Make Healing a Priority – by Dr. Temika Edwards, Dr. Cynthia R. Jackson

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical, emotional, and mental stamina has been challenged to accommodate our ever-changing environment. To adapt to this change, we must incorporate inner and outer healing. Healing is a process that restores the whole person, mentally, physically, and emotionally, but also includes personal beliefs and values, sense of identity, and community of support. How we receive and respond to uncertainties can directly impact our inner and outer being.

Our inner being involves our spirit, emotions, and mind, while the outer being is our surrounding and social interactions. Both the inner and outer being are strongly connected, and we cannot have one exist without the other. For instance, the outcomes we create in the outer environment are motivated by what goes on inside ourselves. Although we all have our own temperaments concerning one side versus the other, we flourish best when the complexities maturing in each direction synchronize with each other. Everyone has an innate healing ability. With minor adjustments in our daily lives, we can improve the capability of our bodies to heal. We can also implement that same healing ability in the workplace, school, and community, which is why healing must be a priority in our lives to accomplish an optimal, balanced inner and outer being.Inner healing is of the utmost importance and should be prioritized.

Inner healing is a holistic treatment intended to help people find peace naturally and inclusively. Regardless of what we are dealing with or have been through, the healing process begins internally. The effects derived from the reason for needing healing in the first place, whether it is abuse or ill health, or the pain and memory housed inwardly in one’s mind, represent the center of one’s life’s perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors that require healing. Therefore, healing is a form of recovery. Inner healing that is focused on the road to recovery is not impractical; however, we must be devoted to the process.

Addition to the mind and spirit connection to healing, culture, gender, ethnic background, and lifestyle could be an advantage or detriment to a person’s efforts toward inner healing. Beliefs that spirituality is especially important in one’s life can answer many problems. Therefore, one’s belief system plays a major part in how one views healing. Because everyone has diverse perspectives and disparate views, the concept of healing for one person may mean something different to someone else.

To achieve healing, we must adopt a holistic approach to recovery, which means addressing exercise, diet, stress, beliefs about self, learning positive coping skills, self-care, and addressing personal spiritual needs. Adopting these methods can promote inner healing. The benefits to doing so are endless. Therefore, by prioritizing inner wellness, we can positively influence our outer health and healing.

Outer healing is a must.

Once we have accomplished healing our inner being, to achieve optimal balance in life, our outer being must be in sync. In our environment, we encounter numerous outer experiences, such as friends, family, work, societal issues, and nature. Many individuals are not truly sensitive or aware of their environment and role within the surroundings that affect their capability to find rest, peace, and liveliness. Some of these outer experiences are distracting and stressful. Therefore, we must audit our surroundings and identify how the outer environment makes us feel, determining whether or not it reinforces our healing, while taking an inventory of how we can improve the things we have the capability to change. Change is not always easy, but it is necessary, especially to alleviate outer barriers for the external healing process to begin. For instance, we can change our physical environment by implementing healing elements, such as exercise, meditation, better nutrition, hobbies, being one with nature, and therapy. We must be actively mindful about our outer being to maximize our environment for a total healing lifestyle.

Making a difference is fully dependent on healing ourselves first.

Healing soothes the soul and contributes to overall wellbeing. But why is it so difficult to achieve inner and outer healing to be our best selves for ourselves and for those around us? It is likely because we are too focused on what others believe healing should be than on what we connect more closely with to consider ourselves whole.

Healing is what keeps our being well. Simply put, being equates to life; well corresponds to good. When put in reverse, wellbeing is a state of a good life, which translates into a sense of wholeness. Wholeness is an optimal balance of the physical, social, mental, and spiritual aspects of self. To be whole stabilizes our healing; therefore, the desired recovery begins with us.

Compromised health affects the whole self, so when our wholeness is impacted, we are minimally able to help those around us, leaving nothing for ourselves. Think of the last airplane flight you took and to the instructions given by the flight attendant related to wearing your oxygen mask: “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” It is no accident that we are instructed to take care of ourselves first when at risk. Though it is easier said than done, because we tend to try to make a difference by helping others before thinking of the recovery, safety, and healing, we need ourselves. Taking care of ourselves allows us the safety and security to make a difference by helping others. Related to the oxygen mask example, what use are we to others around us if we lack enough oxygen? The same is true for healing, which is why it is extremely important to prioritize ourselves.

We benefit from inner and outer healing in our personal and professional lives. Inner and outer healing can help reduce stress, which decreases the number of stressed individuals within the community, promotes increased energy and productivity that allows us to be fully engaged at home and at work, improves life expectancy, and allows us to give back to the community because we have a more positive outlook on life, are not weighed down by the concerns of life, and are best able mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically to cope.


