Years ago I spoke at a church far from here. Just before the service was to begin, the minister received a message that the organist would not be there, because she had forgotten that Daylight Saving Time began that morning. The minister told the chorister that they would have to proceed without the organ.
I suggested that I would be willing to play their organ, which I did. Although the songs were unfamiliar to me, I played them as though they were old friends, and the musical portion of the program went beautifully.
I was able to do this because of many years of practicing the piano and organ before that day when my skills were required. I had practiced to the point where I could play music I had never seen. During my years of practicing, I made many mistakes—more than I could possibly count—but I learned from them and kept playing.
And so it is with Real Love. In the moments when we most need to feel loved and to be loving—when other people are angry, argumentative, or withdrawn—we will fail utterly unless we’ve practiced feeling loved and loving other people long BEFORE that event. With love, the time to practice is right now. We can’t afford to wait.
As we begin, we’ll fail—often and badly—but that doesn’t matter. We just get up off the floor and try again, all the wiser and more experienced for having failed. And before long we’ll discover that we can feel loved and be loving in increasingly difficult circumstances, which produces a sense of peace and power that is impossible to describe to those who have not experienced it. Start now. Keep practicing. And you’ll become happier that you ever imagined.