For many of us, the cycle we are talking about is not just dysfunction from our childhood but also dysfunction from our own relationships, past and present. We might have gone through some very tough years with someone we chose for ourselves—someone we thought we loved who we thought loved us back. Before we knew it, we might have found ourselves stuck in a downward spiral that we never thought we would find ourselves in. It might have taken us many years to get out of that and to end up here where we are now where or lives generally resemble regular-ness. The very hard part of this that we have to face is that there most likely is emotional and mental residue from our former hardship that we have to consciously work to continue to clean off our psyche. If we do not tend to the matter of ridding ourselves of the residue of past dysfunction, then it tends to creep into our current lives and then we end up acting like and sounding like those who have once hurt us. We must do everything in our power to not let the cycle continue with us. What this means is that as soon as we are aware that something is off, it is important that we right it. We must take responsibility for ourselves. We cannot change how other people treated us or what we tolerated from others or the extent to which we felt pain during those times. But we absolutely can change what we do with our lives now. And a large part of the healing process is being able to be the person we want to be—to show kindness and forgiveness and understanding and patience even when none of those things were given lavishly to us. This is a choice—we can choose to be an example of goodness and grace despite the evil that exists in this world. For what good is it to behave as poorly as what we have received from others? It is far more powerful and meaningful—if anything ever had power or meaning—to be a force for good and to be an agent of healing (because these are the roads to a better life, and there is not one of us who wouldn’t benefit from living a better life).