Forgiveness and the Bach flowers

Few states of mind are more toxic to body and soul than unforgiveness – which includes both resentments towards other people, and reproachfulness towards the self. All the major world religions advocate forgiveness. This does not mean condoning wrong actions, but involves moving on from the hurt they have caused, by cultivating love and compassion instead of holding on to anger and blame.

Chronic unforgiveness has been described as ‘a deadly spiritual poison’ and many alternative healers regard it as a major risk factor for physical disease, some going so far as to say that it lies at the root of most cases of cancer. I don’t know whether this is true and it would be a challenging topic for research, but there are certainly many personal stories of remarkable recovery both from cancer and other conditions after sincere forgiveness has taken place – see  this link for one man’s story. Forgiveness always benefits the one who forgives, and also the one who is forgiven, if it is possible and appropriate to tell them about it.

When I think about the occasions in my own life when forgiveness has been called for, I find that they seldom involved deliberate wrong-doing. More often there was a lack of consideration for others, a projection of personal problems onto the nearest target, even a misguided attempt to be helpful – a reminder that different people can perceive the same situation in very different ways, and always a potential ‘learning experience’.

Though we may acknowledge that forgiveness is highly desirable, many of us find it difficult. For some, the intention to forgive can best be supported through spiritual or religious counselling and practice; for others, through psychological techniques. Bach flower remedies such as Willow, Holly and Pine could be chosen to assist the process, depending on the details of each case.

Holly promotes forgiveness and love when there are negative feelings towards others.  Dr Edward Bach made this comment about people who need Holly: ‘Within themselves they may suffer much, often when there is no real cause for their unhappiness’.

Pine promotes forgiveness when there is criticism and guilt towards the self. Bach wrote in his booklet The Twelve Healers: ‘For those who blame themselves. Even when successful they think they could have done better, and are never content with their efforts or the results. They are hard-working and suffer much from the faults they attach to themselves. Sometimes if there is any mistake it is due to another, but they will claim responsibility even for that.’


My virtual book tour and other writing ventures

This is a busy time in my writing career. Doing a ‘virtual book tour’, using the power of the internet to promote Focus on Healing: Holistic Self-help for Medical Illness to readers outside New Zealand, has been a new and exciting experience.

Virtual book tours have not replaced live talks and book signing events as a way for authors to market their work, but they do enable outreach to a worldwide audience through websites, blogs and media outlets, all from a home computer at reasonable cost. To sample what is involved, please click on the links for my online interview and printed chapter excerpt, recorded chapter excerpt and ezine articles; and to buy the book through my website click here.

I recently edited the wartime memoir of my late uncle, a Spitfire pilot. This book is now at proof-checking stage and will soon be published in the UK. Also this month my next self-help book, about life path and life purpose, is being considered for a local manuscript award and I will probably self-publish this one, so am studying the options. More news on both books will follow in future posts.

These editing and marketing activities have left little time for new writing, but I am keen to try my hand at fiction in the future, and have already made a start on a romantic suspense novel set here in Devonport.

All this activity is very positive, but involves rather too much ‘multitasking’ – even with the best time management skills it’s sometimes impossible to avoid everything happening at once!  So I sometimes feel over-stimulated, stressed by the number of things to deal with, or impatient to get them finished. There are Bach flower remedies to balance all these states of mind: Vervain for over-enthusiasm, Elm for ‘overwhelm’, Impatiens  for impatience.