Baby Blue Eyes photos by Richard Katz
K came to me at a moment of deep sorrow and dissatisfaction. She complained of relationship difficulties with her family, friends and boyfriends. Up to that moment, her relationships with men had been difficult and conflicted. She didn’t understand why nothing worked in her love life, because she devoted herself a great deal to them. Among these, there was a two-year relationship with a visually challenged young man, who broke up with her and soon after, got married to another person. Her family life wasn’t any different: she felt rejected by everyone in her family. Life with her parents and three brothers had always been full of arguments and conflicts.
This story seems to have begun while in her mother’s womb. K says that her father rejected her when he knew the baby was going to be a girl, and not a boy as he wanted. She and her brothers were not born of a loving marriage; on the contrary, they were testimonies of betrayal and fights. They suffered from the absence of parental figures, because their parents were involved in an unloving relationship. Therefore, it was impossible to support, protect and provide for them with continuity and receptiveness so they could grow surrounded by love and feel safe while facing life.
K was the child who most suffered from the problems in her home and also, the most affected by them. That’s why she early determined: “I do not want this life for myself.” She grew up as a rancorous, bitter, rebellious and aggressive person, and became possessive and controlling. She started repeating in her relationships the pattern of loving she had seen between her parents. The way her father loved her mother and vice-versa was the “chosen” way she used to “love” her boyfriends. Finding no way out, the only thing she had left was to blame her parents for the pain and suffering she experienced.
K came to therapy demanding from her parents and the world everything she had not received. She lived tormented by her father’s behavior when they were little: “He participated in my life just by being a provider.” “I’m really angry at him!” “He never gave attention to me.” “There were times in which I hated my father.” “Why didn’t he ever take me to the park? All my friends went there with their parents.” As for her mother, there was never any doubt about the rejection she had always felt for her daughter: “I feel that she rejects me.” “She says I'm just like my father.” Mother and daughter never understood each other and were constantly arguing. K felt jealous and envious of her sister, because she was her mother’s “darling,” who did everything she liked.
K felt deeply lonely. Her words and her eyes contained deep sorrow, fruit of an old and known feeling (intra-uterine life) of being completely alone. She always reacted with discontent and discouragement at each obstacle that life imposed onher. By whining and complaining, she became a victim of life.
In addition, K experienced mood swings, due to feeling unwelcomed in her childhood, which made her interpersonal relationships even more difficult. Her emotions varied from one extreme to the other, experiencing bad and good sensations at the same time, which transformed contact with other people into something unbearable.
To begin her flower remedy treatment, I opted for providing her with a little relief for her immense need, so that K, by feeling a little more welcomed, would be able to access the nurturing forces inside her and regain a more compassionate attitude about herself and about everyone around her.
Her first flower remedy formula (from August to November) was the following:
Heather – to take care of the eternal needy inner child. For her self-centeredness which transformed her into a deeply lonely person; this was a fundamental flower essence remedy to take care of her huge inner emptiness.
Willow – for the deep bitterness she felt by holding on to very old, painful sorrows and emotional wounds, which remained up until now. Also, for when she has feelings of rejection, and transforms them into resentment. For the feeling of being a victim, which prevents her from seeing clearly her own responsibility in the past.
Scleranthus – to stabilize her, and in this way, diminish her emotional extremes, due to the lack of nourishment as a child. Also for the problem of elaborating on the frustrations experienced in that period.
Vervain – for the insistence in keeping her own point of view, and wanting everyone to think and feel like her. Also, to help with the emotional mood swings; as all Vervain types, she oscillated from euphoria to extreme dissatisfaction.
Beech – for the extreme intolerance, criticism and hardness in her opinions about herself and others, behavior that arises as a consequence of being very criticized during childhood.
Cerato – for the insecurity resulting from her incapacity to offer herself maternal care and/or comforting and soothing messages.
Mariposa Lily – to restore the mother figure by creating a healthy bond between K and her mother, making possible the (re)connection of the communication they lacked in her childhood. Also, to unblock the feminine trait of receptivity which generated this feeling of loneliness and abandonment. To make it possible for the positive mother archetype to be instilled, giving her a nurturing aspect for all of her relationships.
Evening Primrose – for the intra-uterine rejection which caused deep disturbance of her mother-child bond and which could have been unconsciously absorbed as feelings of abandonment, violation and disappointment. This flower essence remedy could heal K’s disturbed relationships by rectifying the first vital experiences so devastatingly felt as lacking affection and tenderness.
