Your most amazing traits are often wrapped up in your most challenging ones. The two are connected—like opposite ends of a chain. Both your strengths and weaknesses exist for a reason.
One of the things I commonly see in my practice is a weaker overall holistic perspective when people are thinking about themselves. People usually come to me because they want a holistic approach for a specific issue they are having—depression, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, or autoimmune disease. This is wonderful, and I love to address those concerns and more. But I also like to educate people about how to apply holistic (whole-istic) thinking to their entire self-concept!
Many of us are aware of various things we dislike about ourselves. We judge and judge and often come up lacking. In response to this, I endeavor to inspire people to apply more well-rounded, compassionate thinking to their sense of self. Could the difficult aspects possibly be just as valuable as the talents? Could the two be related? Most people have never thought of this. If they had, they’d love themselves more! Understanding astrology as I do, I know that challenges are indeed connected to gifts. The things a soul is meant to do are shown as planetary placements and resultant characteristics. The very same planet can cause both strengths and weaknesses—the strengths are our gifts, the weaknesses create our learning plan. Both elements contribute to the soul’s purpose.
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Why Are We Here?
Souls are most likely on the planet to learn. (There’s probably also a sub-plot related to experiencing things.) By learning and experiencing, we help others do the same. We have certain weaknesses in order to have something to work with and through. We have innate strengths as well. These strengths and weaknesses create experiences that generate wisdom relevant to our unique souls.
Learning to have compassion for the self and the things we cannot readily change is an excellent spiritual and psychological process. Learning to appreciate and enhance the things that we are naturally good at is also wonderful, spiritual work. I believe that small, steady changes can be made with so-called weaknesses. This is how the soul grows! Embracing these traits (rather than rejecting them) and understanding how the very same trait can help you do something important, meaningful, or good is a wonderful way to expand self-awareness, improve your relationship with yourself, and move in the direction of inner peace.
Are You “Too Pushy”?
Being pushy is a wonderful first example. (Pushy likes to be first!) If you are someone who can be a bit feisty, bossy, pushy, and irritable, this means you have a strong Mars, astrologically speaking. Even without knowing that, it’s possible to observe that feistiness is associated with courage and independence. Fiery energy is connected to starting something and being bold. When someone tries to willfully assert himself or herself, the person is sometimes labeled as pushy. This is particularly likely if the person lacks patience in the expression of their ideas.
Feisty, spunky people are usually exactly this way (impatient and reactive—strong Pitta in their doshas). They are also very fun. There is a definite enthusiastic side to their moods. Being down for an adventure is a positive aspect of a peppery temperament. Usually, Mars people have an activist nature or purpose that has something to do with standing up for what they believe (boldness), starting something new (frustration with what is), and showing others how something can be improved (independent, direct, and confident [aka, pushy]).
Discover your dosha type here.
Are You “Too Emotional”?
Being too emotional goes hand-in-hand with being too sensitive. These two traits are related to having a preponderance of water-sign energies in the astrology chart (or a strong moon). People who are too emotional are also highly perceptive and intuitive. They are empaths. The heightened emotionality is limiting in some ways, but it also gives the sensitivity needed to work as a healer. Empaths feel the suffering of others and are energetically attuned to the world. This can be difficult (boundaries a challenge to create and maintain), but it’s also wonderful to be highly sensitive to some things. In other words, there is a heightened sensitivity to beauty, joy, nature, and love, as well as the more negative energies.
I believe that spending time in nature is the most effective way for empaths to neutralize unwanted energy. Consciously choosing to pass energy through the body with love and the intention of helping (rather than blocking) another is a wonderful strategy. Limiting your interactions if feeling a bit depleted is a nice, gentle boundary. Too-emotional people serve a valuable purpose by being willing to face and assist with the suffering of others.
Are You “Too Controlling”?
This is a tricky one! It’s also very important. Many incredibly interesting and successful people have been called too controlling by those who know them well. This is because it requires a take-charge, determined personality to do the hard work needed to climb metaphoric (or literal) mountains. Never stop, always grow, always improve, do it right, and other similar mantras go with a person who is sometimes too controlling.
