Dear _____________________

Swami Kriyananda responds to someone having difficulty with negativity.

I’ve often found that understanding comes to me not so often through ideas, counsel, etc., as through being with the right kind of people, and doing the right kind of things. Mixing with people who are negative, or who see life too much in terms of problems, tends to influence all of us to see things in negative terms, and to view our problems as fixed realities on life’s path that we simply haven’t the strength to move.

On the other hand, when we mix with people who are basically positive, not because they live in a dream world, but because they meet life’s challenges with courage, it tends to make us strong in ourselves: to become “solution conscious” rather than “problem conscious.” The company of strong people influences us to discover ways to surmount our own problems.

Doing the right things means, among other things, finding work in which we can be creative, in which we can give of ourselves, in which we can be serviceful or useful to others. It involves trying to be helpful rather than trying to be helped. Perhaps this sounds trite, but I’ve found that it works.

How does one love? One simple—though I admit, not easy—answer is to think more of others, less of oneself. Another way is to do things for others, and not to wait for them to do things for you. Another is, give them what you want from them in return: love, encouragement, support.

In divine friendship

Swami Kriyananda

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