Buttercup – for the low self-esteem and lack of self-validation, which she presented for having felt inferior since she was young in her family environment.
Chamomile – to help Scleranthus’ work in the emotional stability she presented, by helping her to calm down at moments of great liability.
Canyon Dudleya – the wild card flower essence remedy in all my cases because it diminishes hyper dimension, whether it is mental and/or emotional, preventing drama in all situations.
Stinging Nettle – the fundamental flower essence remedy for those who lived in turbulent, disturbed and conflicted homes where the only reference one had was that there was little safety in the family, preventing future choices enabling the development of one’s own family.
Cherry Plum – to be able to control herself and not be so reactive to everything and everyone, which makes her relationships unbearable.
Wild Oat – so that she can find a path that becomes a life goal.
This formula was administered orally, 4 drops, 4 times a day for three months. During this period, K told me that she felt calmer:
Analysis of the case study utilizing the 4 R's
With this first formula, K felt calmer; “I think I’ve been breathing better.” This was due to a softening of negative emotions (anger, resentment and hurt) in which K had been drowning. I believe that here she re-constellated, which was only possible because she got out of her self-centeredness and started a process of self-perception, where she was able to look at herself and realize that she was an extremely reactive person: “I don’t know if I am the one who creates the problem.” I credit these changes to liberation of dysfunctional and excessive energy caused by the flower essences.
But, the fact that she felt better and more responsible for the events of her life did not prevent K from talking about her father and appointing him as the great cause of disharmony and lack of love among the people in her family. To her, her father was responsible for all the bad things that had happened in her life. At this moment K had a lot of anger. Her criticism of him and his misfortunes was her opportunity to unload the rancor she kept inside. At some moments, I’d say that her hate towards her father dominated our sessions.
I understood that K needed to remake her internal father figure and the way now would be her father’s re-constellation, that’s why I decided to include, from November to March, the following flower essence remedies:
Baby Blue Eyes – to restore the father figure by bringing her feelings of safety and confidence to face life. To heal the rejection and abandonment that she had felt since early in life, and for which she blames her father figure, and this way results in cynical and irresponsible attitudes (teenage rebellion).
Scarlet Pimpernel – this flower essence remedy was chosen to help Baby Blue Eyes and Sunflower’s work; it facilitates the internalization of a loving father, bringing him to bear on relationship problems involving inadequate partner choices, difficulty in loving and/or shuting out people with whom she was emotionally attached.
Daffodil – for her self-centeredness and egocentrism, by providing empathy and a compassionate look at others, especially her father. This flower essence remedy, for me, has the obsessiveness and character of someone who remains for a long time in negative patterns and feels persecuted by everyone. It’s going to help Heather, Baby Blue Eyes and Scarlet Pimpernel’s work
Holly – for her paranoid thought patterns, judging herself unworthy of receiving love and also for her feelings of anger, hatred and envy of family members and friends.
Golden Ear Drops – this flower essence remedy was crucial in K’s process because it allowed her to get in touch with childhood experiences, the source of pain, as the only way to liberate the painful memories of the past.
With this formula, K became aware of her own responsibility:
Stage II – Realization and Recognition
Awareness of her negativity and dysfunctional behavior patterns
At this point, K realized she was an extremely negative person. With the flower essence remedies indicated thus far, she had changed her self-perception by becoming objective and clear, and for this reason, it was difficult to deny—
“I feel that there is something inside me that needs to get out.”
This conscious and widened perception that K started having about her feelings put her face to face with her own “shadow.” It was a difficult moment for her; she felt scared and uncomfortable facing her truth. But the flower remedy treatment that at the same time put her in touch with her negative and obscure self, had also given her the will to change and become a better person: “I have a wish to change.”
Alchemically, this is the moment of therapy in which K enters the sublimation stage, when she clearly sees old feelings as negative and able to influence her life, and preventing her from considering different possibilities for change. She surprises herself when she compares and contrasts her behaviors of today with her past behaviors, by seeing herself as the same.
