect children. I would be Wonder Woman and save the world with my beauty and passion for looking like I had it all together. I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone knowing that I was just a person like everyone else. Having anyone see that I had flaws was not acceptable. Being seen as human was scary business. I laugh at it now, but at the time it was no laughing matter.
Nowadays I wear a shirt that reads, “Work in Progress.” It’s my favorite shirt, and I am comfortable wearing it. I know I have flaws and I accept my humanity. It’s not nearly as ego boosting as being Wonder Woman, but I am a whole ton happier. Instead of having my perfect little world, I got something better. I love more, and I am more lovable. It’s the Velveteen Rabbit way of living life. It’s not all that glamorous, but it’s better than anything I could have ever imagined in my Wonder Woman world. It’s sure a good thing that I don’t always get what I want.
Much like the Velveteen Rabbit, my process of getting “real” has been a long and hard. Becoming “real” was never a part of what I pictured for my life. Therefore it was something to be fought tooth and nail. Like the Velveteen rabbit I have been subjected to hard experiences. Things I would never want anyone else to go through. Things I didn’t believe I should have to go through. At times I have been torn, my stuffing hanging out, with my fuzz rubbed off. Truly humiliating for sure! Taking out what is inside of me and restuffing myself with better material has been worth the journey even in the pain. Sometimes I still have to take a look inside to see what work needs to be done. Painful, but necessary.
As a self-proclaimed Wonder Woman I would have never let anyone see my Velveteen stitches. That was way too shameful. As a WIP (work-in-progress) I know that showing my stitches is what builds my relationships with others. I share my heart, and I hear theirs. It’s a beautiful thing to be vulnerable in relationships. It’s a frightening and exhilarating thing to have your weaknesses exposed and still know that you can still be loved. It is also a beautiful thing when another person exposes their weaknesses and my heart opens with full acceptance. Nothing is more beautiful than grace.
Grace to me is more than a random word. Grace is everything to me. Grace is what allows me to be a work in progress. It’s being kind to myself in my brokenness. A place where brokenness is welcomed, accepted, and harnessed for good. A place where my weaknesses are not ugly blights but like the knots in knotty wood making me more beautiful. A place where all of me is accepted, not just what is good. The place of grace is the best place to be. Whether you see grace as a religious term or not, allowing grace for yourself is more stunning than any sunset. When it comes down to it, there really is no comparison between Wonder Woman and the Velveteen Rabbit. The Velveteen Rabbit wins in my eyes every time.