Photo Credit: “FEAR”, © 2012 Kevin B 3, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio
Summer of 1976. The northwestern Pennsylvania air was thick with more than just humidity–there was possibility, too. The possibility that I could get my certificate to swim in the deep end, go off the high dive. I was seven. I could swim. Was in fact a good swimmer. Along with the lifeguard, my mom was there, watching.
Taking a big breath, I dove under, started swimming. Making it to the slope where the shallow gave way to the deep end, I hedged.
And turned back.
Then we moved, and although I swam in the backyard pool, I never got the chance at that pool again. It’s been a leitmotif, this holding back.
It’s about fear, certainly. About crossing a precipice that, once passed, can’t be taken back. I don’t know why. I’m great at starting things, but finishing? Well, let’s just say don’t ask my my wife. Or my kids.
There’s something inside of me that craves the safe, that doesn’t want to change.
And I hate it.
But don’t know how to change it.
I don’t want to always be holding back. I want, in the words of John Eldredge, to “let them [the world] feel the whole weight of who you and let them deal with it.”
But I don’t know how.
How about you? Do you hold back?