The beautiful work of Delphinium: 2 cases of Staphysagria
Lack of self worth is a debilitating state that I have seen over and over in my practice. It usually comes as a surprise for me when I discover that the beautiful, intelligent woman sitting in front of me feels worthless inside. But when I see that worthlessness in the context of a recognizable pattern, I feel the sweet relief of knowing that her thought and feeling pattern can be lifted and neutralized, leaving this beautiful person free to be her best self.
The pattern I often recognize in the case of shame and worthlessness is Staphysagria, a remedy made from the elegant and beautiful delphinium flower. Here are two recent cases.
Laura, a woman in her late 30’s, came to me with anxiety about her health and anxiety about her children. She was living in constant but unjustified fear of getting cancer, and that something was going to happen to her children. This manifested as vivid and violent imaginings of disaster occurring multiple times daily, as well as excessive concern about any ache or pain in her body. She was in a state of constant anxiety, assuming the worst was going to happen at every moment.
Laura often felt disappointed in herself, she also had very low self-esteem and self worth. She was frequently embarrassed, and said, “I am embarrassed to be me.” To make matters worse, she felt she could not ever show weakness or error, she must be perfect all the time. She had even waited to call me for weeks because she wanted to perform perfectly at her appointment with me. This was an exhausting situation, second-guessing every action and word.
Laura also complained that she was easily irritated and snappish with her family, (a common complaint among women I see). However, when she described situations that seemed to me to warrant anger, she did not feel anger, only sadness. However, her husband reported she seemed angry all the time. My impression was a very sweet person who very much wanted to do and say the right thing.
Alex came to me with extreme anxiety; about her health, about her children, and deathly afraid of sleeping alone. Her anxieties manifested as a tremendous fear of cancer, with frequent trips to the doctor to confirm her health. She feared somebody breaking in, someone watching her, someone outside the house ready to attack her. Her husband was frequently away for work, which was a tremendous aggravation of this situation.
Alex felt angry all the time, and had huge outbursts of anger at her kids and her husband, especially when she felt embarrassed by them. Something as simple as being late for school would trigger her feelings of embarrassment and anger about what other people would think of her parenting. Her anger led her in a vicious cycle of yelling and blame toward her children, then to anger and blame toward herself, ending with a feeling of shame about her own parenting and her inability to control emotions. “What is wrong with me?” was her question to me.
Alex had the feeling that she was not good enough, that she herself was not enough. Not enough as a wife, a mom, an employee, a sister, a friend. She had a lot of self-doubt, she felt stupid. She had the feeling that she didn’t know what she was doing, as if she wasn’t capable. It was a horrible, debilitating feeling. She said, “I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t think it’s fixable. I don’t love myself. I wish I was someone else.” She told me she chose not to speak half the time because she didn’t want to sound dumb, or look bad, so she guarded herself all the time, stopping herself from speaking and wondering each moment, “Should I say that or not?” She felt she had to hide all her feelings and shame from everyone, and act as if everything was perfect.
Both these stories are heartbreaking to me. These two beautiful women were incapacitated by the pattern of anger and perfect presentation, underscored with feelings of shame and worthlessness. This was not a cycle that either client felt they could control. To Laura and Alex, it felt like an unchangeable truth.
Homeopaths match a person to a remedy that is the most similar to them, mentally and physically. With the right remedy, people are freed of their restricting patterns, and they are able to grow personally and interact with the world in a healthy and genuine way, a way of their own choosing. Both women needed the same remedy; Staphysagria.
Staphysagria is a sensitive person. Sensitive especially to what others might be thinking or saying about them, they are easily offended, or take things the wrong way. The feeling they often have is of being humiliated or deeply embarrassed. People needing this remedy have a deep feeling of worthlessness. Often these feelings are uncomfortable to manage, leading to suppression of these feelings. In spite of and perhaps because of the suppression, commonly we see outbursts of anger, followed by self-recrimination. Staphysagria feels “not good enough”. This remedy is the very picture of a vicious cycle of sensitivity, suppression, anger and shame.
After receiving the remedy, Laura’s anxiety about her health and her children disappeared. She told me, “I have no anxiety. No feelings of anxiety about my body or my health. I am about to go to my first overnight away from my kids that I have ever had.” She was no longer having visions of disaster. She became brave in her connections with other people, reaching out and not worrying about what other people might think of her. Her self-embarrassment had subsided. She became more aware of her feelings of anger, then the anger softened into a more even-tempered temperament. Her connection with her husband and children is improved, her connections with friends and acquaintances is improved, and her confidence in her work relationships has increased dramatically. Most importantly, she no longer felt feelings of worthlessness.
Alex received the remedy and told me, “I am not worried or anxious. I am just at peace in my life with what I am doing. I am happy with how I am with my kids and husband.” She felt balanced and stable, and was not having any outbursts of anger. Her anxiety about her health disappeared, and she is free from her fears about her safety. Her feelings of self-doubt were gone, and along with it the need to appear perfect. At the deepest level, she did not have any feelings of worthlessness. She no longer felt she was not enough.
After receiving the remedy, many things improved for these two women. Most fundamentally, the feeling of worthlessness disappeared, and opened the way for a new feeling of contentedness and freedom.
It is a gift to be able to change the life of even a single person. I feel humbled and blessed to be on the journey toward health with my clients, and to watch their strength and inner beauty blossom and unfold before my eyes.