Keywords: Tender Sweetness
(excerpted from The Essential Flower Essence Handbook)
Quality: Tender Sweetness
Message of Self-Mastery: Attunement to others’ feelings; discrimination; receptivity; open-mindedness; easy to talk to; welcoming; a magnetic nature; for dealing kindly with the public; self-nurturance.
Pattern of Disharmony: Judgmental and critical of others; intolerance; unaccepting nature; for an easily irritated nature; unpleasant to be around; inhospitality.
I send waves of sweetness to everyone I meet.
“1 feel I’ve suffered many disappointments since my mother died, especially in my friendships. On Date, I found that I was able to wish people well. It’s as if a new person were emerging from inside of me. It’s a wonderful feeling!” -AL, Albuquerque, NM
“On Date, I felt an invisible inner sweetness extending from myself to others. I got tears in my eyes from taking it. It melted my critical wall.” -KC, Cedarburg, WI
“Date helped my eight-year-old son find an inner sweetness that he thought could only come from eating sugar. Rarely do I let him eat white sugar, and rarely does he ask for it. But this morning he was demanding it. We had just moved from the city to the country, and he was quite homesick for his friends. I gave him the Date to help his emotional sweet tooth, and the craving quit within hours.” -MS, Mesquite, TX
“I took Date for a sugar craving which then lightened up a bit. But what was interesting was that my taking Date made three of my friends more aware of the need for sweetness in their own lives.” -JR, Mountain View, CA
“I put Date in my husband’s tea, and he just really softened. He even joined a self-help group!” -CR, Novato, CA
“Sweet speaking oft a currish heart reclaims.” -Sir Philip Sidney
The subtropical date palm was first cultivated in Mesopotamia and the Nile Valley of Egypt over five thousand years ago. For centuries, Arabian caravans relied upon dried dates as their principal food source on long journeys across the desert. Reaching a height of about eighty feet, a healthy tree will yield one hundred fifty pounds of dates per year. The bright white male and female flowers being borne on separate plants, only one male tree is necessary to pollinate fifty to one hundred female trees. Dates are a good source of copper, calcium, phosphorus, iron-and calories. They contain sixty to seventy percent sugar and thus are a readily available source of energy. Dates are considered an excellent digestive aid and laxative, as well as a folk remedy for some forms of cancer.
(see explanation of The Essence Spectrum Chart)
Having integrated Blackberry’s ability to see goodness in everything and everyone, we become sweet. Hence, the evolution to Quadrant IV’s second house, Date. Blackberry’s clarity contributes to Date’s ability to observe without judgment. Date’s sweetness places it in the feminine half of the Spectrum; its maturity, in the Quadrant of a wintering, reflective agelessness.
The positive side of Date expresses a warmth and amiability that draws people to us. Unconditional acceptance is a magnetic attitude with the power to illicit kindness from friends and strangers alike. The following is one of my all-time favorite Date stories.
“It wasn’t until a friend recommended Date that I started to look at how judgmental and critical I am,” wrote Peter. “I’m constantly finding fault with my girlfriend – it’s a wonder she’s still with me! Anyway, I took Date one night and felt different, though I can’t say what it was. The next morning, I went out for my morning bike ride, and very strange things happened. Everybody-I mean everybody-was waving to me. Two strangers even stopped me just to chat! I continued on the Date, and for the next three weeks, friends I hadn’t seen in years started calling, wanting to get together. I don’t mean one or two-I mean about half a dozen.”
The positive Date state is also one of tenderness. Often without knowing it, others feel embraced by our non-judgmental, unconditional love. “I guess the Date must be working,” said Christina. “I started taking it this morning and, this afternoon, my husband kept smiling at me and telling me how sweet I looked. I may stay on this one a long time!”
This is one of my all-time favorite reports: “I use Date every weekend to be nice to my boyfriend. We’ve been dating-no pun intend-ed-for three months now and, although I love him dearly, he bores me to death. He’s just set in his ways and doesn’t want to change. I get irritable and testy, and then I start screaming at him. He still bores me, but on Date, I just put up with him.”
Date and Peach share an interesting vibrational similarity. Both residents of the feminine half of the Spectrum, Peach symbolizes the young mother, whereas Date represents the indulgent grandmother, wont to spoil us at times with her sweet love. Date, then, helps us to understand that we are all a part of this human circus. Audience or actor, clown or acrobat-it’s all the same. Without judgment, we become sweet. Without narrowness of vision, we grow in the quality of tenderness.
The negative Date condition is anything but sweet. Here we see the miserly Scrooge who not only withholds his finer qualities from others, but who is irritable and irascible as well. In the negative state of Date, one becomes critical instead of discerning, judgmental rather than discriminating. He who succumbs to this state of mind finds himself without friends-lonely and, frankly, unlikable. In the negative Date condition, much like Blackberry, one unconsciously pushes others away.
Negative Date possesses a certain narrowness of attitude-egocentricity, or viewing everything in relation to oneself. Granted, sometimes people use themselves as a point of reference, but the concept infers a negative connotation when we choose to see the world as centered around ourselves, or when we expect others to be exactly like us.
From this vantage point, we are wont to compare. Others are, by nature, different from us. Before long, we are not only comparing but tagging value judgments onto those comparisons as well. “She’s taller than me-how can I go out with her?” “He dresses funny-those styles were outdated years ago!” Now we find not only judgment but separation from others as a result of such narrow and unloving attitudes. These character pitfalls indicate the need for Date essence.
(see explanation of Theme Flower Essences)
Lest the Date theme become stereotyped as the jolly fat man or the cheek-pinching grandmother, this essence is far more subtle and thus easily mistaken for other themes. Date’s is a sweetness quite unlike what Ring Lardner so humorously described in the man who “gave her a look that you could’ve poured on a waffle.” Date themes are anything but syrupy; their compassion, wisdom and empathy run deep.
The faces of these themes express a paradoxical softness and strength. You will see Blackberry’s residual no-nonsense attitude coupled with Date’s kindliness. Date theme voices are either soft and sweet like the fruit pulp or firm and strong like the pit. And as Spinach reveals the adult within the child, Date hints at the child within the elder. Date themes’ movements and gait are both slow and quick at the same time. They readily magnetize sweetness and acceptance from others. Once experiencing the deep love flowing through them, we are encouraged to act likewise-sensitive to others, welcoming and without judgment. These dear and loving individuals see the child within us all.
FAMOUS THEME PERSONALITIES
- Santa & Mrs. Claus
- Joan Plowright
- Cinderella’s fairy godmother
- Good Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”
- Charlie Brown
- Ellen Burstyn
- Mr. Rogers
- Mr. Greenjeans
- Harrison Ford
- Sherry Lewis
Not to contradict the previous section, but the perfect embodiment of a Date theme is Santa Claus. Far beyond the simple nurturing of Peach, we find this timeless character digging into his bottomless sack of gifts-the greatest being the qualities of sweetness and acceptance. Santa sees the goodness in all children, without judging their naughtiness or niceness. To him, strangers and even enemies are family and friends. Santa, too, might reside in Quadrant IV of wintertime and ripening years-a place reminiscent of the North Pole. Santa exemplifies the physical Date theme characteristics of a sweet and kindly face, especially around the eyes. He radiates Date’s approachableness and loving nature.
CONFESSIONS OF A DATE THEME: MARILYN SPEAKS
“I would like to perfect acceptance within myself. I have a sense in this lifetime, because it has kept coming to me, that it is something that has been given to me to work on-especially given the great difficulty I have with acceptance. With acceptance comes understanding. I’m excited to say that I can look and see how much progress I’ve made. But at the same time I know that there’s that much more that needs to be made.
“I would say, yes, I tend toward judgmentalism. I have invited my friends and my partners to always call me on it because it’s something that I want not to have present in my life. I was brought up in a very judgmental culture, first in Scotland. Scottish people tend to keep to themselves and think that they are superior to the English. Then I went to Africa where the whites think that they’re superior to the blacks. And then I was with the Afrikaners who think that they are superior to the English!
“It’s interesting that you should ask if I relate to the qualities of sweetness and tenderness because, when I came into this house, it was totally emptied out of everything that was here before-except for one place on the wall. There was a decorative card, and 1 felt like it was a message to me because it said ‘tenderness.’ And I thought, ‘Where am I in regard to tenderness?’ I realize that I’m very, very tender with children. My heart melts, even if they’re acting out, cussing and swearing and threatening. For years I ran a foster home for abused and abandoned children. I feel a deep tenderness and compassion for them. I know that they are not their behavior, that they are merely trying to tell me something about their deep pain.
