My 86 (and a half!) year old mother just shared with me a personal insight she had. I’ve always known that she never learned to swim and that she had a healthy fear of the water. And I’ve always used that as a bit of a reminder about how letting our fears “win” limits our options. I think sometimes it’s much easier to see things like this third person. Today, she said to me simply, “It was the water.” She had been reflecting on how when she was a young woman, a popular thing to do was to go to North Avenue Beach in Chicago, but she frequently declined invitations because she knew the boys would want to swim and goof around in the water—and she couldn’t do that. She was too afraid. So she rarely went.

She said, “I’ve got to face the truth—it was the water.” And then she spoke of the fun she knew she had missed out on–all because of the water.

And what is my “water”? What fears am I letting win over me? What will I say when I, too—Lord willing—am 86 and a half?

And what is your “water”?

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