WHAT IS HEALTH?
by Judy Ramsell
Director of the Dr. Edward Bach Centre
Dr. Bach believed that
negative emotional disturbances such as stress, fear and depression – the things
that make us unhappy – create an imbalance between soul and mind, and that this
imbalance was the root cause of an eventual breakdown in mental or physical
This sometimes raises
the question whether treating negative emotional disturbances can cure any
disease? It's an enormous question! – but a more precise one might be: "What is
Dr. Bach answered the
latter question beautifully when he described a little girl painting a picture
of a house for her mother's birthday in the opening chapter of Free
"To the very best
of her ability she has put her idea of a house into form. It is a work of art
because it is all her very own, every stroke done out of love for her mother,
every window, every door painted in with the conviction that it is meant to be
there. Even if it looks like a haystack, it is the most perfect house that has
ever been painted: it is a success because the little artist has put her whole
heart and soul, her whole being into the doing of it.
"This is health,
this is success and happiness and true service. Serving through love in perfect
freedom in our own way.
"The same little
story of the child-painter will illustrate how, if we allow them, the
difficulties of life may interfere with this success and happiness and health,
and deter us from our purpose.
"The child is
busily and happily painting when someone comes along and says, 'Why not put a
window here, and a door there; and of course the garden path should go this
way.' The result in the child will be complete loss of interest in the work; she
may go on but is now only putting someone else's ideas on paper: she may become
cross, irritated, unhappy, afraid to refuse these suggestions; begin to hate the
picture and perhaps tear it up: in fact, according to the type of child so will be the
"The final picture
might be a recognisable house, but it is an imperfect one and a failure because
it is the interpretation of another's thoughts, not the child's.
"This is disease,
the re-action to interference. This is temporary failure and unhappiness: and
this occurs when we allow others to interfere with our purpose in life and
implant in our minds doubt, or fear, or
Life is full of ups
and downs, dealing with problems and difficulties, sometimes crisis after
crisis. That's what life is about, for that is how we experience things and
learn by its lessons. Some lessons are about suffering, and that might include
the experience of physical or mental ill-health. Life is also about accepting
that we cannot always have what we want; it's about learning to be patient and
learning to be positive, even when surrounded by apparent negativity. And it's
about understanding how our negative emotions can adversely affect others, and
how we can reverse the effect in order to spread happiness and harmony instead.
The Bach Flower Remedies are there
to help us through all of these things; they are there to help turn our world
the right way up and show us why it was upside down in the first place.
Health and healing,
therefore, are not necessarily about freedom from germs and viruses, or being
cured of a particular condition. “Cure” in that sense is sometimes not possible.
But there is a kind of health and healing that has to do with coping,
understanding and learning from life. Whatever our illness, we can still hope to
move in that direction towards mental and spiritual freedom.
You can download
the complete text of Free Thyself – for the all-inclusive price of
nothing! – by going to http://bachcentre.com/centre/download/index.htm