Finding the Gift when You’ve Been Discriminated Against…

I’ll bet you’re thinking, “What the heck!  There is no possible way to find any gifts in discrimination…Karen is truly losing her mind.  How sad for her.”  Hey, I appreciate your concern…it means a lot to me! And you know how I am…

I believe that there is always a light shining in the dark.  This is no different.

Let me explain…

I recently helped one of my closest friends unravel an experience where she was discriminated against for being gay.  My friend is a 30-year Navy veteran who served her country, just as I did, in the closet mostly under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell era.  Now retired and out of the closet, she encountered this discrimination in a WWII Veteran organization that she has volunteered with for almost 20 years.  She loves these veterans and has passionately given a lot of her time, heart, and energy to this group. Then one day recently, she read a homophobic letter from one of the volunteers who was being rejected by the group for racist, sexist and homophobic emails. After reading it, I think she did what every normal human being does when someone judges them…he traveled from disbelief, to being hurt, to self-righteousness and resentment.  Finally, she looked for validation from others as she was seeking firm ground and for someone else to tell her that she was okay.

But what if there was a deeper lesson for her to unravel here?

What if this discrimination was an opening to look inward and discover the part of herself that was looking for internal validation?  What if there is no other person in the world can make her feel better than she can for herself?  What if the gift was in finding the connection to her truth, the one that is saying, “His opinion is his.  How do I really feel about myself?”  This is the gift that was given my good friend and her courage to get honest with herself and her feelings was a huge gift that she shared with me.

We sat down and recorded this video about her experience and her gifts, that she never saw coming:  How to Find the Gift when You’re Discriminated Against…

I encourage you to watch it, as she and I have received many messages from people (all sorts of human people 🙂) struggling with the “opinions of others” in their lives.  It’s a great lesson to learn and has helped me tremendously in my own life and in the work that I do with others.

Discrimination is ugly and keeps us on opposite fences.  Discrimination hurts…whether you’re the discriminator or the recipient.

In this situation, discrimination was projected from a man who felt rejected.  He was hurt and did what many people do…he lashed out in an attempt to not take self-accountability and to deflect his own pain.  It worked for a moment.  But then it provided an insight to my friend…a priceless one that she wouldn’t have received without his self-righteous judgment.

People are going to have good and not so good opinions of you…those opinions are theirs, not necessarily your truth.

If there is a part of you that believes what that person says about you, thank them and then look inward.  Ask yourself, “What part of me believes that opinion (good or bad) to be my truth?”  The only opinion of you that truly matters is the one you have of yourself.  Just an opinion…

Published by Karen Solt

I am an Emotional Wellness Coach, YouTuber, Blogger, and activist for peace, unity, freedom, equality and connection. I hold a Masters in Psychology (Counseling) and am passionate about helping others. A retired Navy Senior Chief veteran, I have had various life experiences that have created my unique style of coaching. I remain curious about the human experience and am beyond grateful for the life I share with my fabulous dog, Paco. You can learn more about me and my work at,, or you can reach me at

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