3 Lessons of a Missile Threat

3 Lessons of a Missile Threat

Most mornings here in Hawaii are perfect, but for some reason, the serene and placid pacific dancing with the rising sunbeams of the day made this particular morning special. It was quiet, peaceful, the way a normal Saturday morning begins before the world wakes up. A friend had recently purchased a boat, and today was the day we’d take her on her maiden voyage. Taking selfies with my iPhone, I hummed along to the radio that I’d just turned on. The crunching gravel beneath heavy tires cued my friends and me to start unloading the boat. That’s when it happened.

In that instant, my stomach dropped 100 floors and adrenaline pumped through my veins. Hands shaking, the gravity of the situation sank in as I began to recount memories, loved ones, their voices, and all the possibilities that would remain as unfulfilled potential. With less than an hour (now having done my research, I know would have only had 12-20 minutes) before impact. The floodgates opened. As quickly as I physically could, I dialed. I dialed again, and again, and again, to those who meant most. On the other side, I was met with two things: Tears and “I LOVE YOUs.”

Walking into a friend’s home, I held my phone and my knees up to my chest. I sat down and kept dialing.

8:38am – FALSE ALARM

The sweet breath of relief, of hope, of endless possibility. It washed over me as I rewound my mind’s film reel.

As frustrating, and as emotionally distressing as this alert was, it brought up a few very important lessons.

1) LESSON 1: REINVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS. When confronted with the idea of death, NONE of the “stuff” mattered. The people who meant the most and the memories I shared with them did. All was forgiven. There was no room for anger or hate. All that remained was LOVE. So today on, I will forgive faster, let go of anger quicker, and consistently CHOOSE LOVE.

2) LESSON 2: SOMEDAY IS TODAY. Believing I left my “Bucket List” unfinished made me re-evaluate how I spent time – watching TV, on social media, in quarrels, SIMPLY EXISTING. I had “all this time” and now it’s gone. I still wanted to see all the continents, hike the Himalayans, get married. With a newfound appreciation for time—I plan to use it.

3) LESSON 3: APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS. When the threat diminished, I began to say “THANK YOU.” I savored the silliest things—my final meal wasn’t going to be a musubi, I’d get to see a sunset, I could feel the Pacific on my skin. I could also laugh with my family again. I appreciated all the little intricate details of my day and will do a better job of doing so.

My deep and sincere hope is this: Take away a renewed sense of existence. Meet the rest of our time with the intention of living instead of “existing.” #Live


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