Devotee Relationships: Opening the heart

                                                                  Q. I live in a devotee community and often feel that I don't know how to associate with others. I love them and try to serve them but all too often I just don't feel emotionally safe in their association. I don't feel free to be open in case they hurt me and thus I am wasting my life constantly holding back (defending like a kicked dog). I am desperate for some clarification on this point.

                                                                  Q. I have been (and continuing to be) in a constant attack of very intense miseries since the last 6 years. I am very fortunate and grateful for the association of devotees since the last 4 years. However sometimes I am so worn out and exhausted physically and mentally that I just want to be left alone for months being a recluse. This is partly because I'm forced to act happy and enthusiastic (amongst devotees or non-devotees) when there is so much mental agony, anguish and anxiety that is constantly bombarding my mind.

                                                                  Q. If one is trying from some time to develop relationship with guru by following the process according to his sincerity, still that doesn't happen, or gratitude doesn't come. On contrary, he even struggles to stay awake in chanting. And due to this he feels hopeless and goalless (due to his fruitive mentality), then what should he do? Is there some hope for him? (I'm asking for myself.)

                                                                  Here are 3 thoughts to share with you:

                                                                  1) Be patient, continue with the best intelligence that Krishna provides you, and pray.

                                                                  Q. I have a question about submission.

                                                                  What can a person do if he feels that his question might be a stupid question and one feels that expectation on the other side might be that "You should already know more about it based on your age, experience, etc.?" I sometimes feel this and hence do not correspond or communicate and struggle a lot.

                                                                  Please help me.

                                                                  My advice to you is to not judge yourself (like "I should know the answer to this level of question! I am stupid, slow, bad...etc")

                                                                  Nor should you feel that those who are the shelter-giving devotees who you may approach to deepen your understanding will judge you.

                                                                  Q. My relationship with my mother has considerably improved. Even though we do not fight as much, we still argue quite a lot and we do sometimes fight, but for the time being it's quite peaceful. How can I improve my relationship with my mother?

                                                                  In addition to what you are already doing, which are major steps forward, here are some additional recommendations.