Adverse Childhood Experiences and the path towards healing. You are not alone.
I share my trials, my victories, and my stories with you in hopes that if any of you were ever touched by childhood abuse or neglect, as I was, you will see yourselves in my experiences and feel strengthened to voice what you had not been able to before. I hope we can learn together why we respond to life through a particular lens, and that there are ways to climb out of this prison of pain, silence, and shame.
My name is Bess Hilpert

I Got Your Back

Love Versus Fear and Anxiety…

This past week I found myself strapped-in on the Ferris Wheel of anxiety. Caught in the ever-spinning web of anxious thoughts and embodied anxiety. Stories of the past drove worry into an imagined future. Unease moved in with a fury. The tornado of emotion removed me from the present moment landing me under the wicked witch of the west’s house. Have you ever experienced this excessive apprehensiveness in relationship to an uncertain outcome?

Is it fear of judgement, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough? Asking myself these questions shed a light on the primary feeling associated with my anxiety. Fear.

Fear was the dominant source of my withdrawing into a world where all outcomes were negative. Whether it was my swimming, my flying solo, the release of my book, my weekly newsletters, seeing a friend I had not seen in fifty years, baring my truth, or driving on unknown highways; fear was the front seat driver.

I was spinning out of control when I heard four words said to me from someone I love: “I got your back.” Letting those four words sink in for fifteen (or more) seconds softened the stronghold this unknown perceived threat had me locked down in. The source of these words was love, the opposite of fear.

Dorothy Day, American journalist, social activist, and anarchist, said:

“Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much.”

My imagined burdens and unease were released into the ethos as I let those four words permeate my being. Knowing I was not alone. Knowing I was seen. Knowing I was loved brought me out of my head and into my heart. They grounded me in the knowing. They grounded me in the present moment which is the only moment we have.

Neale Donald Walsch in his book “Conversations With God” teaches us:

“Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms.

Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals.

Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.”

This past week, after being awakened (once again) to the healing power of love, I wanted to “stand naked.” I let go of the energy of fear and replaced it with the energy of love when encountering new situations, when flying alone, when tested emotionally, when driving unknown highways, when meeting strangers, when pressed outside my comfort zone, when breathing so hard in the pool I thought I would die, when faced with life altering events, and when given a choice to love wholeheartedly.

This past week, recognizing the healing power in simply showing up allowed me to show up free of fear. Recognizing the healing power of looking someone in the eye allowed me to look the other in the eye free of fear. Recognizing the healing power of love allowed me to love unabashedly without fear. And recognizing the healing power in having someone’s back allowed me to have someone else’s back unreservedly without fear.

If you struggle with anxiety, like I do, know that “I got your back.” You are not alone; and there is healing power in the energy of love. Let us add this to our ever-expanding vibrant green toolbox.

I leave you with this blessing from Irish poet, John O’Donohue:

“May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul. May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.”

Until next time, friends.


  1. Yes, Karen!

    Conversations With God is an amazing book. One we carry with us always. We have had many thought-provoking conversations as we ponder the message in this book.

    It has been life-changing.

  2. OMG! You quoted Conversations with God, I love this book!! I read all 3 books, and my husband and I still re-read it from time to time. Love this post Bess!

    1. Yes, Karen!

      Conversations With God is an amazing book. One we carry with us always. We have had many thought-provoking conversations as we ponder the message in this book.

      It has been life-changing.

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