To understand this lets consider a simple analogy of the tree. In order to nourish a tree the roots have to be strong and nourished. Though the roots are invisible but provide nourishment to the trunk, leaves, flowers and fruits of the tree. If I decide to ignore the invisible and take time out to clean and water each leaf, flower and fruit of the tree (watering only what is visible) the result will be that even after a lot of effort, time and energy invested the tree will still wither away. And I start thinking – “I did everything I could, to clean every single part of the tree but it still didn’t work!!!” This thought of course can be quite frustrating but because the root itself was ignored my efforts though a lot were futile. If we compare this with our own life – there are various aspects to our life – my health, my career/professional development, my family relationships, finances, social obligations etc. and while most of us would love to have a fine balance between all these different aspects we need to nourish the root of this life tree. The root is “myself”. The self is at the root of this life tree because if I am happy and healthy I can do justice to every aspect of my life but if I am not okay or if I am either mentally, emotionally or physically in pain, I will not be able to do complete justice to any aspect of my life and moreover would just end up feeling frustrated that inspite of all the efforts I make I am still not successful. This thought can be very damaging to our self esteem.
This connection and fortification of the self is what spirituality teaches us. Most modern day problems, stress related issues emanate from lack of knowledge of the self and lack of connection with the inner self. Because I don’t understand myself well I am not in a position to understand and accept others the way they are nor am I able to understand and perceive situations in an unbiased way. Spirituality gives us the answers from within. When I restore connection with myself and understand myself at a deeper level there is a great deal of self acceptance which translates into my action and relationships with others.