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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

The keyword to finding gratitude this season

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We are entering the season of thanksgiving. Yet, 2020 has been a terrible year in so many ways. I think this little word right here is the key to finding gratitude for such a time as this.


I used to be a ‘but’ user.

When someone was going through something hard, I was quick to point out the good they had in their life.

“Yeah, but at least you have…”

I also did this to myself.

But, true gratitude does not come from denying our sometimes harsh realities. Instead, it is found when we look for goodness within them.

Right now, it may look a little something like this:

I am sad about our cancelled Thanksgiving Day plans AND I am grateful for the people within my own home who I will experience this holiday with.

I am stressed out about moving back to virtual learning AND I am grateful for the gift of technology.

I am tired of the uncertainty that 2020 keeps bringing AND I am grateful for the lessons this year has taught me.

When we erase ‘but’ and replace it with ‘and’, we reject the toxic positivity that is so prevalent in our culture. We take off our PR hats and become real with one another and ourselves. We can’t put this extraordinary existence in a nicely defined box. Life is complex. Life in 2020, even more so.

With ‘and’ there’s no positive spin. There’s no need to justify how we feel. It is both, it is all, it is ‘and’.

I find rest in the ‘and’ because it is where our difficult and beautiful realities lie. Being human in 2020 has been devastating AND goodness is still here. Yes, even here.

And for that, I am grateful.

Jillian Benfield is author of the free e-book 5 Spiritual Comforts for Special Needs Parents. You can find her writings at, Facebook and Instagram.


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