Have you ever sulked because someone close to you has not reacted how you think they should have and you felt offended and hurt? I mean, you really did a lot for them, you love them very much and now they are not giving anything in return. This behaviour is also called going into a huff. I like that expression. The Thesaurus tells me that the origin of this word is mid-15th century from the sound of breathing out, expiring with indignation. The negative Chicory state is about caring and loving people one is close to but getting uptight if “not enough” comes back in return. You have been attentive and now you expect some reciprocation. If that does not turn up, one might become demonstrative – to get the message home. There is an implicit deal: I have done something for you, now you have to do something for me, or at least be nice to me, “love” me. It is the opposite of unconditional love, and I guess we all do it at one level or another. Someone in a negative Chicory state can also be over-anxious and interfering in that s/he has plenty of ideas what could be better for the “loved one.”
One of the first things a child does instinctively in its life is cry to get the attention of its mother and the message is FEED ME! She will usually then nurse the child and at the same time, love and care for it. This is of course, normal behaviour. However, this interaction pattern has to modify if emotional balance is to develop as the child matures. We all know kids who cry to get what they want from their parents, this is when the “Chicory mode” becomes demanding and coercive: Have you ever waited in a supermarket queue watching a child pressurizing a parent by having a screaming fit because the mum or dad won’t buy the sweets they want? Always makes me feel uncomfortable when I see that scene. (And the supermarkets do intentionally place sweets at children’s eye level, reckoning with this kind of behaviour.)
Transforming a negative Chicory state means comprehending that real love interaction with those close to us means giving without any strings attached. In a positive Chicory state we lose our neediness and then it is no longer necessary to act with emotional blackmail, or to be huffy. One gives without expecting anything in return, allowing the loved person become totally free. The positive Chicory person spreads selfless security, genuine love, kindness and warmth with no restrictions. And I suppose getting there (just for a few moments) is a life long task ;-)
Edward Bach has the following words to say on this topic: “If we but sufficiently develop the quality of losing ourselves in the love and care of those around us, enjoying the glorious adventure of gaining knowledge and helping others, our personal griefs and sufferings rapidly come to an end. It is the great ultimate aim: the losing of our own interests in the service of humanity.”
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