My junior year of college a friend and I were driving back from a ski trip during a Vermont snowstorm when I shifted gears and lost control. We swerved across several highway lanes into a ditch, flipped, and rolled three times before landing upside down. Somehow, despite the airbags not activating, we both climbed out unscathed. A couple days later, while trying to retrieve our luggage, I called the car wreck center. The person on the line did not believe who I was. “That’s not possible,” he said. “No one could have survived that.” Yet, somehow, we did.
Although we suffered no physical injuries, we did experience a profound mental change. We both felt profound inner peace and joked that we had become enlightened. This must be how it feels: deeply calm, yet gloriously joyful—filled with love and exuberance. We wanted to run around telling everyone, “Wake up! Be happy! You are ALIVE! Everything else is irrelevant—why in the world are you so stressed out?!” We could see clearly how petty our daily worries are, how sweating the small stuff is such a waste of energy, and how much we all have to be grateful for. We were on cloud nine.
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