Hope Has a cold nose – September 2020 Update

Dear Hope Has a Cold Nose subscribers,

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters – Margaret Wheatley

A few days ago, I was engaged in dialogue with someone in which the sound of her voice was communicating a great deal in place of words she was not expressing.   In the way that this individual said “hello”, I could sense that what she did not need was my well-meaning intentions to offer encouragement.  What this individual needed was for me to be present with her, to listen – if she wished to share, and to acknowledge that she was right.   It just all kind of sucks right now.    This individual simply needed me to say, your right, it sucks. 

Sometimes we need someone to simply be there.  Not to fix anything, or to do anything in particular… – Author unknown.   It is counterintuitive to us as human beings, though isn’t it?  We tend to want to do something to help when we feel helpless.   That dance of opposites yet again.  Our dance of grace between when to help and when to help less.    

Many years ago, a spiritual sage said these words to me.  We have Divine appointments with each person we meet.  When we fully show up as ourselves, we honor that appointment.   This wise sage went on to share that it doesn’t mean the appointments are conflict free. It means that by fully showing up, we are giving the other person the opportunity to learn what they are meant to learn as a result of that appointment.  

We are providing someone else the opportunity to grow.   We are giving the other person free will and choice.    

Yet, what happens when we believe the choice another makes could or should be different?

What happens when the choice another is currently making is filled with pain and sorrow?   

How do we fully show up with a heart full of love to another whose personal pain, trauma, sorrow, or despair has them feeling empty of worthiness to receive love?    

If we try to “fix”, aren’t we potentially showing up with some form of judgment, for “to fix” implies that the person is not worthy of acceptance as they are.   If we wish to “make it better”, are we bringing our values and biases to the appointment, sending an unintended message that what we do or how we believe is superior in some way to what someone else is currently feeling?  

Yet, if a person is struggling and we can offer a life preserver – metaphorically speaking, shouldn’t we?  After all, that is fully showing up, right?   How does the expression go?  Something like, people don’t know to ask what they don’t know.   So, if we know something that could benefit another who doesn’t know to ask, shouldn’t we offer it? 

The dance of grace between opposites.     

When to encourage.   And when to be present in silence and say your right, it does.  

While on the very reverent journey being given the sacred gift of trust to retell twenty-three extraordinary stories you will find in Hope Has a Cold Nose, I have found a hope stir within me that these stories will not only inspire military veterans who struggle with PTSD and increase awareness about the powerful healing modality of service dogs.   I am holding an intention that these stories will also inspire non-military individuals who are struggling with depression, anxiousness, and isolation and who find themselves questioning the value of living.   

I yearn to help each and every person who feels hopeless not give up.    

When I learn that within the community in which I live, two families now walk beside Grief as they mourn the loss of a sixteen year old and a fourteen year old who reached the end of their will to live, my heart wants to hurry the final steps of this book.   Deep within is this sense of urgency that if this book can “just” get in front of every single person who feels anxious, or alone, or depressed, or who is starting to feel that the only choice that makes sense to end their pain is to end life on Earth.    Hurry!  Hurry!  My mind, certain of how it is fully showing up, shouts to my heart.

Yet perhaps there is a bigger plan that I am meant to see.   Perhaps it is not always the ones who made the choice to leave Earth that needed the inspiration.   Perhaps it is the individuals left behind who need others to help them not give up now that life has become forever changed and will never be the same.   Perhaps the Divine appointment was not missed.  Perhaps the greater purpose is in the choices loved ones will now take to make their pain and their sorrow matter.  

We often read or hear about people who founded an event or a business because of pain, trauma, or loss.  It could be as a result of their own personal experience or it could be in tribute to or legacy for someone dear to them.   As much as I anticipate these individuals would wish for a different story, or at least chapters that could be re-written with a different ending, they have bravely found how to turn pain, trauma, and loss into benefit for the greater good of many.  

Like the twenty-three extraordinary individuals in Hope Has a Cold Nose who are courageously sharing their stories of healing and hope.   Fueled not by fame, but by a desire that if they fully show up with their stories, they may inspire others not to give up.   A conversation voice to voice with a person struggling may not occur, yet Divine appointments will still be kept.   

Absent from the appointments will be any risk of judgment or conditional acceptance or that natural human tendency to want to “fix”.   What will be present is compassion and understanding and respect for someone to feel what they feel.  What will be present is a safe space in which someone can be “heard”.  Sure, they won’t be heard in the sense you and I think of hearing someone verbally speak    They will be heard in the sense of finding validation that what they have experienced and felt are not “wrong”.   They might even “hear” in the stories shared, yeah, your right, it does.

How best to dance with grace in the opposites between help and help less?   I am still learning that dance myself, but I think I am starting to understand the elements every dance should have.  Compassion and a willingness to understand what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.  A willingness to listen to hear, not listen to speak.   And Faith.  

By faith I am referring to trusting that we all have Divine appointments with every person we meet, and the people that most need how we fully show up are the ones that will be brought to the paths we walk.    Faith in that if, into every appointment we bring a heart for others and not against , we are fulfilling why the appointment had been scheduled.  And, oh, are we dancing so gracefully between let me help you and let me help less as I hold up a mirror for you to discover what you have temporarily forgotten.   

Yeah, your right. 

This thing called life can be tough, but.   

I know you are tougher.

No one reaches out to you for compassion or empathy so you can teach them how to be better.  They reach out to us because they believe in our capacity to know our darkness well enough to sit in the darkness with them. – Brené Brown 

Sincerely,

-Christine

Last month I communicated that the design phase of Hope Has a Cold Nose was targeted to begin mid-September. That happened as planned! It is with great privilege that I share with you a draft of the book cover design.  Design proofs of the book cover and book formatting for electronic, paper, and hardcover availability are pending final approval. Once approved, Hope Has a Cold Nose moves into the next phase. Production! In parallel, I am working with the Marketing department of the publishing company to finalize a marketing plan in preparation for the book launch.  In addition to these steps, I am also exploring options for the first step in Hope Has a Cold Nose being available internationally, beginning with its translation into Hebrew.  This international step will be after the initial book launch.  Which, speaking of.   I have set the intention from my heart that Hope Has a Cold Nose can be launched on or before November 11, 2020.     Stay tuned. {smile}

Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.  I welcome exchanging in dialogue with you.  I can be reached by visiting https://www.hopehasacoldnose.com/, https://christinehassing.com/ or you can email me at ckhred30@gmail.com

P.S.  For additional impactful and powerful information regarding the healing impact of service dogs, please visit https://www.northwestbattlebuddies.org/a-vision-of-hope/.   

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