Episode 14 – Back to the Basics: Lenses & Triggers

In this episode, Jake and Brett talk about two ideas that might seem basic, but, when reexamined, shed valuable light onto the journey of the heart.

Episode 14 - Back to the Basics


Key Points

  • It can feel like the wrong decision to get underneath the surface and address real areas of the heart
  • Lenses – “It’s not what happens to you, but the meaning you attach to it that makes all the difference.”
  • We don’t see things are they are, we see things as we are
  • Whether we realize it or not, in all of life, we attach meaning to our experiences
  • An essential principle for navigating the way of the heart is to pause and ask ourselves, “Is this true?” (What I’m feeling, thinking, believing?)
  • We need each other to offer interpretation and perspective
  • We can’t navigate life alone
  • Triggers – A trigger is a current experience that causes something from the past (memory, emotion, belief) to shoot forward into the present.
  • A daily examen prayer can be very helpful to remaining recollected and noticing our triggers and reactions
  • We have to fight against diminishing the experiences we have that might need to be talked out with someone


Discussion Questions:

  • What struck you from this episode?
  • Think about a time when you attached negative meaning to an experience and it changed you. Summarize the basic belief/interpretation into a simple statement (Brett’s was, “I’m second place.”) Why does this bother you? How would the interactions after the interpretation gone better if you had seen the negative interpretation and had some perspective from a trusted friend? When where some times you felt this before? Where might this belief originate?
  • Who are some people you could go to for perspective?
  • When was a time in the past week that you got triggered? How did it affect you?
  • What are some basics in the way of the heart that you’ve forgotten?
  • What’s one way you could continue to stay aware of your heart throughout your day/week?



  • “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (Teddy Roosevelt)
  • Examen Prayer by Fr. Timothy Gallagher