Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. Sometimes it hurts, but when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit (via wordsnquotes)

I used to read this book all the time as a child. As an adult the message still rings so true.