Anneliese had been learning about Real Love for more than a year. Her progress had been halting and difficult, but she nonetheless persisted and moved forward. She called and said, “You told me that I could begin to be a wise person to other people.”
“I did,” I replied.
“You found love, trusted it, and began to remember it much of the time. The next step is to share it, which means being a wise person to others—giving to other people what you’ve been given.”
“Well, I tried it. I talked to a couple of people. I did. I tried being a wise person. But I feel so unsure of myself. I’m still afraid I’ll screw it up and people will disapprove of me.”
“If you just want to avoid screwing up, then find a comfortable chair, sit down, and stay there. Don’t get out of the chair. Take no risks, make no mistakes. Of course if you do that, you’ll connect with nobody, and you’ll be unbearably alone—the biggest mistake of all. And you’ll still hear your own voice in your head. You’ll hear yourself saying, “You’re a complete failure. You can’t love anybody, and if you try, you’ll screw it up and look really stupid.’ But the question is, do you want to sit in a chair all your life?”
“I don’t think so.”
“No, that would be no fun at all, so your only real choice is to just do the best you can to love people. You WILL make mistakes. Sometimes you’ll look stupid, and sometimes people will disapprove of you, but it’s the only way to learn to be loving. Make the choice to believe. Believe in the power of the love you’ve received. Believe that you can let that love flow through you to another person. Make the choice to believe. Or don’t. But remember that the alternative to trying is to sit in the chair alone. This is a decision to live or die.”
Anneliese got the point. If we want to learn anything new—including how to love people—we have to take risks. We have to make mistakes. We HAVE to, so worrying about them and trying to avoid them is somewhat futile.
Learn how to truly love others & give them what they need.