In this letter Kriyananda responds to a devotee who said he felt unloved.

Dear _____________________

Your letter touched me deeply, for of course, love is what everyone wants, and needs. I hope you will take this letter in the spirit in which I write it, which is with love and a sincere desire for your welfare.

Any time we suffer in life, our greatest need is to see what it is in ourselves that has attracted that suffering. For what we receive from others is, always, a reflection of what we first project outward, toward them.

You write me that you’ve always wanted love. Well, the way to draw love from others is to love them—not in return but first, and freely. It isn’t enough merely to love them secretly in the depths of one’s being. One must express that love outwardly, too, by serving them, and by giving to them. The greatest gift one should concentrate on giving them is happiness.

To develop that kind of magnetism that draws love from others, we must first love them unconditionally, even when they hurt us. For mind you, the law of life is very exact. When we give love, even if that love is misunderstood, it must return to us eventually a hundredfold, if not from those people, then through other channels. Our job, then, is to love, no matter how others treat us.

I have observed another law in life: the more we think in terms of our own needs and desires, the more pain we feel; but the more we forget ourselves in the thought of others’ needs, the greater the happiness we experience inside.

For as long as I have known you, your thoughts have shown themselves to be directed inward toward your own needs, not outward toward what you might give to others. I think it comes from a feeling of deep insecurity in yourself. You feel shy of expressing love to others, or generosity, or concern—for fear of being rejected.

The trouble is that insecurity is self-perpetuating. By withholding the expression of your heart’s natural love for others, you make them feel insecure in your presence—unsure of whether, behind the aura of aloofness that you project, you are not merely judging them unkindly.

The way out of the trap of emotional insecurity is to be impersonal in the love we give others. We must learn to love them not for themselves, individually, but because we love God, and God’s manifestation in them.

Once you succeed in changing yourself in these respects, even to a minor degree, you’ll find an amazing change in the way others treat you.

In divine friendship

Swami Kriyananda

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