At some point in your life you discovered you have this fear that you can’t explain where it came from. All you know is that you are scared. May it be: a phobia of tight spaces, fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of being in deep water. And for some – like myself – fear of animals.
I never understood why I was terrified from cats and dogs. My whole life I avoided these animals. I’ve never been an animal lover. That’s not saying I dislike them. I just never built that connection or bond with them the way some people have. It’s taking some extra work on my part. Because I know it’s possible for me to get better at this. And have fears no more.
It’s okay that we have those fears. That doesn’t make us abnormal the way some people would try to make you think or feel. Love yourself the way you are. Even with your fears. But when you are ready, perhaps it’s time to face those fears, maybe try to find out why you feel the way you do. And if possible, confront your fears and get over them. Some fears are so traumatic that it needs a lot of work from us to conquer. Just know this. It is okay.
I am happy to say I am working on my fear of dogs. I’m not running to the other side of the street anymore. Some dogs I still get this reaction when passing by them. But for the most part I can say I’m not allowing myself to feel fear. I just pass by them and it’s like they are not there. As for my friends with dogs, I have built up the courage to pet them a little, even enjoy touching them and getting a reaction from showing them love and attention. Still can’t accept the wet nose though and no way in hell will I allow their tongue to lick my face. That’s just asking for too much. Either it’s the OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) issue or simply a phobia. Whichever, I’m making progress with overcoming my fear and that’s what counts.
Cats on the other hand, is just a difficult fear to get over. I can see them far away and not be bothered. But the moment they come near me, I cringe and lift my whole legs off the floor and at times with a scream. The fear of their skin touching me as they pass under the table horrifies me. It happened a few times while I am in restaurants, I jumped, hit my knees, scratch my skin even as I scream with fear, trying to lift my legs up. In return I scare them too and they run. I don’t understand this fear. I can’t get over their skin rubbing against mine. I freak out when they Meow. How to get over this fear is yet to be seen.
I am, however, proud to say, there was this one time I felt a close connection to this cat that was quite friendly. It allowed me to pet it and I wasn’t jumping, on the contrary, I felt calm. The first time I met this same cat at a friend’s house, I jumped and screamed. Later on, this cat sat next to me on the couch just watching me as I was not feeling well. It’s like it knew I needed comfort and indeed provided that for me. Strangely, I felt better after touching the cat a few times. So I guess I am overcoming fears slowly.
I believe with all my heart, there is a reason for these fears I have. There is definitely a lesson for me to learn with these fears. One day, I may just figure out what that is. What fears do you have my dear readers? As silly as they may seem. It’s comforting to recognize your fears and understand them. And it is even a greater feeling when you make the effort to overcome some fears, you thought may never leave you. It is liberating – let me tell you.
Fear, no matter how silly it may be, can cripple you and cause you a great deal of stress and anxiety. Why live like this? Try to overcome those fears. Take little steps. Don’t be hard on yourself. It is okay to feel fear. Just don’t let it control your life, the way I allowed my fear of cats and dogs control a major part of my life. Today I can say, I am no longer afraid, I am just getting myself more comfortable and better acquainted.
Brene Brown has some great advice and books on overcoming fears and shame. Both go hand in hand apparently. She has TED talks and about six books that range in topics that help people come to grips with their vulnerabilities. Good luck!
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