As I sit on the edge of my bed with only the nighttime light from the windows to keep me company, and as I get frustrated that the very act of sitting is loosening the tight stretch of the comforter on my bed, I attempt to aim my mind to the source of my strange discontent.
And without thinking about it, I drop to the side of my bed, kneel in the blackness, and pray.
I don’t want anything.
I have everything I want.
I need only one thing.
Someone to thank because I have everything I want.
And so, I pray. And I thank whoever might be listening.
I don’t know that I believe in God. I don’t believe in some guy up in the sky with a big beard and a lightning bolt ready to strike me down. But I don’t know that I don’t believe in God, either.
I don’t believe in organized religion.
I don’t know that I believe in anything outside of or beyond this life.
But I know, in this moment, more than I’ve ever known it before. I need someone else to thank because right now everything in my life is good and I feel like it is all my own doing.
And so, I pray.
I pray for an hour. Maybe two. I don’t know because I never look at a clock. I tell whoever is listening that I am thankful.
I am thankful for my closest friends, and our incredible relationships.
I am thankful for my family, and their genuine caring.
I am thankful for this apartment. For its cleanliness. For its decoration. For its feeling of home.
I am thankful for the time that I have with my child. I am thankful that he looks to me as his hero. His rock. His best buddy.
I am thankful for my body. For the health that I usually enjoy. For the health I am starting to feel again. For the strength that I have. For the perspective sickness always brings.
I stop praying.
Is anyone listening?
It doesn’t matter. God. Angels. The universe. Energy. Empty space. Maybe just a fly on the wall. I need someone, or something to thank. With every word that rolls off my tongue, I feel slightly happier. This disease is being taken from me as if by transfusion. I start to smile. Halfway through, I feel… happy. I feel content. I feel excited. And I keep going.
I am thankful for my lack of debt. For the income that comes in every month. For the ad networks that make this possible. For Babble Voices and the opportunities they give me.
I am thankful for my intellect. For my ability to learn. For my knowledge. For my ability to understand so much that others struggle to learn.
I am thankful for those who come to my blog every single day and for those who come every once in a while. For the people who share my content. For the people who leave comments. For the people who say kind things to me and encourage me to keep going. For the people who stand up for me when others are hurtful.
I am thankful for the people in other cars. I don’t know them. Some of them are driving to places to do things that will make my life better. They will make my life easier.
I am thankful for the people in my gym. For their determination. Their examples. Their strengths. Their weaknesses. Those who are stronger help me feel week so that I always push harder. Those who are weaker help me feel strong so that I am able to remember how far I’ve come..
I am thankful for the cool breeze that autumn has brought along with it.
I list dozens of other things for which I am thankful. Small things. Big things.
Then hundreds of other things.
To someone. Anyone. I don’t care.
I just need someone to whom I can be thankful.
I mean, I don’t want anything else right now.
I have everything I want.
How many people can honestly say that? I’m betting a very small percentage of the world’s population.
As I finally stand up and stare at the place I was just kneeling, I know that the more I get, and the better my life gets, the more I will inevitably know that it will never feel right to take the credit for it myself.
Somehow I know that none of it was my doing.
Happiness is not achieved through one’s own merits. Nor through one’s own efforts. It is achieved because one is thankful to someone or something else for everything.
Bring tomorrow. Bring the winter. Bring whatever life may.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Would love your comments. Do you ever experience having everything you want but feeling like something is missing? Have you found gratitude to be the cure the way I did?