Try not to use too much force, my friends. It is exhausting and actually does not get you far. Save your energy and seek the power of flexibility and softness instead. Be patient and forgiving. Society offers truckloads of injunctions for you. Be young and beautiful forever, they say. You look beautiful today. Is that a new Instagram filter you’re wearing? Get rich quick, they say. Speaking of getting rich… Why did G-d create stock analysts? In order to make weather forecasters look good. A study of economics usually reveals that the best time to buy anything was last year. Oh, and why did the financial system collapse in ancient Egypt? Pyramid schemes. I know, I know.

But sincerely, in order to adapt to different circumstances in life, we must learn to not only value success and external beauty but what lies deep within. Society may shame or blame you for not meeting the standards the media set for you. Relative truth will always remain subjective. Your opinion matters, but what is problematic to you may not be to your friend at all. Her perception and his interpretation of the circumstances may be radically different.

Did you notice that solving one problem often leads to another problem? Sheesh. Truth be told, we sometimes create problems out of a situation that wasn’t even truly bad. Sure, we all seek explanations for things in the universe that we do not understand. This quest for answers has certainly led to exploration in technology, medicine, and a host of others. You know what they say: It’s really cool to be alive in America at this point in history, because it’s like the collapse of the Roman Empire, but with Wii.

Indeed, we may have more knowledge than man has ever had before. Yet, how many things are we still clueless about? Can we truly grasp the existence of G-d, or the secrets of the universe? We sometimes feel that we simply must have answers. We seem to think we can unravel the mystery of life entirely. Actually, we must learn to accept the reality that there are simply things we cannot fully know.

Existentially, all people have strived to grasp the origins of our existence. We can observe life through our senses and, needless to say, our perceptions are thus distorted. We do not know or cannot project what lies ahead. We pay psychics or so-called experts who make predictions on the stock market. As they say: Wall Street is the only place that people ride in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway. But truly, we wish to comprehend even the future.

Certainty is much more bearable for us humans. We fear chaos and believe that if we only had the “truth” we would feel stable. Some become dogmatic or come to believe even conspiracy theories. We attach ourselves to our own beliefs and oftentimes argue with those who adopt different ideas. We may close ourselves off from other postulations or presumptions or even from the people who hold them.

“I’m sorry. I don’t take orders. I barely take suggestions.” Uh-oh. Do you remain rigid in your thinking even if proven wrong? We wish to ease the pain of our inability to deal with meaninglessness. We may remain too steadfast in our convictions at times. Then again, we can be too uncertain, which can prevent us from ever making a move in any direction.

We must embrace the unknown, my friends. We walk on faith. Logic can take you just so far. Become okay with the enigma of life. We can never be free from adversity. Significant changes will occur. What do you do when hard times knock at your door? Please remind yourself that the only thing within your control is your attitude and actions.

What do you truly need? Do you think you need social status in order to be happy? It’s been said: Focus on how to be social, not how to “do” social. Influence your future by letting go of the burden of control. What makes you more humble or humane? Does living a good life mean comfort and pleasure to you? Or does it mean you live authentically, following your own values and beliefs?

We must give meaning to our lives, sweet friends. What is yours? Give out love and goodness wherever you can. To have a positive impact in the world, do not take refuge in denial – or alcohol, or social media addiction. Focus instead on how to solve your problems. Then again, engineering is solving problems you didn’t know you had, in ways you can’t understand. But I digress…

No matter your situation, you can find meaning and a purpose in your life. Your suffering may always be a part of you, but you must pursue your personal life goals despite it all. Follow your own code of values on your own chosen path.

We all want to fit in, but do not become someone you are not. Live the life you want to live as much as possible, sweet friends. Do you care more about how your life looks, or how your life feels?

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