In the Sweet Chestnut condition there is often a sense of tumult and chaos; it is as if the interior emotional landscape is the scene of a hurricane or tornado. The individual feels despair and anguish, and the sense that the circumstances of life have become intolerable.
People feel a sense of hopelessness (always more deep and acute than in the Gorse state). The ability to take comfort from memories of the past or in hopes for the future disappears; there is only the impossible present.
This condition, which is usually temporary, often represents the surfacing of awareness. A woman who has endured beatings by her husband for months or years may one day wake up and realize the horror of her situation. Someone who has denied the expression of a creative gift or stayed too long at a job he hated may have a similar awakening.
Sometimes the destructive relationship is with oneself. Maybe one has harmful mental or physical habits, negative and damaging thought patterns, which are creating anguish.
Sweet Chestnut is also often a state which comes to people just prior to the initiation of a period of spiritual development. The anguish of this state often leads one to ask, "Why is this happening?" "What is the meaning of my life?" Many searching questions may be asked, many illusions stripped away.
Thus, intensely painful though it is, the Sweet Chestnut state has the potential to be transformative. We might think of the person who's experiencing it as being similar to the butterfly just about to burst out of its cocoon. All is dark inside; there is no place to turn. Only if the protective illusion of beliefs about oneself and one's life are torn asunder can the individual discover the spaciousness of a new life.
In my experience Sweet Chestnut can also be used effectively on a preventative basis. When you feel the tumult of change beginning to swirl around you, when you begin to feel as you can't go on with your present life, when you experiencing the longing for a new one„these are all excellent times to take this flower Essence.
This is particularly true when you are aware of your fears and resistance, when you are conscious that a part of you is resisting transformation with all its might. Then Sweet Chestnut helps to lead you gently out of the darkness and into the dawn of a new self.
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Beyond the Rainbow