“In the midst of change we often discover wings we never
knew we had.” – Ekaterina Walter
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, a lone gunman allegedly adapted an automatic rifle to open fire on thousands of attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time this blog was posted, more than 500 people were injured and 59 people died of injuries they sustained. This event has been called the worst single-shooting in modern American history, surpassing the carnage at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. Even before Sunday's shooting, however, various attacks ranging from a terrorist bombing during pop star Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, England, in May 2017 to vehicle and knife attacks on European streets have claimed countless lives.
These tragedies have required us to change not only an attitude or belief system, but our very way of life. If we can't be, let alone feel, safe at a concert or meandering down the street in a populated location, where can we go? It’s not an impossible thing to do, but at the moment tragedy strikes, it certainly seems that way. How do we go on after something like that?
Grief comes in many different forms, and each one of us grieves and mourns in different ways for the loss we have experienced. There is no time limit or restriction when it comes to feeling sadness, anger/rage or even in disbelief about the specific tragedy we have experienced. These emotions can feel overwhelming and often come in waves (versus “stages”). In one moment we laugh while we think about the special, loving, fun times with the person who has died; in the next, we can’t stop sobbing, inconsolable.
But it also at times like this that we usually discover, eventually, inner resources to keep on going, keep on living and keep on loving. With the love and support of other friends, relatives and social resources, we re-discover that source of inner strength we forgot we always had, the one that helped us get through a previous challenge or loss. Sometimes, it feels like learning how to walk for the first time: step by step, one foot in front of the other. Baby steps. And then, one day, we wake up and experience maybe one moment, an hour, or just a few seconds of optimism about something in our lives. It may not be complete happiness or joy, but just a flash of brightness—a sensation of lightness or collateral beauty—that reminds us that those other, positive, long-forgotten emotions are still possible.
Maybe not today or even tomorrow, but someday. And on days like these, that possibility is cause for hope and even motivation to take those steps.
Many people reading this blog know someone who was at the concert on Sunday when the gunfire started; some of you may have been there and was injured or even lost a friend or loved one on Sunday. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to all of the victims, survivors and family members and friends of this shooting. These senseless and tragic losses of life will always be remembered.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.