But my favorite quote, the one that has, by far, changed my life the most, is: "Be thankful for everything", Shannon O'Bryan. Shannon isn't a philosopher, author or a book character. She's my closest friend, like a twin sister, for about 7 years now.
We have marathon talks. Hours of just talking about everything from our hair and nails to the way we think energy creates the worlds around us. I love our conversations.
The conversation about gratitude that happened on March 22, 2013 was the most life altering conversation I've ever had. It was perhaps, the most life altering moment of my life. I know the date because it was the same day we had our aura pictures (mine is above) taken.
I've never had such an "aha" moment. She told me to be grateful for everything. I told her that I know how important it is to be thankful, and that I am. "There's a lot in my life that I have to grateful for. I recite them in the morning." She told me that she meant to be grateful for all things. Like a caveman, I insisted, "I am". She knows me incredibly well, and she could see that I wasn't getting it, and I know she somehow knew that I needed to hear this. So she very patiently said, "I mean everything, the good the bad, your thoughts, your moods, mean people, all of it".
It was like a bolt of lightening through my body, I'll never forget it. There was literally a physical sensation of electricity running through my body. It was as if I had been asleep and just woke up; my body came fully to life. It was amazing. I had this incredible new understanding and I knew in that moment that my life would never be the same. My world was a new color.
I think what I was feeling was a moment of enlightenment. My entire outlook had changed. It now seems like everything, "good" and "bad", has a divine purpose. From my new awareness of my very limited perspective, I now know that I could never possibly have a clue what that is, but I do know that everything is part of a grand design. Who would have ever thought that becoming aware of how limited your perspective is would be so thrilling? But it was, it helped me to sense an invisible connection with a sense that i didn't know i had before. There's this peaceful knowing within me (when I remember) that everything serves the universe and helps it to expand and grow.
Now, when I witness violence and injustice, it's with new eyes. I have compassion for suffering, and wish all being's could be free of it, but I no longer feel like there's no meaning to it. Where I once saw victims and felt pity and disgust at events that shouldn't have occurred, I now see divinity at work for a higher purpose that I can't possibly understand.
After we talked we went to get our monthly aura photo taken, and mine was filled with pink and white. I'd never had these colors appear. The lady interpreting it said that white meant enlightenment and that hue of pink was unconditional love. It was on my left side which meant I was receiving enlightenment and unconditional love. I wasn't surprised.