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Enduring and surviving the 2004 Tsunami in South East Asia that killed 250,000 people, including my boyfriend, was my lemon. Finding love, generosity and a new way to live fully and beautifully was my lemonade.
When I heard my dear friend, Samantha Harris, was launching a new website called GottaMakeLemonade.com, I just loved the idea of taking adversity and viewing it through a different lens. Of making lemonade out of the unfortunate things that happen to us. It doesn’t make those things less painful, or less difficult. But it helps us live with them. And maybe even makes us live better.
Surviving the Tsunami in 2004 was that life changing moment for me. Wow. I can’t believe it’s coming up on the 10 year anniversary. Some days it seems like it just happened yesterday and other days it feels like a lifetime ago. It was the most frightening thing I have ever lived through; the devastation and loss of it all still takes me breath away. It’s true how life can change in the blink of an eye. For me, and for everyone who was touched by the tragedy. For a very long time I thought I would never laugh again. I felt like this terrible sadness was going to be my “new normal.” It was hard to sleep, eat, to even talk…let alone imagine my life as it had been. But as the days passed I slowly started to come back to myself and something else started becoming very clear. And that was how incredibly loved and supported I was. People showed up for me in the smallest – and biggest – of ways. I learned to accept help and was in awe of the generosity and kindness I was shown. This was a gift of that experience. I also became very, very clear about what really mattered. Deep, soulful connections with people…I have no time now for insincerity. Life is too short. And it’s too short to not wake up every morning, and love what you do and the people in your life. To this day, I don’t know how I managed, but I did. That I got to still be here? It became a very powerful motivator for me to live and to love fully. To be grateful for every moment. It still is, almost 10 years on.
For more on Nate, please visit: http://www.nateberkus.com/when-life-hands-you-lemons/