There are both inner and outer challenges in living. We must prioritize achieving a sense of balance between our inner and outer challenges to find peace. Inner and outer healing creates a sense of wholeness. In addition, we all have varying views on “personal wholeness.” What wholeness means to one person may be significantly different to another. Ultimately, whatever our definition is of “personal wholeness,” we must always aim to solve inner problems with outer solutions based on how we heal ourselves and not chase the healing journey of others.

We must strive to find peace internally, which propels us toward the healing we desire – not based on how others define healing for us. We must focus on the outer issues in our environment and how others see and interact with us. When we master making ourselves a priority internally, then we place ourselves on a greater path to making a difference in the lives of others externally. The little light that others see shining from us is a direct result of the inner and outer healing prioritized from inside.

Asymmetries exist in all environments. Our world consists of acute opinions and actions, opportunities and risks emerging from everywhere, from all sides. Somehow these asymmetries harmonize, evolve and grow together, and balance each other out, which is why our inner and outer healing must be a priority.

Image by Dane Wetton – Unsplash 

See also:
Stopping the Stigma of Mental Illness by David B. Grinberg

Dr. Temika Edwards and Dr. Cynthia Jackson

26 thoughts on “Make Healing a Priority – by Dr. Temika Edwards, Dr. Cynthia R. Jackson”

  1. Well said! As a single mom of 3, the only way I get by is by putting my own oxygen mask on first, prioritizing inner and outer harmony, and not sweating the small stuff. This article explains exactly how and why inner harmony, self awareness, and self-care effect our overall well being. By shifting the focus inward, we focus on what we can control and let go of that which does not serve us. 🙏 Namaste

  2. Enjoyed reading this article because having a hectic job working everyday going into the office, studying to past a major exam in the upcoming months, balancing home and family life, friends and all the other responsibilities a women can feel extremely exhausted. After reading how important it is to examine my environmental situations, i realize it’s a must if I want to heal. The article was right in time as we all need encouragement during these difficult times. Thanks a plenty

  3. Healing physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally during this, Corona Covid-19 Pandemic is, absolutely, quite vital. My eighty-four years of living is testimony to the various concepts of healing, which I embraced. I continue to focus on readings, as portrayed in this article by Dr. Cynthia R. Jackson, Dr. Tamika Edwards. I read, reread, digested and listened to this orally via my computer. Another voice, same script. Breathless! No! No! No! Not the least bit. This article is „ Breathe-able „! Now, let me inhale, exhale, applaud for this most splendid account. I’m grateful to have reviewed, “ Make Healing a Priority „.

  4. Thank you Dr. Edwards and Dr. Jackson for an insightful article. There are several items that I learned while reading this about how I need to prioritize myself.

  5. Great article and very timely, especially in a time of chaos we all are experiencing here in America and throughout the world. If we all turn within and find a way to master the healing process of the inner person then just maybe we will have a more cohesive and peaceful way to live with one another. It reminds me of the lyrics from En Vogue that say free your mind and the rest will follow and if that the case we must all strive for physical and spiritual healing. It’s vain to work on the inner person and not on the outer, and also the opposite. If we all take responsibility to bring wholeness within and without ourselves, we will have a better world. The wisest man in the world once said in Proverbs 4:23, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
    I thank, love, and appreciate you both.
    Almus Aldridge.

  6. Wonderful, thought provoking article. Thank you for shedding light on the importance of both inner and outer healing.

  7. This is encouraging because my son was just hospitalized because of stress & anxiety. I’m going to share this with him because he needs to take care of himself. My son is 18 & he needs to learn about this because I believe if my other older sons knew how to take care of themselves they wouldn’t have made some of the serious mistakes they made in some of the toxic relationships they are in now. This article is good for me too, it’s a reminder about how u have to take care of yourself although I’ve had years of therapy & takes meds for depression & anxiety, there are still stressors & meds are not a cure all. Thank u for writing this. I will share it with as many people as I can. Blessings & love!

  8. Encouraging article! This article is very powerful to me in many ways. I never thought about my outer healing to achieve optimal balance in my life. I was only concentrating on my inner healing thinking I had accomplished my total healing technique. Thank you both for sharing such a lovely written article.

  9. Impressive Article. Great topic focusing on inner and outer healing something we rarely think of. The importance of taking care of ourselves inside and out. A great article to share and discuss with our families, especially our young adults.

