the semicolon of death

John Wood, Founder of Rageheart

by John Wood

5 years ago, I was assaulted.

I was working on a website at the time. Changing colours (Lemon Glacier or Rocket Metallic?), adding elements (popups or no popups?) and generally just making it look siiiiiick.

I was having a blast, working all day and also well into the night while pounding coffee and listening to obscure electronic music. It was all going well until I hit Command+R to refresh the page on my MacBook Pro.

Instead of beholding my beautiful website, I beheld an error:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘;’ in /public_html/wp-content/themes/generatepress/functions.php on line 182


I refreshed the page again.

Same error.


Ok, one more time John…

* presses Command + R with bated breath *

I stared at the circular loading frisbee in the menu bar as the browser tried to load my website one more time.


Same error.


Shit shit shit shit shit.

White Chicks, one of my favorite movies

I’d just spent days and nights building my website and now I’d broken it in all of 3 seconds.

Worse yet, I didn’t have a clue what I’d done wrong 🤦‍♂️

So I searched Google. For hours.

But even after hours, I still had no idea why it wasn’t working.

Eventually, I decided to investigate the functions.php file since it was mentioned in the error.

I looked through it carefully, hardly expecting to find anything wrong with it.

And lo and behold, there was NOTHING wrong with it.

At least, that’s what I thought at first.

But then I looked closer.

And closer still.

That’s when I saw it.

A stray semicolon, hanging out where it should never have been hanging out, like a shady dude hanging around in a dark and secluded parking lot late at night.

It couldn’t be.

“There’s no way that’s the problem”, I told myself.

No fucking way.

I deleted the misplaced semicolon, saved the file and held my breath.

When I refreshed the page…

…it was back!

I’d saved my website 💪

After that experience, I gave this semicolon a fitting name:

The semicolon of death.

While it was frustrating as all hell when it happened (because I had no idea what was wrong and therefore no idea how to fix it), once I figured it out, it all made sense and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Discovering the world of nervous system healing was like that too.

I’d struggled with various frustrating issues for so long without really understanding what was going on. I was told to work harder and be disciplined and meditate and “just let it go man”.

But that didn’t work.

Then I discovered the world of nervous system healing and everything started making sense. I finally understood why I was the way that I was and more importantly, how to fix the problems.

It was a compete paradigm shift… and my life has never been the same since.

If you’re ready for a paradigm shift of your own, sign up to Rageheart when it opens in January 2023 and discover the weird and wonderful world of nervous system healing.

Already a member and feeling that beastly impulse? Hit the “Sign In” link on the page below and get after it:



John Wood

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