Control is attributed to a strong Pluto energy in an astrology chart. Pluto people usually have soul purposes that involve leadership, passion, drive, and transformation because these are the light aspects of the controlling character trait. So-called controlling people are growth oriented. They are coaches, founders, and CEOs. It is useful for them to become aware of the tendency to dominate others and learn to mute that action a bit.
Hating the self for being controlling, possessive, or jealous, however, is harmful. It’s much better to use self-awareness to minimize the aspects of this trait that can be harsh for others. No one likes to have their free will manipulated, so the ideal is to learn to inspire and elevate others (rather than control) and to compromise whenever possible so outcomes can meet everyone’s needs—at least some of the time.
Are You “Too Serious”?
Many people who struggle with depression have the associated trait of being too serious. This comes from a strong Saturn, astrologically. Saturn is a practical, structured, and responsible energy. It gets things done—and done well! But the sternness of Saturn can lead to an increase in pressure and a decrease of joy. Too-serious people often feel burdened by heaviness or oppression, even when they are not acutely depressed. I try to help them have compassion for this.
Through love and the conscious addition of play, serious energy can be mindfully balanced in time. It is also important to honor the probable soul purpose of such orderly vibes. Serious energy usually means the soul is choosing to learn about responsibility. These people are very capable. They may take responsibility for providing structure and organization within their family. They usually take on leadership roles in businesses or clubs. They generally end up being very reliable and productive in their careers. People who are serious are valuable employees. They are stable, efficient, and punctual. These incredible skills make them a huge asset in many endeavors. Most likely, these skills are part of their destiny.
Are You “Too Lazy”?
Being passive, indulgent, or even a touch lazy is a common shadow (unconscious, negative) side of someone who has a strong Venus energy in his or her personality (and astrology chart). Venus energy is highly desirable because it is associated with grace, beauty, harmony, and gentleness. It is connected to Kapha dosha. People who are sometimes labeled as lazy, slow, or even shy are often kind-hearted people who get along well with others (and thus are well-liked).
People with a tendency toward excessive ease can obviously end up feeling a bit stagnant, personally or professionally. Working on balance, boundaries, and assertion is helpful. It’s also important to emphasize the positive, possible soul purpose of this tendency. Is there an artistic or musical talent or an eye for beauty, design, photography, or cooking? There may be a role in nurturing or soothing others, creating pleasing spaces, or easing conflicts. Calm and peaceful, Venus people help others relax and enjoy life. Their inner beauty inspires others and helps them open up in various ways.
Are You “Too Much”?
There’s cheerful, and then there are cheerleaders. These are the Jupiter people! They are enthusiastic and positive—always a big smile! They elevate people’s moods and motivate them to go, do, be, and succeed! It’s a wonderful service! But it can also be a tad annoying. People who have been called too much often don’t seem to realize that their energy level and positivity are unusual. I am an advocate of shining as brightly as possible! However, being mindful of the starting place of someone you are trying to help is also important.
Learning when to be “full-on” and when to be “mood lighting” enhances versatility (and receptivity). Jupiter personalities usually have a soul purpose to teach and inspire others. They are gifted with lively dispositions, and their attitudes are often transmissible. Their shadow generally relates to being naïve about the challenges that others (such as those with more Saturn) experience. Thus, a Jupiter person’s level of positivity may not be realistically (karmically) achievable by all. Still, the cheering role is valuable, and all souls benefit from occasional confetti sprinkles.
Are You “Too Particular”?
Being too particular is a so-called weakness that is about being discerning and perceptive. This trait comes with the gifts of an analytical mind and strong pattern-recognition skills. Being particular is related to perfectionism. This trait is connected to the energy of Mercury and specifically to the strategic, Virgo quality of Mercury (compared to the more lyrical, Gemini quality of Mercury). Particular individuals are precise, with a sense of duty, idealism, and integrity.
