Dear subscribers to Hope Has a Cold Nose,
May this message find that health and overall well-being is wrapping you and yours tightly.
And just when the caterpillar though the world was over, it became a butterfly – Author Unknown
Before a multitude of countries began temporarily closing their doorways, and restaurants adjusted their primary purpose from dine in to take out. Before Italy set a precedent of lockdowns and education rapidly became on-line and home-schooled. Before history began stamping every mind with the new words “social distancing” and people started to find that the gift of information at our fingertips was becoming information overload that requires considerable discernment, and often at times disengagement. I read these words 1 person in the U.S. dies from Corona Virus complications. 22 Veterans die each day from suicide. Can we throw 2.5 Billion at that too?
These words resonated, deeply. Now I was the one dancing between emotions. On one hand I wanted to scream these very words from a deep sense of loyalty to the men and women co-authors of Hope Has a Cold Nose who are sharing their stories for twenty-two a day who die. On the other hand, I held a compassion for those whose immune systems may be too fragile to combat a new virus rapidly spreading faster than fires that have threatened the livelihood of places such as California and Australia.
Most of all, the lens I was choosing to see through was one of frustration and a sense of helplessness at being able to stop the magnet of fear. As one who is guided by the belief that what we focus on acts as a magnet to attract things to us, in a world already struggling to feel hopeful, I didn’t want to see the magnet of hopelessness grow stronger. My frustration only more intense as I perceived that people were taking action from a place of fear for their own well-being and I couldn’t step past the feeling of wanting to shout why aren’t we as humanity stopping the world for those struggling with pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair before they reach a point that life is no longer worth living? If your passion isn’t reducing suicide like it is for me, perhaps your heart desires to end such things as domestic violence, addiction, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, homelessness, or animal cruelty. For those who are, or become marginalized, why have we not stopped the world before?
And then I let go of the oars. Figurately. I set down the oars, stopped trying to row the canoe, and decided to let the current of the river do what it does best. Flow things downstream through a natural course around fallen logs, over rocks and boulders, and around a bend. No matter what is put on a river’s path, it always flows. There may be intermittent droughts or spots that freeze in the thick of Winter, yet, in due time, the river continues its flow.
As I set the oars across my lap, I reminded myself what I also deeply believe. There is purpose in every moment, and though we can’t always influence what those moments are, we can always choose our response to them. As I looked up to notice the scenery around me, I started to see people making choices we haven’t made as a collective society in quite some time. To be kind, to be compassionate, to being fully present with one another listening and sharing in dialogue, stepping off the treadmills of a fast-paced schedule to immerse into the stillness of Nature and with each other. To embrace a creativity that includes helping to make others laugh and to serve others in need on small and large scales, and a positivity that is banding people together. Where the collective whole has been missing connection, multitudes are beginning to find re-connection.
There are always gifts that come out of struggle, and people have started making choices to open those gifts. Social media has started to contain messages of “we can do this” and less of “you versus me”. The ripples of goodness have been increasing in the sharing across social media where what had been predominately shared fostered separation and division as people scrambled to be heard individually, to know they were not invisible and that they mattered amid a sea of “like”, “love”, and “share” buttons. The gift of critical times in its power to bring people together.
In a time of uncertainty, I feel peace in a certainty that we are healing as Earth and as humanity. No longer is pain or trauma “over there”. Now each person is experiencing their own personal transformation through the journey of pain, as what has been continues to fall away. I have had the honor of listening to veteran stories from Israel, a country in which, as it has been wisely shared with me, is a country in which everyone knows PTSD, given their continual state of war. A lockdown is not new to them. Sure, that a stay-at-home order is driven by a virus is new; yet, thankful are many it is not for missiles flying overhead that require shelter be sought. Israel is also a country with a very low, or next to zero suicide rate. It’s a country that despite its pain, never loses hope.
Perhaps, now that we as a world are all in this together, we will, in fact, be stopping the world so that we can create a world in which people don’t want to leave life.
Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful – Author Unknown
With deep gratitude, and joy, I am pleased to share with you that twenty-two stories are either complete or in process for the manuscript of Hope Has a Cold Nose. Once the remaining stories are written, I will be pursing the next steps to bring Hope Has a Cold Nose into publication. There was already an urgency for these extraordinary stories to be shared. Now, more than ever, it is time for the co-authors of this book to share their stories, for they will not only fulfill a mission of helping their brothers and sisters of service. Their stories of hope and resilience will inspire the world as it begins the collective journey of healing its pain.