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When Help comes from Flowers
by Barbara Michela Niederwanger

Recently I read an anonymous post on the internet in which a young man described some personal problems and the feeling of "being different".

The fact is that we are all different, all unique. Everybody has his or her own talents, special skills, ambitions and that's wonderful; we’re like a meadow full of many colourful flowers.

While reading about his experience, I remembered a period of my life when I was about 19-20 years old. I had just moved to Florence with my new Italian boyfriend, worked and studied there. This was a very challenging time in my life. I was in a new city, far away from home, a stranger among strangers. I felt even more like a stranger because: yes, I'm Italian, but I've been born in a region on the border of Austria and the culture I grew up in was predominantly German. Also German is my mother-tongue. I had to work through a clash of cultures that has been a problem in my region for decades: "Germans" against "Italians" and vice versa. Today the situation is much better and delegations from different countries all over the world who experience similar internal cultural conflicts, come to visit our region in order to study the formula of our peaceful social coexistence and integration. Still, 20 years ago subtle and outspoken discrimination was common, also in schools. My Italian aunts, family and friends complained about Germans. My German grandma, friends and teachers complained about Italians. I was both. Was I inherently bad? I couldn't understand that as a kid. Sometimes I felt I was worth less than the others and sometimes I felt better than the others, simply because I alternately chose to identify myself with one or the other linguistic group/culture.

I wanted to be more open minded than other people in my region and after getting a German Abitur (high school diploma) I consciously decided to continue my studies in an Italian city. But there it happened: What I had learned at home came up and I started to mentally criticize people, for being Italians (myself?!), for not being as diligent and orderly as Germans... and of course, the Italian University was just chaotic! Thinking about it now, it is very likely that it would have turned out in the exact same way, if instead I had chosen an Austrian University. I was afraid to be in that city, without knowing anyone but my boyfriend. I was concerned about earning enough money to continue my studies. As a reaction to that I started to mentally criticize myself a lot for being different, and the others for being different too. And I was not even aware of all this criticism! I remember the first times, when I went into the nearby supermarket, feeling the people staring at me, being concerned about the reaction of the shop-assistant towards me when I wanted to pay. I sometimes felt really inadequate.

Help came from flowers.

I already knew something about Bach Flowers Remedies and their healing effects. So I decided to take a mixture of some flowers that I thought would help me in that moment of "crisis". I can't clearly remember which ones I chose, but I'm pretty sure that one was Cerato, to increase self confidence, one was Walnut, for strength in times of change, and another one was a flower to help against fear, maybe Mimulus.

I took a couple of drops of the flower remedy regularly for about two weeks. Actually at first I didn't notice any significant change in my mood, or rather, I was not aware of the change that was going on inside. Unexpectedly the positive feed-back came from other people: colleagues at university started to praise me a lot for all the things that I was doing "bravely" and almost alone in a foreign city. People that I met occasionally lifted my spirits with lots of compliments, shop-assistants were much more kind to me when it was my turn to pay. Life changed as fear gradually vanished and confidence slowly increased. The flowers had helped me change the "vibrations" and even before I was aware of it, people around me started to react positively to those new patterns I had created.

Of course, the first step was to consciously decide that I wanted to change something. I knew I did because I felt a strong pain inside myself. The subconscious, Ku, always wants to move away from pain and towards pleasure, therefore I was strongly motivated to do something to change the situation. My Higher Self, Aumakua, inspired me with the idea of finding help in flower remedies. The conscious mind, Lono, focused on that: I sat down and chose carefully the right flowers for my situation and remembered to take some drops of the remedy every day.

It Worked Out Perfectly.

In German we say: "Probieren geht über studieren." - To try something is better than analyzing it. You don't necessarily have to study the topic first to know in detail how the flowers work and why. Simply take advantage of their help. It's about changing patterns. And this is a soft way. (I love soft ways.)

This is a useful link to determine which flowers may be more helpful in specific situations: http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/remedies.htm The mixture that you choose can be ordered in many pharmacies, they'll prepare it for you. This is certainly cheaper than buying the "mother essences" and mixing them yourself.

There is no way to make it wrong with flowers: There are no undesirable side effects. If one of the essences that you have chosen is not the best one for you at any given moment, it will simply have no effect.

Recently a friend has reminded me of how important it is to rely on the help of someone else when you get stuck, and if you are aware of a problem, how important it then is to lend a helping hand to someone who's in a crisis, even silently if that person apparently doesn't want to accept your help. Often it is already a help to know that a friend stands beside you.

Plants and flowers also offer us their help, and it's smart to accept every help that we can get to live a happy life, now. Whether the help comes from human, vegetal or animal friends, at all levels.

By the way, in Hawaiian Flowers are also seen as a poetical symbol for people.

Môhala ka pua, ua wehe kaiao.
The blossoms are opening, for dawn is breaking.

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