Being overly discerning can make one difficult to work with, however. It is useful for these individuals to sometimes choose to relax their high standards for the sake of harmony. It is also important that the particular individual understands that their traits are likely part of a service-oriented calling. They will need their sense of duty and idealism to persevere through challenges. Their powers of observation and discernment help them achieve the level of excellence necessary for success with the complex tasks ahead of them (testing, degrees, research, presentations, etc.).
Are You “Too Spacey”?
Being spacey, dreamy, or flakey is a so-called weakness that many spiritual, mystical, artistic, musical, and healer types have. It is associated with the planet Neptune. Being spacey describes an individual who is (at times) vague and undefined. There may be a tendency to float through life, without taking a stand or motivation to achieve something specific. There can be wonderfully easy-going energy in people who have this tendency. This flexibility usually makes them very well-liked, but if you try to pin them down in any way, they often fade or disappear.
Neptune people struggle to keep appointments, consider the impact of their actions, and pay bills or balances promptly. The realities of the world are a bit much for these magical beings. The soul purpose of this so-called weakness is sensitivity to other realms. Being less in touch with the firmness of this reality means they are more in touch with the magic of other dimensions. Nearly all highly intuitive or psychic individuals have strong Neptune in their charts. Many musicians or artists have this dreamy energy in abundance. Too-spacey individuals are a kind of intermediary between this world and the Spirit. Fantasy is their language, and using their imagination is part of their destiny.
Are You “Too Self-Centered”?
The so-called weakness of being too self-centered is associated with a strong sun in astrology. Individuals with powerful sun energy radiate light and have abundant vitality. Sun people expect to be the center of attention, and they usually are. Drama and storytelling are second nature, and the self-centered usually also possess charisma and charm. Too self-centered people often love to play, dance, and laugh. They are also quite sporty (and competitive) and enjoy games of many kinds.
The sun gives light and life. Sun people tend to think a bit more about how their light is being received vs. simply caring about another’s thoughts and feelings. This creates a self-centered tendency. It’s useful for these individuals to try to balance their actions—remembering to include and inquire about others. Sun-powered people are confident, regal, exuberant, and creative. These traits are important in the soul purpose of the so-called self-centered sun person. These traits are attractive and draw people into relationships. Sun people are leaders and performers (on all of life’s stages). They may not be overly considerate, but they are generous. A sun person’s light might also be called love.
Are You “Too Eccentric”?
If you have ever been called too eccentric, quirky, or individualistic, then it is likely you are a way-shower. Innovative, resourceful, and futuristic, so-called eccentrics are people who do things differently. Eccentric people value things others cast off and love coming up with inventive ways of doing or re-doing things. They find new solutions to old problems. They often have an excellent, intuitive understanding of computers, robots, electronics, and science.
Too-eccentric people frequently are progressive and humanitarian. They have a soft spot for the underdogs. Their visionary impulses often extend beyond personal application to the collective. They want to move the human race forward. The too-eccentric tendency is associated with the planet Uranus (and Vata dosha). Uranus rotates on a different plane (nearly on its side) relative to the other planets. It is good for these different ones to embrace their weird, and they usually do. Because they are the way-showers, eccentric people quickly and naturally realize the truth of what I’m saying in this article:
What seems like a weakness is also a gift.
Discovering that people’s natural strengths, and their so-called weaknesses, are tied together is one of the most beautiful insights I’ve gleaned from my intrepid journey down an unusual road (blending medicine with astrology). I have several of the above too-something dichotomies in myself. You are the way you are for a reason!
There’s a soul purpose to all we experience: something to learn and something to share. Acknowledging vulnerabilities while slowly elevating weaknesses cultivates mastery. Certain challenges awaken the experiences needed to accomplish what the soul (most likely) wants to achieve. Embracing the self is an act of love. Do the best you can with what you have, and constantly strive to open, explore, forgive, and transform! A grain of roughness in the story of your soul will slowly become your pearl.