How I Learned to Live and Finally Let Go After Columbine

5 powerful lessons I learned from surviving the Columbine mass shooting

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Here are five powerful lessons I learned from surviving the Columbine mass shooting.

Lesson 1–To practice radical self-love rather than project your own insecurities on others. Believe in yourself, in others and in the Universe, even though at times that belief may feel inauthentic. I promise you, it’s not. It is likely doubt or fear trying to take over, which is completely normal. But the more you can consistently practice self-love and envision yourself at your highest form, the more you will encounter opportunities to thrive.

Lesson 2–To embrace growth rather than be a victim of circumstance. Instead, ask yourself: how can I grow from this experience? What can I learn?

Lesson 3–To practice gratitude as often as possible because a long life is not guaranteed. Each day offers an opportunity to be grateful not only for life, but for the people who encircle us and all the things we have that make our lives enjoyable. Life is truly a gift available for us to delight in every day that we have on this earth.

Lesson 4–To let go of all judgement because you never know what someone else is going through. Those who cross paths with you are like lights to guide you to new insights and vision. Lean into the light to find the path toward healing.

Lesson 5–To be kind in absolutely every interaction. Because kindness toward others reveals how kind you are to yourself–and it feels so good!

If we continue to form or reinforce borders between one another due to ethnicity, religion, social class or political regimes, we end up missing one of the most important reasons why we were divinely created–to interconnect and evolve.

To those who passed away during the Columbine mass shooting, my heart will always be with you. To those who survived, my hope is that you continuously strive to be the best version of yourself possible–because you were meant to impact others with your story and your light.

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.