If you feel as though you have lost touch with your feelings, where do you suppose they went? You may have a profound sadness inside of yourself, but the emotion may not earn your conscious attention, because you were taught to always be grateful and never to complain.

So, we overlook our anxiety, or anger, and only notice the feelings that others pay attention to. If no one seems to care that you are worried, you may learn to harshly judge those parts of yourself, as well. Can you truly care for yourself if you were never fully cared for by others in your life?

Reconnect with those lost feelings, my friends. Trust me, please. It’s okay to give attention to some darker, negative feelings that may be locked inside of you. Begin by simply asking yourself: Do I even know what I feel?

Perhaps your friends don’t share your enthusiasm for everything. You still love them, do you not? We are told that in order to merge with our loved ones, we should have loads in common and think the same thoughts. What a burden of expectations to place on ourselves. Listen, I have nothing in common with people who wash, dry, fold, and put their laundry away all in one day. You know that having an empty laundry basket is the best five seconds of the week. But I digress…

Do you have friends who are gentle with your imperfections and are able to share your vulnerabilities? If you can be honest with him, you may feel loved and accepted, despite some of your differences.

You need not agree on every detail of humanity. Your bond does not have to be played out by all practical details of existence. Think instead about who meets your underlying urgent needs. Perhaps she helps you to access your true feelings.

Ponder what may be locked inside of you. Do not settle for obvious answers, please, and do not ignore your deepest insights. Perhaps you assume that you know it all. Think again, my friends. The richest material may be deep inside of you. It is possible that you are afraid of what lies in your inner sanctum. Most of us are.

Sit calmly, still, and direct your attention to a complicated part of your life that is of some concern. It could be your job, your friends, or even a relationship with a loved one. Disengage from your mind’s usual static. Whisper and ask yourself gently: “What is truly going on? What is my heart feeling now?”

The answer may have been there all along, waiting for you to simply ask. What is good or bad for you? What is your true purpose? When was the last time you checked in on your “true self”? You may never discuss the murmurings that run along the inside of your mind with anyone. Sometimes, the inner voice is panic-ridden or harsh. That is clearly not the voice of your better nature.

Perhaps you have absorbed the tones of others in your past: possibly your parents, teachers, or those bullies from school or camp. You could have found their voices compelling at the time, and now they are lodged in your way of thinking. You can choose an equally convincing, kindly, and compassionate chorus in your mind.

Think of a loved one, a dear friend who has nurtured you in a gentle, kind way. Feel the sympathetic hug or arm around your shoulders. Seek love instead of worldly success. What is the most important part of your identity? Who loves you for just being you, despite achievements or lack of them? You know what they say: A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. I’m just one step away from being rich; all I need now is money. But seriously, those with no faith in themselves can hardly have faith in you.

Irrational fears express themselves in inner voices that cloud your capacity to judge yourself fairly. Mute those. Choose a tender one, please. Others are in as much trouble as we are. Your issues may feel like a unique curse. Yet, we all play a role in public.

Everyone’s image is quite edited, and you do not know it from the inside. Too bad you can’t take selfies of your character. Where is the footage from her real life? Do you see him at times of disappointment or even fury behind closed doors? Create space in your mind to better understand that relationships are all inescapably difficult. Yes, all of them.

We are all a complex mix of loving and hating. Love is actually a skill we must learn. It need not be a matter of good luck or fortune. Do not try to control external circumstances. Let go of your restless pursuit to not be unhappy. Move with Nature and learn to let go. Be patient, sweet friends. Nothing blooms all year long.

Sometimes we just need to let things alone. Doing nothing is not always a sin. Yesterday I did nothing, and today I’m finishing what I did yesterday. Your efforts may actually be interfering with your progress in life. If you keep chasing after happiness, you may become obsessed with the restless pursuit.

The way things appear to you are not quite the way they truly are. We are subject to our moods all day long, are we not? What perverts your judgment more than being hungry or tired? “I don’t need anger management. You just need to stop making me angry.” Uh-oh. I know: I better eat now, in case I get hungry later. Yes, I’ve been watching my weight. It’s still there.

But truly, suspend your judgments, please, and always re-evaluate your decisions. Sometimes we need to wait for that “mood” to pass. Moderate your impulses and, by all means, challenge those negative thoughts.

It’s been said: Feelings are like waves; we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf. Remember that wealth, popularity, power, or fame always come with the fear of losing them.

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.