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

Grateful Joyful Hopeful Full

My strong, capable, wonderful sister during her 310-mile ride benefiting American veterans

Getting Uncomfortable

This past week I have thought a lot about my sister pedaling three hundred ten miles through the rain and mud from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Gaithersburg, Maryland. I thought about my friend’s husband pounding out 26.2 miles along the spectator-lined streets of Chicago. And I pondered joining my oldest friend in her quest to complete the 26.2-mile cobbled stone pathway of the original marathon in Athens, Greece this coming Spring. That may remain a ponder, but it woke me to braving the uncomfortable.

I recognized in their bravery the power of having a goal. The power of not letting the alarm win when all you want to do is push the snooze button. The power of the exhilaration of being one day closer to your goal and stronger than you were the day before. I recognized how purpose can lift one out of the quagmire of letting the past hold you in the past.

I have an old threadbare pink tee shirt that I just cannot seem to repurpose. It reads “Grateful. Joyful. Hopeful. Full.” I love it. I reminds me that at any given moment I can choose to engage in one of these ways of thinking. I can choose to be hopeful as a gateway towards setting goals, pathways, or actions.

Dr. Brene Brown, researcher and storyteller, says:

“Hope happens when we have the ability to set realistic goals. We are able to figure out how to achieve those goals, including the ability to stay flexible and develop alternative routes. We believe in ourselves.”

Franciscan monk and founder of The Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque New Mexico, Father Richard Rohr reminds us that hope is not an action in the future, but rather a NOW motivator.

“Hope is not primarily for the future. It is for now! Hope is a way of seeing time and understanding the present. It is a way of tasting and receiving the moment. It gives us the capacity to enter the future in a new way. In that sense, we can call hope true realism, because hope takes seriously all the many possibilities that fill the moment. Hope sees all the alternatives; it recognizes and creates an alternative consciousness.”

Holding on to this hope energizes me to find that place of uncomfortableness and dive into it. I want to face those things that are challenging. Those things that I shy away from behind the shield of fear. Don’t you? I do not want to be shackled to the iron chains preventing me from living life to the fullest. Do you?

Walter Brueggemann, an American theologian, said this:

“Energizing is closely linked to hope. We are energized not by that which we already possess but by that which is promised and about to be given.”

And Father Richard Rohr said this in his Daily Meditations this week:

“What gives us the energy and power to keep moving is the promise, the dream, the vision of what could be and what’s beyond the moment.”

I dipped my toe in these waters this week to see how it felt and it felt brave and good. I told my husband we could schedule dinners with his friends. Socialization… Yikes! I went out and ran my first mile in fifteen years. OUCH! 26.2??? I did not let the snooze button on my 3:45 AM alarm win and showed up at swim practice. I had my four grandchildren spend the night with us. Four against two! I asked a girlfriend to join me for a glass of wine. More socialization… And I am going to look for a bike adventure my husband and I can train together for. Back on the bike, Bess. 😊

When we can see the moment fully, we can bask in hope. Our sight recognizes the fullness and possibilities of this moment. We recognize that in this moment we are being touched by the Presence of Divine Love. And we are never alone in our uncomfortableness.

Try something new this week, get uncomfortable, and let me know how it goes for you. You will not be alone.

Maybe find (or make) your own t-shirt: Grateful. Joyful. Hopeful. Full.  And wear it when you need reminding.

I will leave you with this quote from legendary American basketball player, Wilt Chamberlain:

“Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing.”

Until next time, friends.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *