Triggering Example

Trigger EmotionNo matter how much I progress, I find myself becoming triggered by past problems. Every time this happens, I feel like I’m reverting back to a time when I could solve my problems. I feel like all the progress I have made has been for nothing. Again, I’m trapped in my misery with no way out. I’m trapped and stuck.

Ready for Disaster

Normally, when I’m in this bad place, I recognize it and start to write about it. Writing about gets me to a place where I can understand why I’m feeling trapped in this Shadow. Then I can Feel and Deal with my emotional pain.

For me to do this, I have a “safe” place I can go to. My “safe” place is upstairs in our room where I can lock the door, lay down and write.

We’ve recently moved. I don’t have an upstairs bedroom. I do have a room with a door I can lock. But since our move and my most reason problem of experiencing a seizure and dislocating both of my shoulders, I’ve been sleeping on the couch. My spot in our bed is taken up with clean cloths that need to be put away.

As you can see, this is a situation ready for disaster.

Disaster #1

Trigger EmotionDuring our weekly family movie night, I go to sit down in the only spot that will protect my hurting shoulders. As I’m walking to my spot, my oldest boy walks past me and accidentally bangs his head on my broken/recovering shoulder. I got into “fight” mode and yell at him with pain in my eyes. At this point, I’m triggered. I’m not certain what I’m triggered into (we’ll find out at the end).
Of course, he’s sorry and didn’t do it on purpose and I apologized for exploding. In my defense, it did hurt (more emotionally that physically as it turns out).

Disaster #2

Trigger EmotionI know I’m triggered and I know I have to deal with whatever it is. I’m feeling helpless and not in control. I’m in a deep shadow and need to deal with it.

I go to find my safe place, but my spot on the bed is covered in clothes. Yes, I can push them off, but I’m not feeling taken care of. I feel trapped and all alone. I feel that nobody’s trying to help me even though I’m yelling in pain (all in my head of course).

I’m in this shadow deep.

Disaster #3

Trigger EmotionIt turns out my wife has been dealing with the children all day and needs a break. She slips away for some quiet time at the end of the day and I’m left to put the children to bed. Of course, she doesn’t know I’m in shadow since I’m pretty good at hiding it.

This just add to my triggers of being abandoned and helpless in my pain. I am unable to reach out to her and ask for her help (this is the shadow part of me).

We end up sleeping separately and not talking to each other.

Morning Coffee

Finally, the morning comes. I’m unable to get more than 3 hours of sleep since I’m so deep in my misery. I know there’s one thing I can do to get on the good side with my wife. I can make her coffee.

No matter how bad I screw it up. I can make things better by bringing my wife a freshly made cappuccino. Nothing says “I love you” and “I’m sorry” more than waking up early and making my wife coffee.

We talk a little about our feelings (actually, she talks and I just cry because I can’t face my feelings yet). She understands I need to “feel and deal” and get’s me a pen and notebook and finds me a safe place to write.

Emotional WritingFeeling and Dealing

I start to write, but writing itself is painful (with dislocated shoulders). The main points I come up with are:

  • I’m in pain
  • Nobody can help me

After what seems hours (probably about 15 minutes), in my emotional exhaustion, I lay down in my bed. My arms try to find a comfortable spot but I can’t get comfortable. I find myself more trapped lying down. I get this sense that I’m in a lot of pain. I find I’m crying out for my mommy. I feel like nobody can hear me and people are hurting me.

I feel more pain and abandonment. Abandonment like someone who fell down into a dark pit. Nobody’s around to help. I cry out for help, but there’s nobody to hear me. Or, there are people who hear me, but they can’t help me. I’m stuck.


Then it hits me like a flash of lightning.

I remember a story Kate told me about my seizure. How I was being strapped into the gurney by the paramedics. How I was calling out for help. I was calling out for my mommy. Kate was trying to reassure me, but I was in so much pain.

I was reliving that moment. I was triggered into that place.

Once I realized this, I was able to again feel those horrible feelings of pain and abandonment. I was able to feel and deal with them.

I felt like a huge weight was lifted from me. The pain I was feeling was gone (not all the way gone, but back to my normal amount of pain).

That is what it’s like to be triggered, find the pain and deal with it. It’s an emotional process, but now I’ve dealt with it. I won’t have to deal with that painful event again. This process I found helps to find those emotionally or physically painful events in our life and finally deal with them.


Emotion of JoyOnce a week, our family has a movie night where we order pizza, puppy-pile on the couch and watch a movie. Since this movie’s main character is a 11 year old girl that mostly deal with feelings, I was worried my young boys couldn’t relate.

Boy was I wrong!

The movie I we watch is called Inside out and focuses on the emotions of a young girl who moves from the east coast to San Francisco. Each emotion is personified in some unique characters:

  • Joy
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Disgust

Since first watching this movie, my boys have seen it about 20 times watching it over and over again. This movie has some great depth to it with each watching, I discover something deeper on these emotions and how they interact.

Also, this movie is the first time my boys can personify their own emotions and how they work to form their views and understandings.

I came to a great realization about my emotions from this movie a few days ago. Just as in the movie, we are also moving from one house to another. As in this movie, we found that moving is stressful and requires a lot of work.

Jump for JoyDuring our move, my middle boy said to me, “You seem to have too much anger at your controls.” I responded with, “Okay, let’s have Joy run the show.” At that point, I changed my voice into a high pitch, happy-go-lucky voice and just shower out the joy. I mean, I’m rolling out all the joy I can gather. I’m really laying it on thick just like Joy from the movie. Especially when things get really hard, I just dig deeper to spread the joy.

At first, the other boys didn’t know what happened to me and were concerned I was having another seizure (see my Helplessness post). My oldest boy looked at me in all seriousness and said, “Who are you and what did you do with my dad?” After the shock wore off, everyone started popping with the same joy I was using. The mode of the whole move and work change from drudgery into fun and joy.

Later in the day after our joyful fun, I started feeling really down and depressed. I was feeling extra sensitive and ready to snap at anything. I didn’t understand what was going on, but I was self aware to know something was wrong with my emotional state.

I said my standard, “I have to take care of something,” to my wife and locked myself in our room and lay down with the covers over my head. Once I started to get into bed, I was already starting to tear up.

“What’s wrong!” I said to myself (with the attitude of “What the hell?”). I clearly had the thought of, “Nobody ever acted like that for me when I was a kid.” “My father didn’t do anything like that for me.” “If I was a kid and I said anything like that, I’d be in trouble and get punished!”

Then, all the emotions I had came bursting out of me.

  • Jealousy
  • Anger
  • Fear

At this point, I had to feel and deal with my feelings of jealousy and anger. I was click here jealous that my father would have never done anything like that for me. Angry that my children have a father who would dig down really deep to become a joyous and fun leader to help them through their work. I was enter site afraid that I was a horrible father who would have jealous feeling over his children.

Once I felt those emotions, I was able to reassure myself that I was okay. That I was going to be the father that I never had. I was able to be silly and joyful even in tough times. I was able to enjoy the fun I had with my children.

Now, I still need to exercise my “joy” muscles so it comes more natural.

Anger and Love

Of the many problems I experience with my emotions is the blending of Anger and Love. When my parents were mad at me I learned about the emotion of anger.  Since there wasn’t an expression of love in my house as I grew up, I never experience the blending of anger and love before.

Some how I equated anger with not loving.

Now my Wife enters the picture

My wife is constantly mad at me.  Whenever my wife is mad at me, that loving emotion I experience from her is removed from my world.  Since she is mad at me, I perceive that she no longer loves me (which is a very scary thing for a child to loose the love of his mother1.  At this point in my shadow world I end up using my passive aggressive skills (which end up making things worse, like pouring gasoline onto the fire):

  • Try to convince her that I didn’t do it
    • I didn’t do it
    • It’s some else’s fault for her anger
  • Try to convince her the anger she feels isn’t valid

As you might guess, these never work. I’m just a terrified child in shadow trying to gain the love of his mother.


In reality, my wife loves me very much.  She can hold an angry emotion and still love me.  During one of our fights2, my wife got really mad with me. She stormed up stairs as a total rejection of her love for me (again my perceptions/projections). She came down moments later while she was still mad, put her arms around me and said, “It makes me mad when you do X, but I still love you.”

At this point, my world crashed. I broke down like a little baby and cried and cried. I couldn’t understand how she could be mad at me, but still have love for me.

Many times, we would have arguments that would go unsolved. My perception was she hated me and wanted nothing to do with me. With our unresolved argument, my wife would go about her life like normal and ask me what I wanted for dinner (or something inane like that). I’d stare at her in disbelief. One time I even mentioned, “How can you ask me that? Are you not aware that you’re mad at me?”

I never understood the combination of Anger and Love.

Mixing Anger and Love

Anger and Love
You can be angry with someone and love them at the same time.

After many fights/arguments, my wife realized she needed to use the phrase3, “I get really mad at you when you do X, but I still love you.” After she used it on me, when she came down (from upstairs) and gave me a hug, she looked me in the eye and told me this. That’s what really broke me down. This phrase is used constantly in our house; with each other and with our children.

I’m beginning to understand that a loved one can be angry with someone and love them at the same time. My second born is at the age of understand that I seem to be stumped at. He also cannot understand the mixing of anger and love. There have been many times when I’m mad at him and he responds with the same anger. I tell him, “I’m mad at you when you do X, but I still love you.” He responds with, “No you don’t! You don’t love me! You’re mad at me!” My only response is to give him a big hug (which is a bit hard when you’re mad).

This concept really hit home when my wife found a picture of an angry old man. This man in his anger was still holding an umbrella to protect his wife while he sat in the rain. With all the anger this old man had for his wife, he was still loving enough to protect her.

It’s amazing how an image can explain the mixing of such emotions.  Now we use the phrase, “I’m mad at you, but I still love you.”  Or we hold up an imaginary umbrella for the other person and that explains it all.

1 get link Yes, she’s my wife but she is also a mother figure. At this point, I’m in shadow and dealing/projecting childhood emotions, so she is a mother figure. This might be great content for another post.
2 I’ve forgotten what the fight was about, but I probably did something wrong, got caught and tried (as a terrified child) on of my passive aggressive methods to bring back my mother’s love.
3 Essay Writting Service It still makes me tear up just thinking about it.

Seeing Other Shadows and Monsters

It’s hard being in reality

Shadow Monster
Seeing other people’s shadow sheds light on my own shadows.

After taking the red pill, find myself staying on the actual side of reality. I usually stay on this side of reality unless I’m triggered and end up in shadow. When I’m in reality, I ketch glimpse of others who are in shadow and I feel like Neo1 who understands how the matrix works and sees people trapped in the matrix.

It’s really hard not to engage people in shadow since I feel I’ve been where they are at. Unfortunately, I also realize being in shadow alters your perception of reality. No matter what I say, there’s not much that will break them free from the world they are in.

Here’s what I saw

As a treat, my family eats at Baja Fresh (a Californian/Mexican food place).  As an additional treat, we visit the local bookstore and buy each kid a book. While in the children’s section of this big book store, a father found his lot 4 year old daughter. Of course, I’m not certain how you con loose your children when they are in the “Children’s” section of the book store2.

This father proceeded to scold her for being lost to the point of making her cry.

Now let me add that it’s a scary experience to loose a child. Any parent would be in panic mode with the thoughts of what would happen to your lost child.

But, is it necessary to make your 4 year old daughter cry because you were scared?

Past Emotions Projected onto the Present

I’d imagine that father was experiencing past emotions. It seemed that father was re-living a past memory when he was made to cry after being lost.

I’m sure a balanced father would experience anger, but I would hope a balanced father would not actively participate in making his 4 year old daughter cry.

I find it’s a major clue a person is in shadow when their reasoning isn’t sound or is child like.  This father was defending his actions to his wife with the childlike excuse of “She made me do it!”

I would like to think I’m at the point in my progression where I can see myself and others “in shadow.” My wife gives me a look and is able to say, “There’s something else going on here that you need to deal with.” If it’s a very deep emotion, I’ll fight my instincts and hold onto that shadow reality. In the end, I end up facing the truth of reality. I just hope I don’t look that pathetic as a father making his 4 year old cry.3

It seems once you’re able to see past the primal emotions of others and realize they are having the same problems I have helps to relate to the world.  I don’t see it as an excuse (“he’s doing it too, so I should be able to”).  I see it more as the progress I have made and I am at the point where I can see it in others.  I can see myself in them.  It reminds me how often I can slip back into that role of being the monster.

