Whilst clearing my Mum’s house this summer, sorting through old papers and photos, cupboards full of crockery used when I was a child, etc, it wasn’t too surprising that I found myself reliving past memories and even wondering how life would have been had I never left Manchester all those years ago. I found myself questioning whether I had been a good daughter and regretting doing and saying certain things, until I was almost suffocating with negativity. Although normally very much an optimist, I am prone to not letting go of things, a trait I inherited from my mother, which was now very much in evidence, as I was faced with sorting through 50 plus years of stuff and clutter!!
Thankfully whilst in Manchester, I was blessed with the most wonderful sunshine, which gave me the opportunity to spend time each day in Mum’s garden exercising barefoot on the grass. This was incredibly grounding and, surrounded by nature, my morning’s mishmash of Tai Chi and Yoga brought me back very much to the present and the joy of living. Interestingly at the bottom of the garden was a honeysuckle. The Bach Flower Essence Honeysuckle is for nostalgia, regrets and living in the past. The plant itself can get a stranglehold on other plants and in fact this one had well and truly entwined itself around another bush, a good parallel with how our preoccupation with the past can sometimes leave little time or energy for the present.
When a loved one dies, it’s only natural to want to hold on, but in so doing, we cannot fully live in the present, nor can we move on. Looking back, whether at the good old days or at regrets that we wish we could revisit and do differently, it leaves little energy to enjoy the now. It doesn’t mean that we forget our loved ones. Far from it. It simply means that we gently reflect on the past without mentally and emotionally living there. We can also integrate those memories into our present, learning from our experiences so that we can move on in wisdom.
I noticed that some of the flowers resembled an upward claw, and from this I took away the message to grasp life with both hands.
In the immortal words of Dr Seuss “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
If you would like to learn more, I have recorded a short introduction to Bach Flower Essences, with accompanying handout, available here.