Right now in the woods where I live, Bay is blooming. I was called to select Bay flower for this week, with no idea of what the "issue" would be, but when I checked through all my repertories, I did not find an essence of Bay flower. Perhaps the message is for me to make one and do a proving to see what it's for.
I then received the inspiration to write about Forgiveness
This week we celebrate Valentine's Day. Hearts and flowers. Yes, that is part of love, at least romantic love. Another part of love, the harder part, is forgiveness. Forgiveness of others and of ourselves for not being perfect.
It is true that sometimes the behavior of another is "unforgivable". Abuse, criminal neglect, violence of any kind - can cause extreme and long term harm. Usually those who can forgive this kind of behavior are "saints". It may not be possible for most of us to forgive like this - at least not to the perpetrator. We can, however, and I suggest we try, to forgive them in our own hearts and minds. To not hold on to the hurt, the rage, the pain. For our own good. I believe that holding on to trauma can cause us more damage than the original hurt caused. The abuse may have lasted a few minutes, hours or even days. The memory of it may last years. In fact, we may allow it to become our identity. Caroline Myss speaks of those who introduce themselves as incest survivors and how by doing so they perpetuate their victimization. They let the violence of another become who they are.
The process of forgiveness may not be easy, but it is crucial that we try to go through it.
Beech Fagus sylvatica (red)
Positive qualities: Tolerance, acceptance of others' differences and imperfections, seeing the good within each person and situation.
Patterns of imbalance: Criticalness, judgemental attitudes, intolerance, perfectionist expectations of others, oversensitivity to ones' social and physical environment.
The Beech remedy helps transform the tendency to be critical due to an inner sense of inferiority and hypersensitivity which is projected onto others. Very often such persons grew up in an environment of criticism and harsh expectations, and so they inwardly feel very vulnerable and insecure. They learn to cope by condemning others instead of healing themselves. Beech softens the soul pain such persons feel as they re-establish connection with their Higher Self, they sense the love and unconditional acceptance that radiates from the spiritual world. Through this warmth of soul, they are able to let go of their harsh and blaming ways, to accept others in the same way that they are accepted by the spiritual world.
Pine Pinus sylvestris (red f./yellow m.)
Positive Qualities: Self-acceptance, self-forgiveness; freedom from inappropriate guilt and blame.
Pattern of Imbalance: Guilt, self-blame, self-criticism, inability to accept oneself.
Objective knowledge of one's faults is an important soul virtue; when taken to an extreme, however, one can be wracked with undue guilt and misery Those who need Pine get stuck in self-blame. At times a real circumstance from the past may result in deep feelings or regret and remorse; however, the Pine type often feels guilt which is entirely disproportionate to the actual events . These feelings may arise from childhood, when the person learned to internalize blame for dysfunction in the family system, or they may stem from a religious background which emphasizes sin and error more than salvation and grace. Pine helps the Self to learn true forgiveness by quite literally being for giving: learning to give oneself nourishment rather than withholding love from oneself; learning to release rather than retain energy The individual is encouraged to move forward rather than stay entangled in self-deprecation and emotional paralysis. At it highest level, Pine teaches self-acceptance and inner esteem as a pathway to the soul's realization of its own sacredness and divinity.
Willowv Salix vitellina (green)
Positive qualities: Acceptance, forgiveness, taking responsibility for ones' life situation, flowing with life.
Patterns of imbalance: Feeling resentful, inflexible or bitter, feeling that life is unfair or that one is a victim.
If the physical body does not keep flexible, it becomes stiff and contracted. The good health of the soul also depends on its ability to be yielding, flowing and "forgiving." The Willow flower heals bitterness and resentment, it is for those who tend to "hold on" and become attached to negative emotions. Such persons often feel victimized by the circumstances of life -- they feel that others are to blame for their misfortune; that life has been unfair to them; or they resent those who appear to have more status, prosperity, or felicity than themselves. The aging process is especially difficult for Willow types; At an energetic level, such persons are unable to flow with the streaming of their lives, Negative feelings are dammed up and then become magnified and internalized, congesting the inner being. the physical body also suffers from this stress, tending to manifest such problems as stiff joints, rheumatism, arthritis, and other aches and pains. (Willow bark is the herbal precursor for aspirin, often used for such physical conditions.) Willow restores a more "spring-like" disposition, helping the soul to respond with greater resilience and inward mobility to challenges and problems. In this way the Self takes more responsibility for its condition, and learns to flow more gently and gracious with, rather than against, the flow of life.
Photos from Flower Essence Services
Text from Flower Essence Repertory, by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz