by Linda Crider —
A familiar line from the poetry of Robert Frost reads: “Good fences make good neighbors.” Taken in its figurative context, this quote contains useful advice for emotionally healthy living. The wisdom here is the importance of setting appropriate boundaries. For those well-meaning individuals who find this difficult to do, Dr. Edward Bach includes the essence of Centaury among his 38 flower remedies.
People who have trouble saying no to the requests of others and who always put the welfare of friends and family ahead of their own would certainly benefit from taking this essence. And while these people are easy to recognize, they can be difficult to convince.
Such folks are kindhearted, “salt-of-the-earth” types who pride themselves on being service oriented. They are often terminal people pleasers, whether or not they are aware of the potentially negative effects.
Of course, we are encouraged to be of service to others, and this is not to say that the best road to emotional well-being is one paved with self-centeredness. However, there is a fine line between service and slavery.
Those in need of Centaury have crossed this line, and they have probably been doing so since childhood. It is said that we train people how to treat us, and it is human nature to choose the path of least resistance.
So if someone is always willing to help those in need, they are likely to be frequently imposed upon and unfortunately taken advantage of. Some of these individuals may struggle quietly with issues of self-worth. What they fail to do is include themselves as part of the human community they serve. They simply do not consider their own needs or desires as important as those who come to depend on them.
In the negative Centaury state, this inevitably results in silent but detrimental feelings of resentment. When it has reached this stage, no one benefits.
It is important to remember that flower remedies correct imbalances, so taking Centaury will not alter one’s personality. Rather, it will restore a healthy connection between these types of people and themselves. They will remain the helpful and dedicated individuals they are, but with the ability to draw lines in the sand so they can value themselves enough to consider their own needs.
At first, others accustomed to relying on these individuals may have some trouble adjusting to this unexpected, assertive and perhaps inconvenient behavior. However, in the long run everyone is better off, as any service will be cheerfully provided without traces of resentment.
Taking Centaury on a regular basis will help these sensitive, giving folks to become aware of the negative dynamic that they have created, as well as aid them in becoming proactive in setting the proper boundaries. Over time and with the help of this flower remedy, they can even learn to say no without guilt or apology.
Linda Crider has been a promoter and educator of botanical healing practices for 15 years. She specializes in flower essence therapy and is a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner and founder of Blooming Vibrations, LLC. 602-774-2382 or www.bloomingvibrations.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2011.