Being in a positive, supportive environment helps you to relax, uplift your spirit and bring out the best in you.
The question is how can we remain uplifted when we are not in a positive and supportive environment? When we have to deal with negative people?
Here is a principle that I have used and found to be very effective:
We can be in a mode of giving to or receiving from our environment, but not both at the same time.
Application: If you are in a mode of giving, you will find that the environment or person is not going to affect you.
Preparation: When you know ahead of time that you are about to be in a negative environment or with a negative person, then consciously take action: instead of starting to worry, get upset, or become judgmental, set aside your likes and dislikes, calm your emotions, and consciously and deliberately accept this person as a child of God. Start sending rays of impersonal love to them. Set yourself aside and let divine power flow through you. You’re not there to save them; instead, trust that the person has what they need to care for themselves.
When you meet with the person, accept them as they are. You are their divine friend, sending them love. Avoid trying to fix them, or trying to come up with the “right” answer. Just be a loving ray of light.
Here is what I have found when practicing this:
- I am more present, relaxed, and able to listen to the other person with compassion and understanding.
- I am able to relate to what they say without judgment and enjoy their company.
- The other person feels that they are being heard and respected, sometimes even loved.
- I am happier. As Paramhansa Yogananda said: “The instrument is blessed by that which flows through it.”
Try practicing giving when it’s easy, and gradually take on bigger challenges. Swami Kriyananda wrote:
“Live to serve others rather than to benefit from them. The more of yourself you can relinquish in joyous service, the freer you will discover yourself to be.”