“I also saw the same tenderness with my child and saw that I did-n’t have it with my partner or with myself. I tend to be very responsible. And sometimes when we’re very responsible, we don’t take the time to allow ourselves the tenderness. So I started seeing that as something I wanted to work on: to really be tender with my partner and myself.
“I see sweetness in babies and in animals. I hesitate to talk about sweetness because I do see people having an outward sweetness. One thing that I know about myself, and that people point out to me, is that I’m very solid. It’s a very solid being that I feel inside myself.
“I love date fruits! When I spent time in the Arab countries, I traveled with the Bedouins and we ate dates. I loved that we got to the freshest source of them. We used to have them in Africa but they were imported and not the same at all.”
WRAPPING IT UP
All five essences in Quadrant IV, though blanketed in snowy robes of winter’s energy, carry a message of great strength-that of gentleness, softness and deep contentment. Pulpy on the outside, the date fruit’s stone-like pit is symbolic of Date’s core of unmistakable solidity. And the positive Date’s refusal to be irritated by others reveals an acceptance of his own shortcomings as well as those of others.
A wise man once said that the craving for sweets is actually a desire for more sweetness in our lives. Sweetness is synonymous with gratification. It is a pleasing taste; hence the popularity of candy, especially chocolate. Studies have confirmed a chemical in chocolate called phenylethylamine (PEA) that is also produced by the brains of people who are in love. How often we use sweets to create that sense of being in love, to fill that occasional void in our lives! In truth, what we are really seeking is a much deeper fulfillment. Date essence reminds us that we need not dip into the cookie jar for what we feel is lacking. The date fruit possesses a rich sweetness of its own-so rich that only a few are needed to satisfy our craving for sweets, even as only a few of Date’s loving qualities make us sweet.
Through the vibration of non-judgment, Date allows us to make peace with ourselves and those around us-loved ones with whom we live day after day and those who seem to deliberately walk into our lives just to test us. Date awakens this truth that we already know: the sweetness we seek through rich desserts already lies within our own nature in abundance.
|DATE||Contrasted With:||Companioned With:|
|Fig||critical of self, not others; a driving taskmaster||for balance through accepting oneself and others acknowledging imperfections with tolerance|
|Peach||for compassion||for sensitivity to others; for sweetening relationships|
Develop the quality of hospitality-through having friends over for tea or dinner; by taking an official role as a greeter at your church, community center or formal social event; or by participating in family gettogethers or reunions.
Observe how you relate to discourteous drivers while out in traffic. Improve on this if necessary, especially when they irritate you.
Do kindly things for friends and family, by anticipating their needs ahead of time-mending for a single friend or relative; bringing a cooked meal to someone who is ill; or delivering flowers to celebrate a birthday or house-warming.
It’s cold outside, colder than usual. You bundle up with hat, scarf and mittens, without even being reminded by anyone-except the burst of snowflakes that blows in the door as you step out. Everything looks big, bigger than you remember. But that is because you have become very little. You find yourself in the prime of childhood.
The trees look taller, the snowdrifts along the sidewalk, higher. With a child’s imagination, you know it’s only a stone’s throw to the North Pole. At every third or fourth step, you punch your boot into a pile of feathery snow, just to see how it feels.
There’s the cabin now, built of stone as white as snow. The chimney lazily exhales a careless trail of smoke into the twilight sky. You knock on the door and are greeted by the legend himself. Although your eyes parallel the great round belt of the red-costumed man, already you feel welcomed and silently invited in. The scent of hot apple cider spiced with cinnamon sticks further entices you. Is it your imagination or is the room filled with the sound of laughter and sleigh bells?
Your child-eyes drink in the sweetness of a red-felt belly and a cascade of white beard and white hair escaping the red hat. But most of all you are caught up in the loving, laughing eyes of this living wonder whom youngsters have waited for and squealed for since the very first children sat on his lap and spilled out their wishes.
You know you can ask anything of old Saint Nick-toys, treasures, candy or gold. In fact, just knowing that you can have whatever you ask for makes the asking a very serious matter indeed. What do you want? Toys, treasures, candy or gold?
“Yes, Santa,” you hear yourself saying. “I want all of these things in the form of sweetness that I may give them freely to others, young and old alike.” He answers you, not with words, but with a very big, crinkly smile. And in that treasured smile is all the sweetness you have ever desired.