When I was a professing Christian and said “I’m so thankful,” it meant that I was grateful to the Christian god. I continue to be a very thankful person, but now the gratitude that I used to send ‘upward’ has to go somewhere else.
A few weeks ago, I was pondering the many Thanksgiving Day dinners and other ‘feasts’ I had attended where not everyone was a theist. I recalled one such dinner where, as we all prepared to dig in, the hostess (not someone I would consider religious) said, somewhat awkwardly, “Um, shouldn’t someone say something?” In that case, her mother volunteered to say a traditional blessing, which all were able to appreciate. But if such an opportunity falls to me in the future, I know what I will say:
“We don’t all have the same beliefs, but I think we can all agree on this: To all the beings who have contributed to our happiness, our health and this wonderful meal, we are grateful. Amen?”
Fortunately, even without a personal god, there are many other entities to thank besides luck and karma.