A Smart Woman Conversation: Debra Hamilton - Attorney, Author, and MAP Creator
Debra Hamilton focuses on helping people feel heard.
She doesn't dictate and she's not didactic. Her approach is to listen and allow you to vent or rant or whatever you want to do.
And, when you are done, or when you take a breath, she will calmly and assertively say, “I hear you. You are feeling invisible…” (or whatever is appropriate at the moment) and she will lead you to a better answer than the one you might be harboring in your angry heart.
How many times would that calming voice have been welcomed in your heart? I can think of a good many instances when I was so angry, I was so consumed by what was making me angry, I just wasn't thinking straight.
A calming voice at a time like that, acknowledging the worry, fear, and anger you're feeling, is exactly what we need to talk us down off the ledge, so to speak.
The Conversation Around Pets
Pets are a big focus of Debra’s. If you have never had an incident or a worry about your pet, and how your neighbors view your pet, you’re lucky.
Pets can cause all manner of discourse among otherwise intelligent people. And, still, as we learn from Debra, it’s not the pet. It’s the pet behavior. And behavior - our own and our pets’ - is what she can help us with. Turning it into a learning experience, one where shouting is not necessary.
Understand that she is not a pet therapist or a pet trainer. She’s a people mediator. She works with people, because in the end, it’s all about us and how we interact, isn’t it? Issues with pets is about the pet parent - when we take it out on the pet, we're not solving anything.
The problem is being heard, and being recognized. Mediation with Debra gets results! She has stories to tell!
MAAP it Out
Talk about great ideas! Debra’s MAP program is a must!
MAP it out helps folks embrace the unexpected. As it relates to pets.
Make a Plan. Address the needs. Appoint caregivers. Publish.
How easy is that?
Not easy at all. Most of us with pets will assuredly say, “Oh my daughter will take Emily if anything happens to me and I can’t care for her.” Anything not just being death, folks. How about major injury?
I threw my back out this week. It was so sudden and so painful, I could think of nothing else for a few minutes but as Tom (husband) came rushing to my side, I thanked the heavens above he was here.
Three days before this, I had bunion surgery, so I was on bed rest anyway, for a few more days. Yes, I hobbled about in a “boot” - before the back issue. But, together, the surgery and the back problem made an invalid of me - I honestly could not get around on my own - and what, I suddenly thought, would I have done if Tom hadn't been here? Not only for myself, but for Emily, our precious dog.
I would have been lost. I would have been desperate. I would have panicked. As I think of it now, I cringe. Yes, my daughter who lives close by would likely take Emily, but she has a houseful with two active kids and three cats. A sudden introduction of a dog, a fairly big dog, would have upset that household by far!
Instead of letting unexpected happenings force us to ask for help, Debra helps us plan ahead. She reminds us that we can assume nothing. Maybe that relative will take your dog or cat, but maybe they won’t. Maybe they are willing to take your pet for a day or two, but not a month or two.
Without a MAP, you risk further anguish as you scramble to make arrangements, in whatever circumstance befalls you. She reminds us that not planning ahead creates a hurried, often poor, result. One you may regret later.
Certainly, it would not be the plan you’d make now, when you are not rushed, or harried, or frightened, or confused.
Pets are Not People
A key point being made in this conversation is that pet parents, pet lovers, pet people, whatever you want to call yourself, cannot and should not ignore this. We are in charge of these creatures who delight us every day, and whose pictures we post on Instagram every day, and whose very existence depends on us.
Because, as precious as those beloved creatures are, they are not people.
No matter how much you purport to believe your pets are people, “My dog is my child.” Or, “Pets are family.” when push comes to shove, no one will consider them so. In the end, during or after a disaster, however major or minor, (mine is minor, foot surgery and back problems in the same week…well, this too shall pass and I will be all better soon), if you have not made a plan for your pets’ care, the universe will do it for you and I, personally, do not trust the Universe.
Actually, I think the Universe is speaking right now. It’s telling you to watch Debra’s conversation with me, and heed her advice.
Enjoy today’s Smart Conversation with Smart Women - and get in touch with Debra for more information. Visit her YouTube Channel. Visit her site. Check out her Facebook page. Do it today. (did I mention that she also speaks at events? Learn more about that here.)
Be Smart! Subscribe to Smart News and get magic in your inbox every Friday.. Share this conversation with every friend you have who has a pet! And, leave Debra a comment below.
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