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Hello there!

Welcome back to CS Wisdom. Today we’re going to be talking about something of nightmares: segmentation faults.

Concept: Segmentation Fault

A segmentation fault is a fatal error in a program caused by trying to access data in memory that has been disconnected (“lost”) or freed. Segmentation faults are like trying to play the guitar after taking off all the strings. Think of the strings as the disconnected data and the musician as the confused program.

In general, segmentation faults are caused by poor resource management. When programs are riddled with spaghetti code and/or poor documentation, resources get lost, systems fail, and developers lose sleep.

A coded example is below for those interested in seeing one way the fault can be generated, but please skip the example if you’re not comfortable with dynamic memory allocation.

// define how many integers will be stored in an array 
int elements = 11;

// dynamically allocate room for elements number of integers in an array 
int *numbers;
numbers = (int*)malloc( sizeof(int) * elements); 

// Free memory used to store numbers array
free(numbers); 

// Generate seg fault by attempting to access freed data 
numbers[0] = 14;

// Program crashes

// Sanity decreases

Identifying The Segmentation Faults in Your Life

As mentioned above, segmentation faults occur when we try to access data that has already been freed. In life, segmentation faults occur when we misdirect our energy. Life should not be overly exhausting or unfulfilling for long periods of time. Like a program, you will crash if you keep leading a life that doesn’t satisfy you mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially. So, if you feel like you’re constantly exhausted by parts of life that should flow (i.e. relationships, physicality, emotional expression), you have a segmentation fault in your life. I’ve listed some common sources of segmentation faults below.

  • Toxic relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, you know who’s toxic in your life)
  • Lackluster spending habits
  • Erratic sleep schedule
  • Not making time for yourself

Though the above items are examples of where segmentation faults can originate, remember that segmentation faults occur due to mismanaged resources. So, anything can generate a fault if left unmanaged. You can never be too specific when searching for energy leaks in your life.

The Solution: Take Inventory of Your Resources

As previously mentioned, mismanaged resources will almost always cause segmentation faults. In the example above, a fault was generated because we tried to access an array of numbers that was already released from memory. This could be fixed by swapping the last two lines of the program. The coded solution is below. Again, feel free to skip the example if you’re uncomfortable with dynamic memory allocation.

// define how many integers will be stored in an array 
int elements = 11;

// dynamically allocate room for elements number of integers in an array 
int *numbers;
numbers = (int*)malloc( sizeof(int) * elements); 

// place the value 14 into the first position of the array
numbers[0] = 14;

// Free memory used to store numbers array
free(numbers); 

// Program continues

// Sanity increases

In life, we can fix segmentation faults by taking an active interest in where we place our energy. We live in a society that glorifies working ourselves to death, ignoring who we are, and hiding what we feel. If we continuously do those things, we lose track of ourselves. We become the resource that is disconnected from the program of life. To fix a segmentation fault in your life, you have to dig deep and ask yourself hard questions. Is your job taking away your sanity as well as your time? Is your current romantic endeavor taking more from you than it’ll ever give? Are you neglecting yourself because you don’t like your current situation? Answer these questions as objectively as possible, then build a plan to reallocate your resources.

You are never as stuck as you think you are. There is always a way in or out. You are the master-builder of your own reality. Accept this title and build fearlessly.

Once again: remember that you are not a machine. You are not a program that can be adjusted in seconds and optimized in hours. You are human, and the work necessary to fix any fault will take time. Work on your own schedule. Methodically welcome and release to and from your life. Segmentation faults can also be described as energetic pitfalls that must be leveled. Give yourself enough time to rebuild your energetic stores, and congratulate yourself on taking this step towards awareness. You’re doing so well.

Thank you for reading!

VMG