Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Messages of Hope: Inspirational Writings from the Heart is a collection of nonfiction stories and articles written by Christopher M. Meuse. Meuse is an author, certified hockey coach and retired public school teacher. His opening story: We Know There Is Hope: A True Story recounts the author’s realization that his addiction to alcohol was taking a toll, not only on his life and health, but that of his daughter and his family, and follows his recovery from both that addiction and brain surgery. In You Are Perfect, he discusses the pain that seems to be a universal human condition, feelings like “unworthiness, guilt, anger, shame and fear” that must be dealt with in a positive way rather than being suppressed. He discusses ways for people to “form positive rapport” as they learn to acknowledge those feelings and find their way to feeling safe, complete and perfect, including meditation. His article, Toughness vs. Love, discounts the value of the old tough-love approach to child-rearing in favor of a more supportive and loving parenting and teaching style. He shows how the old paradigm of preparing a child for the harsh realities of life can actually cause more dysfunction in that child’s development than good. Each of his writings is accompanied by illustrations and inspirational photographs.
I was already familiar with author Christopher M. Meuse from having read his most enlightening hockey novel, Hockey, Kids & Positive Coaching, when I began reading this collection. Meuse is an articulate and inspirational writer whose philosophy of life is aligned quite closely to my own. I loved reading Messages of Hope: Inspirational Writings from the Heart, and enjoyed learning more about the author and his outlook on life. I especially enjoyed the photographs he includes with this work and loved the interplay of ideas with scenes of beaches, rocky shorelines and endless ocean vistas. His articles and stories are inspiring, as are the poems which appear in this work. Messages of Hope: Inspirational Writings from the Heart is most highly recommended.