It doesn’t matter what you’re afraid of, whether it’s spiders, heights, clowns, or snakes. Being afraid can be crippling.
Therapists talk a lot about “facing your fears” but that can be a horrifying prospect for some.
It’s easier just to ignore that they exist and go out of your way to avoid that which makes your hands clammy and your heart race.
One young girl from Thailand wasn’t afraid of much. But she was afraid of dogs.
She wasn’t sure why, but being anywhere near a dog made her shiver and want to run. One dog in particular made her skin crawl.
The dog lived just down the street from her, so she was forced to walk by him on her way to and from town. And every time she did, the dog would bark at her.
Its owner told the girl that the dog was just being friendly, but the sound certainly didn’t sound welcoming to the girl.
So, she still crossed to the other side of the street and moved quickly whenever the dog was outside as she passed.
One day someone told her that the dog’s owner had passed away. That day when she went by their house, the dog didn’t bark. The girl imagined that he looked sad.
The next day it was the same thing. The sight of that poor lonely dog stayed in her mind.
So that afternoon she gathered up her courage and decided to confront her fears. She decided that it might make the dog more likely to be kind to her if she met him with a treat.
So, armed with something tasty in hand, she slowly walked up to the gate that kept the dog inside its yard. She reached through the fence and handed the treat to the dog.
It slowly wagged its tail and after it ate the treat, it came closer and leaned down so the girl could pet it.
She walked away smiling. That wasn’t so bad after all.
For the next few days she made sure to bring the dog a treat as she walked home from town. One day she realized that since the dog’s owner had passed away, the dog really had no home now.
She wondered who had been feeding it. She realized that the treats she had been bringing may have been the dog’s only food source.
Yet, it had been gentle as it took the food from her. Not the ravenous snarling beast at all that she had pictured in her nightmares.
She took Olieng home with her and he became her best friend.
If the story ended there, it would still be a great story about how facing your fears can bring good things to your life. But, it doesn’t end there.
For years the young girl and that dog were inseparable. They became best friends.
Until one day, waiting for her to arrive home on the bus, the dog was struck by a car. The girl found him broken and bleeding on the side of the road.
She ran across town with her best friend in her arms. When she got to the veterinary clinic, the doors were closed. Her best friend died minutes later.
A few years after, determined to help other animals escape that sad fate, that young lady graduated from veterinary school. Inspired by the one thing that had held the starring role in the nightmares of her youth.
Her inspiring story should teach us all the valuable lesson that sometimes the thing we fear the most is the one thing we need to make our life complete.
Sometimes our fears keep us from reaching the future we were meant to have.
Source: Honest to Paws