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I keep a gratitude list most days of the week, and there is nothing on any of my lists that you would find remarkable or surprising. As someone who has chronic paranoid schizophrenia not being psychotic and having a loving partner are reasons for intense and radical gratitude every day, along with the ability to appreciate and participate in what most people would find mundane.

So, this year my Thanksgiving post is not about me, but about you. It is not about giving thanks, but holding space for hope. As someone who frequently feels voiceless and on the outside of every community I try to fit in and belong to, I hope you find acceptance because acceptance can be a deep and sacred desire. I hope it for you.

I hope that no matter how violent, infuriating, discouraging, and stress-inducing the news is that you can find time to turn it off and enjoy reading, writing, watching a movie, having coffee or a conversation with a friend. I hope you make time for yourself and the pleasures in life despite the 24/7 cycle of bad news.

I hope that you have someone, near or far, that you can be your authentic self with. Someone who can see you in trying times, the best times, the worst times, your highs, your lows and everything in between.

I hope that this year you will make a new friend, learn a new skill, get a new job, publish an essay, sell a photograph or anything else that would fill your heart with joy.

Most of all, I hope you have love. I hope that you give it and receive it. I hope that you bask in its power and wake to its glory. I hope that it surrounds you day and night and that you never, not once, forget that it exists in the universe and is free and open to us all.