1 I am not trying to equate myself to Neo nor some Christ figure. In no way am I capable of Neo’s skills nor Christ’s everything.
2 Hello!? It’s a book store with a children’s section!? Reminds me of when Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the Temple and Jesus answers with, “Hello!?, I’m in the temple!? Where else would I be?! Of course, he didn’t say this, but I paraphrased Luke 2:49
3 No matter how hard I fight against the truth of reality, I always end up looking like a little boy throwing a temper tantrum. Not like the man I’m created to be.

Redirection – the Art of not Feeling/Dealing

Emotional Redirection
Emotional redirection is used to mask our true emotions since those are more difficult to deal with.

My wife caught me redirecting.

I’ve been pretty good at dealing with my feelings lately and catching potential problems and Feeling and Dealing with emotions. Every-so-often, something slips through and I get triggered.

What I mean by “triggered” is something happens in the present that sets off alarm bells from the past. The best way to explain this involves something happening when my brain is brought back to a point in my childhood along with the emotions I had in the past.  This sets my brain in an emotional state in my past while I’m experiencing the present moment.

In this case, I came home and was disappointed that my wife didn’t do something for me. Before this disappointment, I was feeling some great happiness because I got a new toy I’ve always wanted.  Now with this mixture of happiness followed by disappointment triggered me back to my past when I had the same emotions except things went fro okay to bad with no normal explanation for my young brain to figure out.

So now, my emotional state is that of extreme fear.  Something really bad is about to happen to me. I was happy, and now I’m disappointed.  These emotions usually followed me getting in trouble and spanked.

I was in extreme fear mode.  I had to divert attention away from me before I get in trouble and spanked (see, my mind’s in the past – adults needn’t fear spankings).  Someone is getting spanked and it’s not going to be me.  This is when I am most deceitful because I’m in a life or death struggle to not get spanked.

By the way, this is all in hindsight.  Now that I’m out of this mode, I can look back and understand my mindset was in the past.  There is no father figure that will spank me.  I’m not a little kid who’s in fear of his life because he’ll get a spanking.

If, at that moment, you asked me if I was having a problem, I would flat out deny anything was wrong.  You see, if I actually admitted I was having a problem, then I would surly be in trouble and the world would truly come to an end for me (again, I’m in my shadow world or living in a past emotion).

This is when I am the luckiest man in the world. I have a wife who I’ve come to trust. She is strong and aware enough to recognize when I’m in this shadow. I trust her enough that no matter what’s going on in my head/world, she can just say:

  • I think there’s something you need to deal with.
  • You seem to be having problems.
  • Something’s not right.

There are definitely times when I go kicking and screaming that nothing’s wrong (which is a sure sign that my emotions are in the past). At this point, I have to feel it and deal with it.

Hardened Heart

Something I noticed the other day that came to me during done reading I’ve been doing on the saints (Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila). I have a hardened heart.

You might ask what is a hardened heart? This is a heart that doesn’t take pleasure in anything. It’s a heart that isn’t allowed to experience joy .

I do understand the concept of pleasure is and joy. I understand there are times when I should be experiencing these emotions. When these emotions happened to me, I would acknowledge as an outside observer and never accept these feelings of pleasure and joy.

Hardened Heart
Accepting your own emotions allows your heart to feel again.

With a hardened heart, it was like someone giving me a cookie that I would graciously receive, but never allow myself to eat due to some twisted sense of unworthiness.

With my hardened heart, I was unable to receive these freely given pleasure and joy. As if my heart was encrusted in a rock shell that protected it from damage it received in the past.

Recently, I realized my heart had this rock shell surrounding it. I didn’t really know (or want to know) how to break my heart free.

When you have a tough steak, there is a special mallet used to bat the steak to tenderize it.

All my emotional situations have become perfect ways to tenderize my hardened heart. For the last week, whenever I had an emotional problem, I used those moments to breakaway the rock surrounding my heart.

It has been a painful process, but I would imagine such a process would be painful. After all, anytime there is growth, there is always some pain involved.

With my tender heart, I am beginning to finally enjoy some pleasurable moments.

Emotional Strength

I always thought I was presented with emotional situations as a torment in my life. Every time I find myself in an emotionally jealous situation, I feel in a bottomless pit of despair. Some part of me aches for a reason I’m put in this situation.

During my morning walk, the true reason came to me.

All of these situations I deal with are strengthening my emotional health in some way. With each of these emotional episodes, I find them a little easier to handle than before.

Emotional Strength
Emotional moments are just opportunities to strengthen our emotional muscles.

