It’s Okay to Feel Scared, Angry, and Even Hopeful (just not Apathetic)

Photo Credit: SHTTEFAN on Unsplash
With Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas, NV, it’s definitely normal to have a whole heap of emotions running through you.

It was a tragic event where people were murdered and many more were injured. For many, their lives were changed forever in an instant. Many of us are grieving and trying to find a sense of normality in our own way.

If you’re scared, I want you to know that it’s okay to feel scared. The people who were attacked were going to a concert. Concerts in Las Vegas aren’t out of the ordinary, yet what happened was out of a nightmare. Many people viciously died and many more were hurt. It’s okay to feel less secure than you did before. With the rising frequency of mass shootings in the United States, it is perfectly normal to feel some degree of fear trying to lead a normal life.

It’s also okay to be angry. You can be mad at the shooter, at politicians about the ever-lasting gun control debate, and even at the world as a whole. How you feel is how people tend to feel when injustice happens.

During this time, if you feel a little bit of hope, that’s okay too. It’s normal for people to try to look at the bright side of tragic situations. It may be your way of coping with the stress of the aftermath of the event. Just because you’re being hopeful doesn’t automatically make you an insensitive person; it may mean that you’re trying to be a guiding light for others (and yourself).

It’s okay to feel all these different emotions, but I must tell you, it’s not okay to be apathetic. Being apathetic means that you don’t care or don’t care enough. Being apathetic means that you’ve been beaten down so much that don’t even want to think about trying. It means that you’re numb to the pain of the world and have lost your humanity. Our capacity to care for each other is what will help us rise above this calamity.

Roderick Conwi is a professional development coach and writes at Nourishment Notes about lifestyle development. He is also the author of The Procrastinator's Quick Guide To Getting It Done. To get powerful insights that enhance your day, join his free newsletter.

On Forgiveness

Photo Credit: Lucian Milas / CC0 1.0
Forgiveness is one of those hard topics to talk about. It’s one of those things that we say we should do, but is very hard to do. It means that we have to acknowledge our faults. It requires that we have to be vulnerable. At least one person has to admit that s/he was wrong.

Forgiveness usually exists in one of these forms: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, or asking for forgiveness.

Forgiving Others

Forgiving others may be the easiest of all since you get to admit that someone else is at fault, s/he is the one asking for forgiveness, and you’re the one who gets to forgive.

About a year ago, an old classmate of mine reached out to me on Facebook and apologized for being mean to me when we were kids. She was being vulnerable and I could tell she was being authentic. I told her that I forgave her and that it wasn’t something that scarred me. I knew we were kids and a lot of people, especially me, do dumb things because we don’t know any better. Luckily, it was something I was able to let go sometime in my youth.

Sometimes it’s better to forgive someone even if no one asked for forgiveness at all. If you wait for an apology, you may never get it. If you’re able to let go of the pain, then you’ll live your life a whole lot lighter and you’ll get to be the bigger person.

Years ago, I used to have a supervisor who didn’t have a lot of integrity. A lot of people, including myself, felt that were were being treated unfairly. Like most sane people, I left. She never said goodbye, wished me well, or apologized for being a crappy boss. I wouldn’t expect it anyway; it’s out of her character. Although I would never work with her again, I have put my experienced with her behind me. Holding onto any type of bitterness, however small, would be toxic.

Forgiving Yourself

Forgiving yourself requires you to look honestly at yourself and your past, acknowledge that you did something wrong, and confront that. It’s something that could take years to accomplish.

I know I’m not a perfect person, but I try to be as close to it as possible. I’ve said stupid or hurtful things. I’ve let people down. I’ve beat myself up about things that’ve already happened. I can’t do anything to change the past, but I can learn to forgive myself.

Asking for Forgiveness

Asking for forgiveness is probably one of the hardest things in the world to do. This is where you really are vulnerable and eat humble pie. This is where you admit that you’re at fault, and it’s entirely up to someone else to forgive you. They could forgive you, or not. It’s their choice. Either way, the outcome is out of your hands.

About a year ago, I apologized to a friend of mine that I used to be close with. I didn’t keep contact for about 8 years or so. I was a bad friend. Out of grace, she came back into my life and I told her that I was sorry for not being there for her all these years. Fortunately, she understood that our lives got busy and we’re in a better place now.

Last Thoughts

There are times when it’s easier to forgive than others, but I’m a big believer in forgiving, but not forgetting. If someone wronged me or I wronged someone, it’s a life lesson to be learned. I’m not going to make the mistake again. If someone wronged me, I may trust them again, but within reasonable limits. If someone flaked out on me and apologized, I’d forgive them, but not rely on their punctuality in the future.

Being able to forgive is something that we are blessed to be. Forgiveness makes the world a kinder, more compassionate place.

Roderick Conwi is a professional development coach and writes at Nourishment Notes about lifestyle development. He is also the author of The Procrastinator's Quick Guide To Getting It Done. To get powerful insights that enhance your day, join his free newsletter.