I always had trouble sleeping as a kid. I always wanted to sleep in my parents bed and every time I tried to sleep in my own bed there was somewhat of an emotional breakdown. I didn’t want to. I was so scared. And let’s face it, I ended up sleeping in my parents’ bed up until an age that most people would be horrified by. But every night, whether I was in my parents’ bed or not, ever since I was tiny I remember my Daddy saying as I was falling asleep, “don’t forget to say your prayers” in his most gentle voice.
He said it so much I stopped hearing it. I never even thought about him saying that much, let alone actually remembering to say my prayers, but as I got older I realized it was odd for a rather non-religious family to be reminded to say one’s prayers so often. As I’ve grown older I’ve also realized that there are many ways to find God that aren’t part of an organized religion, which feels like a relief to me and as I’ve realized that I have started really listening to my Daddy and saying my prayers at night. Because he showed me that prayers can be whatever you want them to be. When I can’t fall asleep or when I wake up in the middle of the night I start saying my prayers. They aren’t in Hebrew (I’m Jewish if you hadn’t figured that one out) and they don’t follow a pattern, it’s more of a list. I list all of the things I am grateful to God, or the Universe or whatever you want to call that big being out in the world and then I thank Him/Her/It for all of the amazing blessings I have found in my life. Everything from, thank you for that amazing orange I ate today, it was just the snack I needed and it was perfect to thank you for giving me Domi to be my partner in life and everything in between. Usually before I am even done saying my prayers I am back off in dreamland, as long as I don’t get sidetracked going over my to do list in my head…
My Daddy unknowingly gave me one of the most powerful tools at such a young age. Say your prayers, I heard it every night, but I really only started using it as an adult. I only really started to count my blessings the crazier things got in life.
I think that’s part of growing up though, you don’t realize how right your parents are until you’re old enough to be a parent yourself. (What a nightmare.) It’s the most peaceful way of going to sleep, the most beautiful, it is a feeling like no other to fall asleep only thinking of the wonderful things in life and all of the things you have to be grateful for. Even on days when you feel like there isn’t one thing you can think of, there’s always something because God/the Universe gave you, you and you are the greatest gift you could ever ask for in the whole world.