Pine: A Life of Apologies


As a Bach Flower Essence counselor I have learned to listen to the ways in which people speak (or write) characteristic phrases which clearly indicate which Essence(ies) they need. You don't have to be a trained counselor, however, to recognize a person in need of Pine.

He walks into a pharmacy and asks, "Would it be any trouble for you to fill this prescription?" She apologizes to the people in a movie theater for making them stand up so that she can go to her seat.

Pine people are always apologizing, not just for inconveniencing others (and often the inconvenience is only in their own minds), but for what others do. If a Pine person is sitting on a bus next to someone whose Walkman is blasting she will feel terribly guilty about asking the person to turn it down.

People in the negative Pine state are rarely satisfied with anything they do, and can always find evidence that they could have done better. Nor are the guilt feelings exclusively caused by recent events. A person in need of Pine can feel just as guilty about something which happened twenty years ago.

Ultimately Pine people seem to be doubtful about their right to exist at all. Certainly, they are expert at punishing themselves for being human.

This is the heart of their imbalance. Regardless of their religious upbringing, they all seem to live in a harsh and rigid world of moral judgment. Whether they have borrowed their stringent rules from elsewhere or made them up for their personal torture and suffering, they have created limitations which ensure that they will never be satisfied with themselves.

Guilt as Protection

It's important not to overlook the protective elements of these strict limitations. A Pine person will never face the danger of excessive egoism or of becoming so self-satisfied and self-absorbed that they disregard the needs and rights of others. They also manage to avoid having anyone else criticize or punish them for their shortcomings and failures by doing the job first.

In addition to the damage they do to themselves, though, they also, in their inability to feel that they deserve love and thus to accept, hurt those who do love them (and who don't enjoy seeing them suffer).

On a deeper level, those in the negative Pine state, by relentlessly and continuously punishing themselves, by denying their deservability, cut themselves off from the flow of universal energy which is unconditional love. The great lesson they need to learn is to shift their focus away from their natural human imperfections and to appreciation the perfection of their souls.

The Pine Essence helps them to do this. As it begins to take effect they begin to discover that all the energy they've used to torment themselves can now be turned to better purposes. They learn a new compassion for all those who suffer, and learn to accept and appreciate their own humanity.

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