Grace and Gratitude

I remember a moment many years ago, when I was at a low point in my life. A stranger asked about my day, and I decided to tell him. Then he told me his story, which bore some similarity to mine.  I felt seen and heard.  Even more, it was as if the clouds blocking the sun in my soul parted.  That was a moment of grace for me.

We say a person acts with grace when they respond to a difficult situation with kindness, thoughtfulness, and empathy. Because of that act of grace from a stranger, I was able to alter my world view and my circumstances.

Grace is derived from the Latin gratus/gratia meaning thankful.  It implies that a person who is acting with grace, acts in gratitude.

Some claim that grace equals divine intervention.  Whether you believe that to be true, or believe otherwise, there are three things you can do to bring grace into your life every day.

  • Focus on gratitude. Whatever we focus on becomes what we notice.  Ever notice how many red cars there are when you decide you want one?  Or the huge number of people with brown curly hair if your new lover happens to be one of these? If you haven’t tried, try focusing on gratitude for a day and see how it changes that day for you.
  • Practice humility. True humility isn’t about being or feeling humiliated.  Quite the contrary. It’s about knowing exactly who you are.  A person who practices humility knows their limits, and also knows what they’re capable of, without any pretense or hiding.
  • Shine for others to see. Have the light shine on you so that others can see it and then see it in themselves (from Oprah on being famous with grace). Be humble, but don’t be shy.

Cheryl Strayed – on Humility


Quote of the Week
Grace is the instinct for knowing when to stop. And where. –Charles Wright

At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  As a registered psychotherapist and stress coach, I offer individual one-on-one consultations. For more information, visit my website or contact me directly at




One thought on “Grace and Gratitude”

  1. I can personally vouch for the power of gratitude. Last year, I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed. I eventually realized that I was focusing my attention and energy on the things in my life that I was not happy about. After meeting a group of people whose situations were FAR more overwhelming than mine, I realized that I have a lot to be grateful for. I decided that instead of putting my attention into what I felt was lacking, I’d focus on the good stuff. To do that, I started making daily “gratitude posts” on Facebook. I’ve since shifted over to Instagram for this, but the idea is the same – each day I post a photograph of something I’m grateful for. This simple act has changed my life for the better. I find that I spend much more time thinking about the good stuff and much less lamenting the bad.
    At first, I was busy and didn’t get around to posting, so I set an alarm on my phone for mid-afternoon in case I haven’t posted by that time. The simple fact that I’ve committed to post every day keeps my mind focused on the good. In practical terms, this means that many times a day, my thoughts are positive.
    I only have so much mental energy to spend. By spending it on positive things, I have less for the negative. It’s kind of like real magic.

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