Realizing oneself as “balanced” is the same as feeling stagnated. The flower essence remedies had given her the awareness of a repetitive mental pattern that was unaltered and persecutory somehow, and that was preventing her from moving along in life. K then needed to amplify her perspective so that gradually, the flower essence remedies could make it possible for her to anchor positive soul qualities. That’s why, in her third formulation (April to July), the following flower essences were included:
Oregon Grape – for the beginning realization that K had a persecution component of her thoughts. Also, so she could for the first time in her life, be aware of her suspicions and doubts concerning the possibility of being loved and taken care of. This flower essence remedy would treat the mistrust and the old feeling that K nurtured that one should always expect hostility from others.
Yellow Star Tulip – to transform insensitivity towards others into empathy, sensitivity and harmony with other people’s feelings, by proving to her the capacity of healing through the compassionate contact with others; and she could remain open, gentle and receptive to everyone. It was urgent that K transform her contact with other people, because her social relationships ended up being affected and this transformed her into an unwanted person in the social, family and work environment.
Calendula – the essence K needed to help her create receptivity in her soul for accepting others. It favors loving communication, by allowing her to “hear” others.
Bleeding Heart – so that she could “free” herself from family and diminish her attachment to them and the experiences she went through.
Sagebrush – the flower essence remedy that would help her get rid of old patterns, because K demonstrated now the wish to change and become a better person.
During the period using this formula, I felt that K became more sensitive and receptive:
From this moment on, I realized that K began a process of self-transformation. When she became sad, she accessed feelings of pain where for a long time she became stagnated and was not able to move along. But, at the same time, being in touch with that wound made her ego feel a lot of fear and resistance.
Stage III – Reaction, Resistance and Reconciliation
Confronting her deep emotional wounds
At this stage K accessed her pain. It was a tough period for both of us, because for the first time, I felt that she lacked strength and many times, the will to continue. Her perception was that she would need to make a huge effort to be happy, but that was still something very difficult for her. So far, she had kept a balance that made it possible for her to see situations from the outside, situations that before “called her” to fight. At this moment in therapy, the extreme reactivity from before returned and with it, a lot of anger and old rancor.
As she faced her great emotional wound, K felt a lot of fear, and resistance was the mechanism activated by her ego to release the tension inherent in the moment and also served as a form of defense. She knew this crisis meant the awareness of patterns and/or old beliefs she had, which now would need to be abandoned, because they opposed the new qualities that her soul wished to anchor.
The feeling of abandonment she went through during intra-uterine life and also out of her mother’s womb in a hostile family environment, was so extreme, that K told me she felt the need to be in her mother’s lap, returning at that moment to a childish state: “I told her I wanted to be breastfed.”
In this phase, K remained for a long time in the alchemical step of “calcination,” feeling a lot of anger towards her parents and family members, being resentful of everything. To her, her parents unfairly turned her life into immense suffering.
K remained for some months in this negative state. In this phase, she missed therapy sessions a few times, unexpected, because she had always been very committed to her treatment. This behavior reinforced my perception of the resistance she had about the development of new patterns.
K reported some dreams during this period
“I dreamt of a baby, she was small, she was holding my arm and wouldn’t let go, then I took her and put her against my chest to sleep for a long time… I enjoyed it, she was very quiet and happy, and so was I!!”
In this dream, K gets in touch with her inner child; she saw herself happy, because she was being cared for (she put her against her chest), protected and loved, as she had always “dreamed.” Here we can see the symbolism for the desire to be loved.
“Ah, this week I dreamt that I was falling from a high bridge, I saw my body on the water as if I were dead, but then I reacted by pulling a boat to save myself. I was in a car with two friends I worked with in 2004. I saw everything really clearly.”
In this dream, K clearly shows her unconscious desire to change. I showed her that the physical death in a dream meant the psychic death of something inside her. “There is something in you that needs to die,” I told her. The water can be interpreted as a mother, but viewed as a fertile creator, and transformer. When she reacts by saving herself, she shows her strength and hope to be reborn from this water (mother).
During this phase, K enters the alchemic step of “solution,” due to her meaningful dream, where water symbolizes the archetypical image of some deep subconscious that may be related to K’s non-nurturing mother.
Mountain Pride – I thought it was important to include this flower essence at this moment in therapy to provide her with positive, assertive male energy to trigger her internal warrior to prevent her from giving up. It would be the necessary strength she needed now to go on.
Penstemon – to keep the strength to persevere at this difficult moment in therapy.
Green Rose – to bring her back to life; a re-activator indicating to her that she could become fearless, and feel it’s safe to be here and participate.
Rock Rose – to help her change without fear.
