Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
How can I find a place in the hearts of the people of Allah? I feel very distant from them.
You must be true to Allah and emulate them as far as you are able, study their lives and virtues and strive to be like them.
These are means for Allah to place you in the hearts of those people. You must love them, for the knowers of Allah say that a sign of your loving Allah is your loving the friends of Allah, and the sign of Allah’s love for you is that His friends love you. If someone enters the heart of a knower of Allah, he becomes illuminated with the knowledge of Allah. Whenever rain falls on a place it splashes around that place. Likewise when light pours upon the heart of a knower of Allah, then the sprinkling of that downpour will fall upon the one who is in his heart. These are gifts from the All-Merciful, so be avid that you are in the heart of one of the knowers of Allah.