  10. This article is amazing and I enjoy practicing yoga myself! We need to heal our body from within and what better way to heal ! Thank you Dr. Jackson and Dr. Edwards!

  11. We must go in before we go out! This article hit the nail on the head. As a working mom in a leadership position and working on my doctorate I often forget this valauable life lesson. This article speaks to that truth! What truly resonated with me was this “When we master making ourselves a priority internally, then we place ourselves on a greater path to making a difference in the lives of others externally.”…And honestly isn’t that we all want to make a difference. Thank you for this reminder! I Praise God for both of you ladies and the time that you have made to get this messaging and making a difference in the lives of all you touch!

  12. Yes, the COVID 19 pandemic challenges every aspect of our lives. The mind, body and soul has been impacted and we do need the solution to healing. The world has to be more accountable and willing to reshape the mindset of many. Mental health is real and we are constantly reminded daily. Thanks for the reminder to us about making healing a priority.

  13. This article was so informative, I started reading and couldn’t put it down. I am thinking now, you are not too old to make some changes.
    With this Covid pandemic we all need to evaluate ourselves and make some positive changes.
    This article was well done ladies.

  14. What an excellent read! It gives pause to ones own assessment of how you should self evaluate your own sense of wholeness.

  15. Inspirational article! Clear explanations of what inner and outer wellbeing entails.

    As it concerns diversity, the following question/answer resonated with me the most:
    “…why is it so difficult to achieve inner and outer healing to be our best selves for ourselves and for those around us? It is likely because we are too focused on what others believe healing should be than on what we connect more closely with to consider ourselves whole (para 7)”.

    As a person of color who adopted a yoga practice early in my life, I often got frowns/comments/judgment from other African Americans…. As the years past I have seen some of those same people start to incorporate some Yoga practices in their lives and some have even become Yoga instructors. I share this to emphasize the importance of one staying resolute in one’s truth AND to encourage readers to give them self permission to not be and do what “the group” is doing if it does not resonate with you. You never know how you may inspire others to be well.

    It is important that we embrace the diversity in the options that are available to us in our efforts to remain “in balance”.
    It is about One’s personal journey, no one else.

    Well done Dr. Jackson and Dr. Edwards! Continue to share light!

  16. What a Awesome gift from God these two woman have to help so many people in need.
    We need more of this kind of talent and vision in this sick world. My prayers are with them as they help those in need.
    Charlene Raglin in Atlanta, GA

  17. Wonderful points made about our health and wellbeing as I have discovered in learning about eating right and exercise as we get older. Also important for our children and young adults to learn early so they remain mentally and physically healthy. Great info to pass to people. Thanks

  18. Deep insights . Gives someone something to sit down and ponder about themselves first before trying to take on the next step. Fix you first.

  19. This is a wonderful article! It’s so much information that we seem to overlook just living our busy lives. But it makes sense, you must take care of the inner as well as the outer for complete healing! I absolutely love it!

  20. Love the article , sometimes all we need to do is take a deep breath and find our inner peace . it’s best we do this for our own well being , a lot happens in life !

  21. A very powerful message and truly one that we all need to hear. Thank you for such a wonderful article explaining the healing process. When we think of healing we automatically go to the physical healing and the internal, however, we do not always think about our personal beliefs and values as being part of healing. As you mentioned, our sense of identity and community support also become part of this process. You mentioned balance in our lives; so true! What stood out to me in your article (My take away) is this: When we master making ourselves a priority internally, then we place ourselves on a greater path to making a difference in the lives of others externally. As we are in community, we must heal within; be the best that we can be in order to give and be helpful to others. I love what you said about our inner light. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your article and have learned a lot. Blessings and much love!!

  22. I enjoyed reading the article and appreciate how each aspect of inner and outer healing was described. It was funny to me that the airline flight reference was made because this is what I use to get back on track to my self care when I find myself getting bogged down with external things.

  23. Thank you Dr. Edwards & Dr. Jackson for highlighting such an important topic.

    It’s vital to our well being to make healing a priority. I firmly believe in soul care & self care!

  24. 💥Excellent article. I applaud that you are rising to the great challenge of today’s focus towards awareness of our Mental Health! You are truly embracing our different cultures, and everyones need of being open to diversity in treatment of us as holistic individuals. I am in agreement that we must prioritize achieving a sense of balance between our inner and outer challenges to find peace within ourselves.👀👌🏿🥰🌎

  25. Great article. I love the focus on inner healing first to bring about outer healing which then (hopefully) leads to balance. I agree with the fact everyone has their own path and perspective.

    It seems simply stated but it’s deep work and necessary!

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