A thief broke into my house last night and started searching for money. So I woke up and searched with him. Soooo, who are the inner-freedom thieves in your life? Here’s a hint: Listen to your internal voice, and how you use the word “until.” I can’t feel free until she approves of me, until I get that raise, until the world changes. Sorry, sweet friends, but until you stop allowing outside situations and scenarios to affect your inner peace, you can never be free.

Much as we hate to admit it, most of us are on autopilot. “He forgot to take out the garbage – again.” Uh, oh. Here comes my oh-so-predictable response. I am clearly being affected by external circumstances. Am I free in this moment? How about I change my perception of the event before I go daffy? But, his idea of recycling is getting on his bike twice. Sheesh. Not that I can really blame him. I can forget what I’m doing while I’m doing it.

But, alas, your greatest freedom is truly the freedom to choose your attitude. What do you do with what’s been done to you? Remember, the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. You’re riding a horse full speed; there’s a giraffe next to you. A lion is chasing you. What do you do? Um, get off the carousel. It’s all in the perception, sweet friends.

It may be time to resign as general manager of the Universe. If your mind is anything like mine, it is constantly commenting, analyzing, and chewing over every little thing. It is simply never still. My mind is like someone emptied the kitchen junk drawer onto a trampoline.

Yes, we still have truckloads of challenges, even difficulties; but we learn to quiet our mind’s endless babble. Having thoughts or opinions does not mean that we need to be limited by them. Just think how much mental energy you can save by not racing from one thought to another and getting all emotionally entangled in the process. I know. You also used to have functioning brain cells. But you traded them in for children. Heh.

The words you choose powerfully affect how you think and feel. Notice them. How often do you use positive and upbeat words when talking to your friends or even to yourself? Aha. If you are clueless, it’s time to become conscious and cognizant of those negative turns of phrases, and change them to hopeful and heartening ones. What pictures are on the movie screen in your imagination? Are the images you turn over in your mind soothing, relaxing, and calming? If you see train wrecks and sinking ships, it’s time to hire a new director for that film.

No, you do not have to head to the nearest cave to meditate for days. Drop and give me Zen. Nah, just take a breather. When was the last time you did something to unwind, take ten, and just relax? Perhaps music is your healer, reading spiritual teachings, or just walking in Nature. Maybe you lounge or even luxuriate by getting totally absorbed in your new book or movie. All these pastimes can offer you some momentary serenity or respite. It may seem heavy and herculean at this time, but try to take it, please. That mild and mellow ambiance may last for just a spell; so savor it while it does.

The next step is to lay aside all those grudges and release the hold of past grievances that still hurt you or even keep you awake at night. Try not to evoke painful or piercing memories from the past. Stop pressing Rewind on things that need to be deleted.

Believe it or not, the desire to be loved drives nearly every behavior in our lives. But we do not know what our soul’s journey has in store for us in this life. We desperately try to control our fate, fortune, and future. What we really need to do is to step down, step aside, and surrender.

You came into this world with particular and precious gifts exclusive to you and you alone. How do you honor those strengths and talents, sweet friends? Choose one feature that is unique to you and embody it. Give shape to it, express it, actualize it, and share it with the world. Do you wish to be truly free? Discover your own Inner language. Travel within.

Do everything quietly, with a calm spirit. Make sure you are facing the right direction, and just keep walking. Most especially, at this time we must learn to live life as it is, not as it “should be.”

Inner-peace: You have to give it to you. Trust me, when things change inside you, things may just change around you. Despite the madness we are living through, soothe those storms within. It was once said: In the rush to return to “normal,” please use this time to consider which parts of “normal” are actually worth rushing back to.

Please feel free to reach out anytime. I am right here.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.