Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later. – Bob Goff
A title such as Joy and Sara. Or Glenn and Campbell. Or Doug and Jett. Or. Or the other 20 extraordinary chapters that make up Hope Has a Cold Nose.
Officially launched as of November 11, 2020. I remain immensely humbled and grateful for each co-author who gave me their sacred trust to retell their stories, for all who helped Hope Has a Cold Nose become a reality, and for the journey every step of the way leading up to the launch and since.
The journey. When I first felt called to begin writing Hope Has a Cold Nose, it included inspiring hope for twenty-two lives a day. As Hope Has a Cold Nose was nearing completion, I sensed it would be for inspiring hope. Period. The extraordinary storytellers would not only be serving their military brothers and sisters who are held in the tight grip of hopelessness. They would be serving all whom they took a vow to serve and protect. They would potentially inspire…humanity.
Twice in this past week I have heard this sentiment. I don’t want to hope. I don’t want to be disappointed when it doesn’t work out. This past week I listened to people share their profound sorrow and grief over this year’s continuous change. A few days ago, I had a stranger thank me for the spark in my eyes as he shared how much he missed seeing people’s smiles. Recently I listened as someone shared their sadness at a story of how babies are entering this world only seeing masked faces. Humanity is grieving.
Twenty-three extraordinary co-authors understand grief and sorrow. They understand traumatic moments. They understand fear, isolation, anxiety, depression, and loss of hope. They understand emotional pain. They do not profess to understand in a way that it means they walk in anyone else’s shoes as if to compare or to minimize someone else’s feelings. They understand in a way that they empathize, they care, and they hold the space for others to know they are not alone.
For a long time, I have loved the metaphor of a cocoon, caterpillar, and butterfly. Transformation. The idea of a breaking open to something beautiful. The idea of going from a crawl, to darkness, to flight. In my naivety I thought that every caterpillar became a butterfly. Recently I learned differently.
Choice. Life happens. We choose. Life brings so much we cannot control. What we do not lose is our control of choice. Easier to say than feel sometimes, isn’t it?
Or perhaps in these moments it feels like easier to say then feel often.
Or all the time.
Our dance of grace between opposites. The opposites of choosing to see what is and what can be. Or choosing to see what is not and what no longer is. The opposites of always looking for the positive. Or pushing down the pain, sorrow, and grief that wishes to be seen and acknowledged as part of what makes us human.
What makes us humanity.
I think about the stranger who misses seeing smiles. And I think eyes are the mirror to the soul. We are now being given a chance to pause and pay more attention to what is being communicated from the heart. Are eyes sparkling? Do they reflect happiness? Peace? Or do the eyes look tired? Scared? Hopeless?
We are being asked to lean closer into conversations so that we can better hear people speak. The mask currently feels as if it is a barrier that disconnects. Yet, what if it is actually a gift we have been handed to help us better connect?
To listen as unconditionally as the other 23 co-authors of Hope Has a Cold Nose do well. With compassion, without judgment. With hope. And their beautiful cold noses.
Every story is us. – Rumi
For those unable to join the launch event that took place November 11, 2020, please find the recorded link below:
I was also privileged to take part in a webinar on November 11 held by my alma mater, Gonzaga University. With many thanks to Kelsey Solberg, please click on the link below to listen to a wonderful dialogue facilitated by Dr. Alan Westfield, with sharing by Dr. Adrian Popa, Michael Ortiz, Taylor Rowell, and myself.
Listening, Empathy, Awareness & Dignity: LEADership Through Storytelling & Companionship
For an impactful video put together by Northwest Battle Buddies, please watch “Now I Am”:
To purchase Hope Has a Cold Nose:
Barnes and Noble:
or you can contact me: https://christinehassing.com/contact/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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/.