As a result, the new flower remedy formula (taken from August until November) brought her back to herself and the treatment. Her new goal in life was to become a better person. Feeling more encouraged, K felt more involved in family matters and started having the kind of behavior that was unknown to her until then:
K’s letter to her father
Father, I'm writing you this letter because I cannot speak about the many things I feel. First, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me during my whole life. You gave me a home, a family, and paid for my studies.
I know that your life has not been easy, a lot of work, but many things happened because of your poor choices.
There were so many things I wish you had done and hadn’t done; for example, spend more time with me, and give me more tenderness. When I was a child I compared you to my friend (from school) Kátia’s father. I didn’t understand the reason why you did not give me a lot of attention and hardly ever had lunch with us on Sundays, and I resented that. I always remember that I saw you going out with friends to go to parties on Saturdays. I grew up with this lack of having a father in my life, and lack of attention. You knew very well how to be responsible and we had everything we needed, but we lacked love. I must have tried to call to your attention in every way possible, but I couldn’t achieve that. Only with a lot of therapy and taking flower remedies have I started to see you with fresh eyes, with more tenderness, with no hurt, no revolt. Today we got close, you say that you like me, you hug me, and we even went shopping together for your trip. I am able to hug you, caress you; I say that I LOVE YOU. Nowadays, I see you as another person, because religion helped you to be a better person and more loving, too.
Your daughter who LOVES you so much,
Stage IV – Renewal and Reconstellation
Healing the father figure
Here I realized that K had been able to heal part of her wounds from the past (internal father figure), which allowed her to create new possibilities for a future life (the wish to have a family). At this phase, I saw the rising of completely new aspects of her soul, as buying a present for her nephew who was about to be born, the son of the sister she fought with for the space in her parents’ heart and that now, more than ever, this space was going to be taken twice, for the sister and her son about to be. The use of flower essence remedies for strength and courage (Penstemon, Mountain Pride, Gentian and Rock Rose) made it possible for her to transform the imperfections of her personality into faith and will to act, which favored new choices.
K's journey through the MetaFlora levels of healing
However, the MetaFlora levels which I considered more problematic for her and that I chose to focus on were: 1 (the need to expand her emotional repertoire); 3 (the cultivation of learning, conscious growth and change); 4 (the discovery of her purpose, social service); 5 (working with her relationships and building a home for her soul); and 6 (recognize and face the shadow).
The need to expand her emotional repertoire
K reached MetaFlora level 1, when she became conscious that the way she lives her emotions is due to the abandonment she went through as a child. In this meta level, she goes back to the past and awakens to the relationship with her parents in childhood, by recollecting the intra-uterine rejection, and the projection by her mother when she compared her to her father. This helped to identify the extreme emotional need for being loved, which turned her into a rancorous person with a lot of anger towards everyone, because she demanded from the world all the love she hadn’t received. Here K becomes aware of how much she’s imprisoned by these feelings, becoming a victim to them when she allows them to determine her life.
It’s here, at this MetaFlora level, that she realizes that all her issues spun around only one factor: the non-internalization of the parental figures. The emotional cycles, the immaturity, the feeling of being a victim, the egocentrism and the self-centeredness, and the co-dependent personality were consequences of an internal emptiness that never was filled.
The key essences for this MetaFlora level were: Mariposa Lily, Chicory, Evening Primrose, Baby Blue Eyes, Buttercup, Canyon Dudleya, Chamomile, Holly, Oregon Grape, Willow, Dune Primrose and Golden Ear Drops.
The cultivation of learning, conscious growth and change
In MetaFlora level 3, K became aware of her repetitive patterns, when she realized she always chose problematic partners (i.e., she dated a visually challenged man), because this was the only way she found to have a relationship. The awareness of her stagnation showed both of us the difficulty of breaking addictive behaviors. Here, K begins to realize that she’s the one who creates the problem.
The key essences for this MetaFlora level were: Chestnut Bud and Scleranthus.
The discovery of her purpose and social service
K reaches MetaFlora level 4 when she discovers that she is stagnated and without motivation in her job as well. When she begins to feel the change she is going through, K starts participating in various public contests. At this time, she was approved by the OAB (Order of Attorneys of Brazil), which brought her a great opportunity for changing jobs. Getting out of the old job and starting to advocate (she has done this up until today) is the beginning of an internal change. Also, at this phase of the treatment, K felt the need to do volunteer work at an orphanage for abandoned children. Taking care of these children meant taking care of her sad, lonely, abandoned inner child.
