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Choosing The Path to be Real! by Sherri Rosen

I was thinking about The Velveteen Rabbit today. Have you ever read it? It’s a children story about being real. I didn’t know about
the book until I was around 40 years old.. As a matter of fact at that age I began buying myself lots of children’s book
that I connected with. You see I don’t remember reading any children’s books when I was very young and I don’t remember ever
being read to by my mum or dad.

Were you read to as a child? Do you remember what it felt like being read to by your mum or your dad or by anyone? I know
when my own children were young I used to read to them. I used to love reading to them. I had saved one of them that my oldest
son, Stephen had. It was the “The Phantom Tollbooth”. I found it on one of the occasions I was moving and I gave him a copy of it.
It had his name in it printed by him probably when he was around l0 years old. I’m not sure he loved it as much as I did in giving it to him.

So why have I brought this all up? Not sure myself. Asking myself this question. I guess it’s a combination of how important
children’s stories are to me and how important being real is to me. I don’t know how I got this way. This realness stuff I mean.
Perhaps because I grew up in a family that never liked to deal with the truth and never liked to deal with being direct. I used
to get so confused because I would hear the same story told by different members in my family and it was always different, and if
I would repeat what I heard the family would tell me they never said such a thing.

So here I am with wanting to be real. The first time I read The Velveteen Rabbit to myself I felt like I had come home. It was a declaration
that it was okay to tell the truth. It may sound strange reading this story at age 40, but it wasn’t for me. It was an affirmation that it was okay
to tell the truth. And since that time or maybe it was even earlier and I didn’t know it, I have chosen the path of being real.

Oy, and what a path I have chosen or maybe it chose me. It sometimes feels like a shitty path, because
when I began to walk in the direction of being real, being direct, telling the truth, I began to see how many people lie and they lie all the
time-sometimes in subtle ways. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I know I must lie in order not to devastate someone or truly hurt them.
Sometimes lying is the appropriate thing to do. But for me opening up, being vulnerable, being real, has been an ordeal and it’s not over
yet. Why has it been an ordeal? Because I didn’t realize that I would be walking around in a world of folks living in denial or of make believe.
I just wanted to be real so bad I was willing to pay the consequences. And there are consequences. Imagine being open, being real in a
sea full of lying. It hurts, its painful, it takes great courage and I never know what will happen next. Does this make me better than anyone?
Hell no!

I’ve also learned to be alone, not to depend upon others for my salvation. I’ve learned to be discriminating on who will and won’t be in my life.
I am learning not to take things so personally including myself, and I have learned to have a wonderfully intimate relationship with myself.
I’ve also learned that when I look in the mirror I love who I see (not all the time, but most of the time.) I’ve learned how much fun I am to be
with and how kind and caring I can be. I’ve also learned that I am very sensitive and can feel other people’s pain and have the ability
to be compassionate with myself and others and also have the ability to know it’s their pain not mine so if I have taken it on I just let it go.

So I’m speaking a lot about being real and telling the truth, but I realize I still haven’t given any specifics and if anything I need to be specific.

So one day I walked into a group of strangers. It was a new meditation class that was beginning in my hood. We sat and meditated for about l/2 hour
and then we did a bit of walking meditation and some inner body sense work and we would then sit in a circle and share our experiences. This time we shared there was about
20 of us. So this was about the 4th or 5th time I had come. So I begin sharing something very vulnerable about myself and the next thing I
hear is this elderly woman commenting on what i said. You see in this circle we are all supposed to say I when we begin to share and we are
supposed to talk about ourselves and not anyone else unless they have helped us in what they have said. So as this woman was making comments
on what I had said, I also must add she never speaks about herself. Ever! So right there and then I can feel this hot energy building up in me because
she ain’t sharing about herself she is just basically telling me to get over it and actually minimizing what I shared with the group. So this hot
energy is within me and I have to make a decision. Do I open my mouth and say something to her or just let it alone and allow this heated
energy to travel through me and let it go. So I let it go and it keeps coming back. So a few days later I call a friend who is in the same group for feedback and when I explained to her
what happened to me she got it right away. She and I both spoke about it and for now it may be a practice where when it happens again and it will
I take it in and just let it go. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I will decide to say something. Right now I don’t know.

So with all of this honesty that I’ve been committed to in my life I also see that in online dating, many of the men that I have
met are quite dishonest. Most have not worked on themselves. Sometimes it makes me feel all alone, because it is a lonely thing of believing
in being genuine and honest and then being with a guy who doesn’t even realize that he is lying to me. I need to give an example of this one:
Okay, say the guy has a great photo up online, then when I meet him he doesn’t even look like his photo, or he lies about his age, or in his
profile he says he wants one thing, like a serious relationship and we get together and I see he wants something casual. Yikes! Another waste
of time. But I’ve learned to see through this sea of lies. How? I can just tell now by me being completely upfront in the beginning and telling
them what I want, which is a serious relationship and one that has a friendship before sex. Well, do I get rid of them real fast, but that’s a
good thing for me because I am not wasting my precious time or there’s.

And, in walking this path I have come to terms with living with uncertainty and I never know what will happen next. I learned that a long time
ago when I took a workshop with Buddhist nun and revered teacher Pema Chodron. When sitting in a private session with her during this workshop
she looks at me and says “Sherri, I think you are now ready to live with uncertainty!” And I answer “yes, I think you are right”! A whole new world for me.

As I am writing this piece I believe I realize that the path to becoming real has chosen me and I know that this is the only way I can live with
who I am. It isn’t easy and like I said it feels shitty at times, but I couldn’t do life any other way. How about you? Have you made any choices
about your life?

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This entry was posted on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 at 6:10 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Choosing The Path to be Real! by Sherri Rosen”

  1. Sharon Hanna Says:

    Sherri – I just read your blog and it made me weep about the Velveteen Rabbit! I had forgotten about it. Seems you and I are on a similar…..path. I too am a fan of Pema Chodron….also I’m trying the internet dating thing (mostly to no avail). Anyhow, just wanted to “keep it real” 😉 by telling you how much I appreciate what you wrote. You had tweeted Carol Pope (perhaps me too – I rarely check) about our book (The Book of kale and Friends) which was recently reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly. Hope you picked up a copy somewhere – and hopefully not from Amazon (oops, erk)….as they have completely screwed the publishing industry. As it were. Not sure how Carol and I could work with you re: publicity for the new book. The first book which I wrote and Carol edited (see the web site address above) was a big hit – on the B.C. bestseller’s list for the entire year that a book is allowed to be on the list… of course I thought that was a normal thing 😉 which obviously it isn’t. Second book might look too much like the first one, cover-wise, so people think….”oh, I already have that book”. I wanted to re-name it “No, You Don’t Have This Fucking Book”. Excuse my French.

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