When I find I’m having problem with my emotions, I feel set back in the moment. As if all the work I’ve been doing for the past 10 years has been for naught. After I feel and deal with my emotions, I realize my emotional outbursts weren’t as bad as previous times.

It’s like I’m going through a training program to improve my emotional strength. As if there is some future emotional triathlon that I need to train for.

I would imagine if someone saw the patience I now have with my family and emotions, they would think I’m some kind of emotional super hero. I’d just say, I have had some good training so far, but I do have my bad days (just like everybody else).

Emotions of Fear

Emotions from FearAs true men, we have emotions that stem from everything thing I do. Daily life of family and work can create situations ripe for emotions to flourish.

Of the emotions I experience, I find them fitting into 2 main categories. These categories color my emotions. The categories also reveal the undercurrents my emotions have. By understanding which category my emotions land in, I can better understand where these emotions are rooted and point to the underlying properties that sparked these emotions.

At our basic and simplest emotional level, we have 2 categories of emotions. When we boil down our emotions to it’s core feeling, they ultimately involve:

  • Fear
  • Love

As you can understand if you’ve been following my emotional progress, I will experience an emotional outburst that disrupts my life. Once I realize I’m having an emotional problem, I examine the emotions I’ve experienced and explore the reasons behind them. Once I reflect on bases of my emotions, I can trace them back to either Fear, Love, or both.

Lets examine emotion from Fear.


Fear is the most powerful emotion in our arsenal of feelings. It’s a primitive reaction that preserves our lives by preventing us from doing things that will cause us harm.

When my emotions arise out of fear I shutdown to all other emotions. The fearful emotions overwhelm all other emotions and leave me with only this base threat.

Most of the time, these fearful emotions are just knee jerk reactions. Sometimes these emotions are an auto-response emotion. I don’t want to deal with the underlying emotion that is too painful to handle at the time

Only when I take a step back and reflect on the feelings can I really understand the true nature behind the emotion.


The feeling of sadness is an emotion resulting in loss. With loss, I am afraid of never having what I want. Losses can revolve around stature, hope, trust, health, life, or companionship.

Sadness can come from grief, dread, or grieving.


The emotion of dread is not just a fear I have. Dread is an emotion that stems from a known fear that you must face. Dread is the knowledge of having to face your worst fear.


A panic attack is like having a mini heart attack. Panic attacks are serious events that are impossible to understand if they haven’t been felt, which is why those that have experienced a panic attack often live in fear of experiencing another one.


All of us feel some anxiety from stress, such as nervousness or butterflies before a date or job interview.

This anxiety is a normal part of daily life and the “fight or flight” response to stress. It can even motivate us do our best or solve problems and make changes in our lives. For many people, however, anxiety and panic attacks start interfering with daily life and activities. When this happens, it’s worth getting help. Anxiety disorders are common and treatable, and don’t have to control your life.

In my next blog post, I will explore the emotions that stem from Love.

Stressful Emotions

Stressful Emotions
Negative emotions arise from stressful situations.

Negative emotions arise from stressful situations. In stressful situations, us men get into “fight or flight” mode. When these emotions overrun, we feel out of control and the problems get worse and worse. I had a recent situation where I along with my family was tired and hungry. Everyone was on their last threads and ready to break.

Recently, I found myself driving a minivan fill with my family including our pet dog and pulling a trailer filled with our weekend of camping gear (we don’t pack lite when camping).

After 5 days of camping and a 3 hour drive, we needed some lunch and decided to pull off the freeway to an “In and Out” restaurant. This didn’t seem like a big deal, so you know stress is around the corner.

As I exit the freeway I find myself driving behind a bicyclist who’s wearing a backpack with a small BBQ tied to it. Not only that, this bicyclist is playing “air” drums while riding (which should be against some law). I wouldn’t be bothered much if he was actually listening to music, but there were no headphones to be seen.

Now, I’ve ridden bicycles before while doing some crazy things:

  • Eating a watermelon
  • Talking on the phone
  • Walking a dog1

But I’ve never done these things while in the middle of the street with other cars behind me. Also, I was always in full control of my bicycle in the bike lane. I was never swerving all over the car lane. This rider was clearly beating to a different drum.

Did I mention before we had been camping for the past 5 days in the wilderness just 10 miles from the border with Mexico.2 Did I also mention we were overdue for some lunch and I have 3 small hungry boys who have been stuck in our minivan for the past 3 hours.