The key essences for this MetaFlora level were: Heather and Wild Oat.
Working with her relationships and building a home for her soul
MetaFlora level 5 was one of the most problematic for K, because her greatest wish is to love and be loved, but she found out that she does not know how to love and be loved. Until this moment, K has transformed each date into an opportunity to “have” someone. She sacrifices herself in a relationship with the only intent of satisfying her extreme emotional need.
Recognizing and facing her shadow
It’s in MetaFlora level 6 that K recognizes her shadow and starts seeing herself as an envious person, who is very angry at her father, mother and sister. This feeling was transferred to everyone else, because so far it had been impossible for K to have good thoughts and positive words about them. Here, K realizes that she spent too much time complaining and blaming everyone for her pain. This awareness brought her a lot of pain and ended up causing her to be depressed. But, it is here that K forgives her father, understands and accepts that her parents’ marriage was a necessary part for her soul development. It is in this MetaFlora level that K forgives her father, and where the old resentment of her family as cause of her unloved condition starts to change into responsibility for being with them and taking part in this story. Here also, she writes a letter to her father forgiving him and accepting his misfortunes.
K is still in therapy today. Our meetings that occurred initially every fifteen days, are now monthly, because her job is too far from my office, and also because she bought her own apartment, which affected her finances. She is working as a lawyer, her great dream when she started therapy and in order to do that, she had to abandon her old job. Baby Blue Eyes allied to the other flower essence remedies was the basis for the re-generation of her father figure and provided her the necessary structure to fulfill two of her main goals: the purchase of an apartment and professional growth.
Baby Blue Eyes, amazingly and quickly, made it possible for her to accomplish a great deal towards awareness, to the point in which it was no longer possible for her to judge, in an irresponsible way, her father or any other person. When she recognized him as a “great fighter,” she recognized the great hardworking man he was. She identified and accepted his mistakes. She understood that there was a marriage without love between him and her mother, and that it would be their great responsibility and mission not allowing that this way of “loving” extend to their children. At this moment in therapy, I felt K was relieved, as if a huge burden had left her. She began to accept the family dynamics in which she had been inserted, no longer demanding from her father all the love she hadn’t received. All of this brought her the certainty that everyone lost. But Baby Blue Eyes allowed her to forgive her father: “What I feel now is that we need to go on.”
Our goal now is to relieve her deep need for affection, that is, we arrived at the issue of her mother. This has been a hard struggle for both of us. K interrupted therapy a few times, but she always returns, because she knows that life free from negative interferences and consequent positive choices depend on healing this internal figure.
Her extreme need for affection made K emotionally immature, selfish, with a victim mentality. As a consequence, she only knows how to love in a possessive and controlling way, where excessive attachment and fear of abandonment make her develop a co-dependent personality. K clings to her boyfriends, trying to get from them what was taken from her in childhood.
My goal has been finding K’s autonomy. She now needs to transfer her external co-dependency to inner self-confidence. In order to do that, she will have to abandon this pattern, but we both know that before this happens, she needs to resolve the issue with her mother who wasn’t able to “see” her. That is the only way she can re-create her inner child.
“My father and my mother never gave me the affection I needed. But, from this moment on, I want to have a harmonious family. Besides, P. (her nephew) is coming. I want to give my nephew all the love I didn’t receive. Maybe this way I can fill this huge void inside me.”
Rosângela Teixeira is a clinic psychologist specializing in psychosomatic medicine and has extensive clinical experience with flower essence therapy. She attended the Practitioner Training at Instituto Cosmos de Terapia Floral, Campinas, Brazil, in 2005 and has done other trainings with Rosana Souto in regard to the FES essences and astrology. Presently, Rosângela is the Teaching and Research Vice-Director of Rioflor – Rio de Janeiro’s flower essence therapist association. She writes a column for their monthly e-magazine – Mulheres Inteligentes (Intelligent Women). Under the coordination of Lizete de Paula, she is also a volunteer at Projeto Gotas de Bençãos (Drops of Blessings Project), a social service program attending to children and teenagers who live in special villages called Aldeias Infantis SOS (SOS Infant Villages). Rosângela also belongs to the board of teachers of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – Specialization in Flower Essence Therapy courses. She is also an authorized teacher of the Healingherbs™ education program in Brazil.
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