A Challenge: Expressing Gratitude

These are difficult times. When faced with loneliness, divisiveness, and uncertainty, how can we focus on gratitude?

A Challenge: Expressing Gratitude






Image by Jobert Aquino Aquino from Pixabay 



These are difficult times. When faced with loneliness, divisiveness, and uncertainty, how can we focus on gratitude? 

Author Wayne Dyer said, “We expand what we focus on.”  

What exactly does that mean?  

It means if we consciously choose to notice something, then we’ll see it more often. By doing so, the amount that we experience that thing will grow. So, if we focus on what we’re lacking, we will notice more of what we lack.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true! By focusing on what’s positive in our lives and taking a moment to be grateful for it, we will not only notice the positive things more often, but we’ll begin to feel more positive as well.

As members of the LGBTQ+ community - or perhaps as an ally, it’s easy to be aware of the anti-gay and anti-transgender biases that LGBTQ+ folks face in our daily lives. We experience them in community settings like school or work, through online bullying, by discriminating laws enacted by the government, and maybe even in our own homes. So, it’s good to be aware of it because perhaps that will inspire us to create positive change, set healthy boundaries for ourselves, or join with others in safe spaces.  

While we deal with it, though, it can be exhausting. It might make you sad to think about it.

Instead, let’s shift our attention for a moment away from those messages and focus on the affirming ones:

  • Who in your life has demonstrated unconditional positive regard for you?  
  • Do you have a friend to who you can say anything without fear of judgment? 
  • Does a teacher encourage you to be who you are in a safe space?  
  • Do you get a friendly smile from your neighbor?   
  • Do you have a dog who gets happy every time you come home? 

With that in mind, I present a challenge to you:

Make the conscious choice to notice three new things that you’re grateful for every day for a whole week.

It can be something significant in your life, like your mom or a best friend, or it can be something minor, like the smell of fresh bread or feeling the grass between your toes. Be on the lookout for what to be grateful for on any given day, then write those three things down in a Gratitude Journal or create a list on your phone. If you do this, you will feel better by the end of the week than you did at the beginning.  

Don’t believe me? Try it!  

If you want to feel even better, take a moment to express your gratitude to those around you that provide you with loving and affirming support.  

Who knows – you might help make them feel better, too!