When my grandson Jack was three years old, he climbed up to the top of the high dive at our swimming pool, the board being about ten feet off the surface of the water. He was very excited as he climbed, but as he got to the end of the board and looked down, he was noticeably less thrilled with the idea of jumping into the water. At age three, ten feet is a great height.
Standing on the side of the pool, I encouraged Jack to jump into the water. Normally, he was willing to do just about anything I suggested, but he stayed frozen right where he was on the diving board.
I slipped into the water and swam to the middle of the pool, to a position directly in front of him. When I held out my arms, Jack jumped into the water, where I caught him and swam with him to the side.
Most of us are crippled to varying degrees by pain and fear, and because we’ve never known anything else, we’re stuck in old patterns of behavior that keep us frozen to a tiny spot on the high dive. But if there is somebody in the water who loves us—and who we trust—we often acquire the courage to take the jump to feeling loved.
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