The first thing you need to do is get in touch with negative feelings that you’re not even aware of.
What negative feelings?
Gloominess, for instance. You’re feeling gloomy and moody. You feel self-hatred or guilt. You feel that life is pointless, that it makes no sense; you’ve got hurt feelings, you’re feeling nervous and tense. Get in touch with those feelings first.
The second step is to understand that the feeling is in you, not in reality.
Negative feelings are in you, not in reality. So stop trying to change reality. Stop trying to change the other person. We spend all our time and energy trying to change external circumstances, trying to change our spouses, our bosses, our friends, our enemies, and everybody else. We don’t have to change anything. No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy. There is no event on earth that has the power to disturb you or hurt you. No event, condition, situation or person.
We always want someone else to change so that we will feel good. But has it ever struck you that even if you wife changes or your husband changes, what does that do to you? You're just vulnerable as before; you're just as idiotic as before; you're just as asleep as before. You are the one who needs to change, who needs to take medicine. You keep insisting, "I feel good because the world is right" Wrong! The world is right because I feel good. That's what all the mystics are saying.
Reality is not problematic. Problems exist only in the human mind. Take away human beings from the planet and life would go on, nature would go on in all its loveliness and violence. Where would the problem be? No problem. You created the problem. You are the problem. The feeling is in you, not in reality.
The third step: Never identify with the negative feeling. It has nothing to do with the 'I'. Don’t define your essential self in terms of that feeling. Don’t say, “I am depressed.” If you want to say my experience is depression or depression is there, that’s fine; if you want to say gloominess is there, that’s fine. But not: I am gloomy. You’re defining yourself in terms of the feeling. That’s your illusion; that’s your mistake.
Everything passes, everything. Your depressions and your thrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are the swings of the pendulum.
You do not belong anywhere: You don't need to belong to anybody or anything or any group. You don't even need to be in love. Who told you you do? What you need is to be free. What you need is to love. That's it; that's your nature. But what you're really telling me is that you want to be desired. You want to be applauded, to be attractive, to have all the little monkeys running after you. You're wasting your life. WAKE UP! You don't need this. You can be blissfully happy without it.
No event justifies a negative feeling. There is no situation in the world that justifies a negative feeling. The negative feeling is in you. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, "Plunge into the heat of battle and keep your heart at the lotus feet of the Lord".
You don't have to do anything to acquire happiness. The great Meister Eckhart said very beautifully, "God is not attained by a process of addition to anything in the soul, but by a process of subtraction". You don't do anything to be free, you drop something. Then you're free.
The fourth step is: to keep going. If you try these three steps, you will get it. You might not need to do it even three times or you might need to do it a thousand times; there’s no rule for it.
Do it as much as it takes and you’ll make the biggest discovery in your life.