Patterns of imbalance: Fear of intimate contact, protective of personal boundaries; fear of being violated; hostile or distant.
Many souls have difficulty coping with their softer, more vulnerable feelings. This can be especially true for men, who are culturally influenced to display little intimacy or emotion. Those who need Poison Oak actually have within themselves very deep sensitivity, and can feel quite insecure about their personal boundaries. They fear that if they are too open or too intimate with others, their personal defenses will be violated. Such persons, however, rarely show their vulnerability and sensitivity, for they learn to cope by projecting an overly tough, Mars-like exterior. They erect negative barriers between themselves and others by showing hostility, anger, and irritability, thus keeping a safe emotional distance. At the deepest level, such persons are afraid of the inner feminine or of being engulfed by feminine values. This attitude can sometimes extend to feelings about Nature, so that the individual develops a relationship with Nature only through sports or activities that conquer the elements. Poison Oak teaches such souls to open gently by learning to identify and accept the softer side of themselves. In doing so, the soul creates boundaries that are inclusive rather than exclusive, learning that the essential strength of the Self also includes the most sensitive and gentle aspects. --Taken from Flower Essence Repertory by P. Kaminski and R. Katz