Heal Thyself First

It is February—the month of love, so, in the spirit of the season, I offer a note about the importance of healing your own heart first.

There is a consistent message found throughout the higher wisdom traditions, that of tending to your own healing and transformation first. They say that it is imperative to purify yourself before trying to fix the world. To put it slightly differently, although we do exactly the opposite, in the form of finger-pointing, whistle-blowing and fault-finding, the call is to look to the inside before looking to the outside.

Rather than simply take it for granted, I would like to explore the reasons why this makes sense.

Firstly, because when we are miserable, depressed and despondent, or angry and in great angst, we are less likely to be open to the needs of others. We are more likely to close ourselves off and tuck ourselves away into a cocoon where we are both unavailable and unable to be of service to anybody else.

Secondly, because while we’re on this planet, the very least we can do—even if we don’t do much good—is refrain from causing harm. And when we’re suffering, we’re likely to lash out on others in myriad ways, from the little things, like general rudeness, to the big things, like the Columbine massacres.

Finally, in a more etheric sense, an open and balanced heart center—what the Yogis call the anahata chakra—can have a natural healing effect on others. When we start to heal and our hearts start to open, we tend to radiate warmth, and that creates joy all around.

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3 responses to “Heal Thyself First

  1. You write so much in so few words 🙂

  2. When trying to get across the importance of getting our own act together first, I refer to the pilot – Sully (sp?) who landed the plane in the river in NY a couple of years ago. I ask: If you were in that situation would you rather be in the hands of a pilot who is angry and feeling victimized and looking for someone to blame as the plane is going down, or would you rather have a pilot who is calm and able to focus on the best way to get everyone out alive?

  3. Thank you for your comments.
    David, I love that example with Sully!

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