A while back I watched Bird by Bird with Annie, a wonderful documentary about the lovely and amazing Anne Lamott. One scene stopped me short when I was watching it and remembering it never fails to put me in a state of radical gratitude:
Would you share your birthday wishes with us?
"My birthday wishes? You know, I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I can’t believe I turned out to be this well [laughs]. And I feel like the Elephant Man. I feel like I’m happy a lot of the time, ‘cause I’m loved. ‘Cause my life works and I got to be a writer when I grew up. You know, for all my complaints, it’s really all I ever wanted to do. There’s really nothing I need or want. Maybe a few more CDs is all."
Hearing her words made me realize how good my life is. I can always find a little something here and there that could be improved, but seriously, I have a beautiful life. I get a similar feeling listening to Alanis Morissette's "Thank U":
Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence
I love that this song genuinely thanks so many of the things I'm always dancing around and trying to avoid feeling. But the truth of the matter is that when I finally turn to those feelings, when I finally admit defeat, give up the dance, surrender, those very feelings bring me back to myself, bring me back to the present. And even if I'm in an uncomfortable place, I notice that the colors are brighter, I'm more in touch with my heart, I'm alive. And I'm thankful.