When the unthinkable happens, it feels incomprehensible.
When I first got the news about the Las Vegas shootings, I was instantly crippled by fear and overcome with hopelessness. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it and struggled to understand why this had happened. Even now, I can’t make sense of it.
My heart aches for the victims, and my deepest condolences go out to their families, friends, and those affected by this senseless tragedy.
Thunderous and jarring, this pointless attack has shaken us to the core and left us trying to process a wide range of emotions that are likely to stay with us even after the headlines and media coverage subside.
It’s important to understand that you are not alone in these feelings of shock, grief, fear, and disillusionment. Even without a personal connection to the shootings, it’s expected and normal to feel emotionally impacted. Sadness, frustration, a sense of powerlessness, anger – anything you’re feeling right now is likely overwhelming and even a little numbing.
But You Are Not Alone. We’re All in This Together and Share the Emotional Impact
There are no words to adequately express the grief and outrage you’re likely feeling, no way to effectively convey your deep sense of loss or your struggle to understand why this has happened. It makes it more difficult to process your feelings and regain a sense of normalcy. There might also be a sense of guilt that you experience when your life returns to normal because you empathize with those whose lives were either lost or forever changed.
Despite the difficulty, I feel you should learn ways to cope when mass violence occurs.
I offer my prescriptions below, but there is one point that I’d like to emphasize before you scroll down and read them.
Don’t Let Fear Win
Typically, you go about your days feeling safe and protected. Then, unexpectedly, tragedy strikes, and that feeling of safety goes out the window.
The fear and distress that follow not only can physically affect you (trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, poor concentration, etc.), but they can also alter your perception and make the world feel far more dangerous than it is. Yes, the world can be dangerous, but it’s important to remember that there is more peace than you realize.
You don’t see most of it because violence and anarchy get more media attention and publicity.
First, think about any emotions that might be changing your perception of the world. Then, think about what you can do to change your world’s perception.
When You Work Through Your Emotions, You Strengthen Your Resilience and Find Your Way Back to Where You Can Once Again Function and Thrive
And while the world will never be a perfectly safe and violence-free place, you absolutely can get back to living your life without the need to look over your shoulder constantly.
A great way to set this healing process in motion is by getting involved and helping those in need.
Below Are a Couple of Options for Helping to Provide Immediate and Long-Term Support to Victims of the Las Vegas Shootings:
- The MGM Resorts Foundation has set up a special fund to help support victims, families, and the organizations that support their first responders. Click here to donate.
- Steve Sisolak, Chair of the Clark County Commission, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the victims and families. It has currently raised over $10 million. Click here to donate.
If you find yourself struggling to work your way through this, please look at my prescriptions below. They can help you cope with your grief, process your other emotions and focus your efforts on helping those whose lives have been forever affected.
The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.
- Accept that an intense range of emotions is expected. Be patient with yourself and those around you, as they may also be experiencing stressful reactions.
- Lean on your tribe. Talk to friends and loved ones. Your mutual emotional support will be reassuring and can help all of you get through this difficult time.
- Focus on the good in the world and choose to reach out to help others. It will trigger positive feelings and assist those in need.
- Don’t let fear win. Despite the inevitable tragic events, do your best to spread love and acceptance. Don’t make room for hate and fear.
- Seek professional help if needed. When you can’t function normally, you can’t stop thinking about the bad, you can’t sleep or eat, and you have a lot of anger or rage that isn’t normal for you, talk to your doctor and get help.