The other day I was at an office supply store (have I mentioned how much I love office supplies?) when I overheard a frustrated person exclaim, “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” Apparently, they were working on a project together, and a mutual colleague was mired in the small stuff.
He can’t see the forest for the trees.
You may have heard this saying before applied to someone—ahem, a Virgo, perhaps—who is so focused on the small stuff that they can’t see the larger picture. Of course, attention to detail is one of Virgo’s greatest strengths. Where would we be without the proofreaders and planners in our lives?! Though, it can also be one of their greatest weaknesses.
Welcome to the month of Virgo!
Pssst! It’s my birthday month. Which means I am very well acquainted with the many facets of the energy available to all of us at this time.
Virgos are highly organized problem-solvers. If you’ve got a group project to knock out at work, make sure a Virgo is on your team! They are able to hone in on a situation and see solutions that others may overlook. On the flip side, they have a difficult time delegating. In fact, they may wiggle their way into projects they weren’t originally tasked with under the guise of “helping out.” Everyone could use a Virgo’s eye for detail… until that eye becomes critical, which it tends to do. It should be noted that those who experience the most severe scrutiny of a Virgo are usually themselves.
Understanding the energy of this important month aids in not only preparing for the upcoming holidays but also lays the foundation for the new year ahead. A shift in consciousness helps us to access Virgo energy and use its most positive and helpful aspects.
As we head toward Rosh Hashanah, we have the opportunity to assess our lives in terms of accomplishments, failures, regret, and connection. We ask ourselves what worked, what didn’t, and what we could do better. This process of deep reflection is called t’shuvah. And it’s not easy. We are so close to ourselves that not only is it hard to admit wrongdoing, it’s sometimes hard for us to even see it. This is where we can really take advantage of that focused Virgo eye.
Our lives are a sum of our actions and choices. But most of the time, those actions and choices are made with so little thought that we aren’t fully aware of the cause and effect at play. We don’t like to admit that we have said or done things that may have caused harm. Yet, we do this not because we like to beat ourselves up with our past mistakes but because the damage can be corrected.
The word t’shuvah means “to return.” Think of it like a cosmic eraser, undoing negativity we may have created in the past year. When we truly do the work to account for the things we regret, we can move into the new year with a clean slate.
But here’s the thing: Virgo energy can make us so focused on the details of our actions that we don’t see that this is all part of the process of transformation. Have you ever found yourself startled as you drift to sleep at night because of that one thing you said that one time that still makes you feel ashamed? I definitely have. (And why does this always seem to happen at bedtime?)
Oof. When it feels icky, you know you have truly identified an area that needs work. That’s the first step of t’shuvah. Feeling the pain that our negativity has caused others is the next step. We have to place ourselves in other people’s shoes and relive the experience through their eyes. Feel the discomfort. Then ask yourself if there is a way to make amends. If so, do it. Reach out to those you may have harmed and express your deep regret. Apologize and take responsibility. It is a humbling and necessary experience.
There is one more step you must take: step back and take a good look at what you’ve just done and see it as part of a larger picture.
Then let it go. T’shuvah is part of transformation. And when you have changed so wholly that there is no way the person you are today could make the same error, you have wiped the slate clean. Forgive yourself. You are human, and you are learning. Virgo energy may pull you to dwell on the past and really pick apart your actions. T’shuvah gives you permission to move beyond the details and see that mistakes are part of the journey. They make you wiser, more resilient, and more empathetic. Practicing t’shuvah, connecting to your perfect self, and emerging as someone different is an integral part of spiritual growth.
This month, keep widening your view. Commit to seeing yourself and your life in a bigger, fuller way. Pull back the frame. In doing so, we can let go of the details and the desire to be perfect. Trust that you are part of something greater. The most powerful thing we can do this month is see the forest and the trees.