We are all born with the capacity to be loving, generous and compassionate. But some of us - because of tough breaks, rough experiences or poor choices - are less able.

So some of us have to get past the scars living has caused so we can get back to what's really important - living loving lives. We need to develop emotional clarity.I learned its importance from one of my counseling teachers - the best counselor I've ever seen work. But I didn't learn the importance of healing my own wounds from one of her great counseling sessions. I learned it from one of her worst.

When she taught a new counseling technique, she would demonstrate with a student. Another teacher would observe and critique. He'd point out examples of what she had done well, and explain how she could have improved the session. The criticisms he offered were generally very minor - except for the session that taught me about clarity.

She had counseled a man who'd had a serious illness as a child. He still had severe emotional scars from his pain and treatment. Time and again during the counseling session, I saw this outstanding teacher make mistakes. Instead of encouraging her client to experience and accept his feelings, she intellectualized and distanced herself.

When it came time for the critique, the other counselor said only three words: "What went wrong?" She looked at him, her eyes welled with tears and she said, "I had the same illness when I was a child. Obviously, I've not healed my own scars. I have my own work to do before I can help anyone who's dealing with this problem."

I learned from this session that it's impossible for us to really offer assistance unless we are willing to explore and heal the broken places inside ourselves.

I've found that I get positive responses from readers when my writing reaches a healed place in me and reflects wisdom to you.

When I find many of you disagreeing with what I've said, I now look first at what's going on in me. Your feedback often gives me the direction for my own growth.