What have you settled for in your life? If you sign away your inner freedom by settling, you have paid an enormously high price. When a painful internal matter comes into view, do you deal with and handle it?

We often cannot access our true needs. They may be locked inside us. Consciousness is made up of many rich layers, my friends. And yes, we may need to commune with our inner pilot more often. Close your eyes and direct your attention to something in your life that you need to reflect on. What is coming up for you?

Do you know your purpose on this Earth? Speaking of Earth, You’d like to connect with Nature, but there’s no USB port. I get it. Living on Earth may be tough, but, hey, it includes a free ride around the Sun every year. You know we need to save the Earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate. Hey, I’m giving up eating chocolate for a month. Sorry, bad punctuation. I’m giving up. Eating chocolate for a month.

But truly, how do you feel about yourself? Some of us may like ourselves quote a bit less than we should. This lack of worthiness may manifest as anxiety. We need to be reminded that we should feel tender toward ourselves. Did your childhood leave you feeling as if you deserve a place on this Earth? Many of us become overachievers, feeling that we are never quite enough. Yet the reasons you feel that way may not be entirely clear.

Perhaps you wish to stop achieving so much, and just “be.” Learn to bear what may seem like quite an ordinary life. Reduce some commitments, and challenge others’ unrealistic expectations of you. A typical, somewhat predictable life does not make you a loser, sweet friends.

You do not need to rule a nation to leave your mark. A peaceful day at home playing with your children may not hold the same appeal as fame and fortune. Try reframing your perspective and seeing this from a new angle. Whatever your outward circumstances and achievements, do you feel as though you have merit and worth?

Many of us would not dream of treating a stranger the way we treat ourselves. Negative feelings can radiate in many areas of our lives. Listen for that inner voice that accompanies you to your next challenge. What is it whispering to you? Is it strengthening or weakening you?

We must actually be taught to like ourselves. Your sense of self was formed by the reactions of those who raised you and were around you. If you were unfairly treated, you may turn those bad feelings onto yourself.

If you’ve ever felt unloved, you are not at fault. Perhaps your introduction to life was unfortunate. But please do not give in to feelings of self-loathing or self-doubt. You have the right to mourn the loss of your unmet expectations or needs.

Sometimes the way we see the problem is the problem. You know what they say: No problem is too big to run away from. Heck, I’ve got 99 problems, and one of them is that I count my problems instead of solving them.

But let’s be honest. Sometimes life seems like way too much to handle. You may have felt that your life was ruined due to illness, financial loss, or a broken relationship. You have convinced yourself that you will never find love again, or that you can no longer live a happy or fulfilling life at all. Speaking of love, you know what they say: If two people love each other, nothing is impossible. Except deciding where to eat. Well, y’all know the 12-step chocoholics program: Never be more than 12 steps away from chocolate.

On a serious note, true bonding and spiritual joy is felt when you share your stories, laughter, and meals with your favored people. Food brings people together. It not only nourishes your physical body, but it fills your spirit. Some things, like pizza, are simply meant to be shared. Another one bites the crust.

Indeed, your situation may be far from ideal, but you have the inner strength to make difficult decisions and to overcome hard times. Keep your heart humble and your motives pure; but do ask for help, please. Who is supporting you in improving your life for the better?

How can you possibly love life if there is no one around to help you get through it? You are not unwanted. You are worth spending time with. Please nurture your positive love relationships and friendships above all.

Never give up your dreams or hope, sweet friends. You cannot go back and make a brand-new start, but you can start from now and make a brand-new ending.

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.