They all wanted to tell me their “In and Out” needs at the same.

  • Did I mention they were tired and hungry?
  • Did I mention that I was tired and hungry?

You can imagine the “Fight or Flight” mode I had in this situation. Unfortunately, I couldn’t “flight” since I was trapped in a car, in a drive-thru. I was in “fight” mode and had no one to actually fight. I should’ve been in a fight against myself, but the only ones I could fight was those around me; my loved ones.

We seem to have 2 types of emotions. Emotions from love and emotions from fear. With these stressful situations and being in “fight” mode, I was having emotions that were based in fear. I had fears of:

  • Crazy people threatening my family
  • Not providing basic needs of my starving family
  • Being trapped

All of my emotions can be broken down to my fears. We can break FEAR down to:

  • False
  • Evidence
  • Appearing
  • Real

The crazy bicyclist wasn’t actually threatening my family (he was just being odd). My children hungry were not going to starve to death. My feeling of being trapped in a cage could’ve been solved by letting my wife drive and actually going for a walk.

Stressful situations is a hot bed for bad emotions. As a man with emotion, you must recognize these situations will spark problems. Be on your guard to expect your emotions to get out of hand. Like I’ve mentioned before in my “Feeling and Dealing” post, acknowledge and give voice to your emotions. Deal with them and the fears you have. Only then can you move on.

1Not certain you can call it “walking the dog” since I’m on a bicycle.
2My cellphone was trying to tell me I was in Mexico the whole time (apparently connection to a cell tower in Mexico).


FlowChartI have flow charts that run my life.  Every interaction I have with people relies on a flow chart.  My flow charts are listed on sub levels in my brain I am unaware of. I know they exist because my world comes crashing down when people don’t follow my flow charts.

Flowchart Origins

I’m sure as a little kid, to bring order to the chaos that was my childhood, I formed these logic flow charts.  As a little boy, when I did get in trouble or something went wrong, nobody ever reasoned the outcome for me.  I had to figure out the reasoning myself.

Let’s see how this works:

  1. As a small child, I am loud in a public restaurant.
  2. Dad gets mad at me.
  3. I get spanked.

Pretty straight forward.  Kids shouldn’t be loud and rough housing in a public restaurant.  I also learn:

  1. One of my siblings is loud.
  2. Dad gets mad
  3. Everyone gets in trouble

I now have these 2 flow charts assembled.  It doesn’t take much to blend them a bit to:

  1. People get loud
  2. Dad gets mad
  3. I get spanked

As an adult, I have no father around, so  I can make my own rules.  I don’t break from this cycle because I have the fear of God in me every time my kids get loud.  I get mad at my children.

I never stop and say, “Wait a minute!  We’re at Chuck-e-Cheese.  You can be as loud and crazy as you want.”  Or, “Wait a minute!  There’s nobody else in the restaurant to care.”

I have thousands of these flow charts in my head and I am always discovering them after the fact.

Here’s a big one I just discovered.  My wife gives me unconditional love.  I’ve learned love isn’t given freely.  There are 2 routes I can go.

Route A:  Reject the love.

When my wife gives me unconditional love I truly feel I don’t deserve it.  I’m not going to tell her I don’t want it because I do, but I didn’t earn it according to my rules and flow charts.  I’ll have to make her mad at me so she’ll take it back.  Then I can do something wonderful to make up for it all and she will then give it to me in a clean, laundered form.

Route B: Accept the love

Another way to allow myself the freely given love is to actually earn it once received.  Before I can truly enjoy the love I freely receive, I have to work hard for it first.  I have to do something special before I can receive this love.  (

This usually doesn’t go well in 2 different ways.  Either my wife’s love is reject because I haven’t paid the proper tribute.  Or,  I pay proper tribute and I’m not given the love I deserve.

Either way, this never goes well.

What to do?

The primary step to solve this problem is realizing in our brains, we have these flowcharts set up.  We have setup these flowcharts to add logic to our chaotic world.  As adults, we are in control of our lives and are no longer stuck in the past world of chaos.

I am constantly rediscovering these flowcharts I’ve setup in my life.  I have to identify them, and shatter them (because, like it or not, I will make the flowchart match my world.  If my flowchart requires something bad to happen as an end result, I will make sure that bad thing happens).