Being an old soul… What does that mean to you? Is it suffering? Is it having too much empathy? Is it simply feeling too much? Or is it feeling that you have lived a different life before? It could be something else, or it could be all of the above.
You probably agree that Western societies tend to value selfish notions and strong headed people. The reality is that soulful people do not really fit that mold. This is why a lot of soulful people are attracted to non-material values and (at times) to Eastern spirituality.
What is an old soul? (Old Soul Meaning)
Soulful people usually value other things than shiny possessions. They value freedom, peace of mind, simple pleasures, and Zen living.
They are mostly deep thinkers and feel that they don’t quite belong. They may find extreme shallow behaviors boring, but they continue to respect those with “baby souls” who are still clinging to objects or wanting the acceptance of their peers above all values. This is because they are wise beyond their years.
I think that some of us have older souls than others.
You are probably an old soul. Why? Because you are attracted to the subject matter. You want to know more about yourself than what is trending outside of your physical body.
In this post we will talk about what makes an old soul. The question is: How ancient are you?
The 15 signs of an old soul
Here are the major signs that you are an old soul… Do you measure up?
1. You are a big thinker. You wonder why things happen around you, why people behave the way they do, and how everything fits into your life. The questions that may cross your mind include “Why are we here and what is the purpose of it all?” You are a person who always seeks a deeper understanding of the world around you.
2. You were always mature, even at a young age. When you were a child, you might have felt a bit awkward around kids your age. You felt responsible for things and for others. You sometimes eavesdropped on older people’s conversations. Your parents might have had their friends or siblings over and you enjoyed hearing their stories.
3. You enjoy self-actualization. You might be quiet on the inside, and may not brag about your accomplishments, but inside of you is an artist, a writer, a musician, or someone who enjoys taking photographs. You like expressing yourself in various mediums. Other people’s approval of your art is not necessary. You are compelled to always learn something and try new things.
4. You seek wisdom over money and possessions. You like to read, learn, or watch informational videos. You are always looking at wise quotes, reading books, or listening to helpful audiobooks to gain some wisdom. You prefer the richness of a person with a great mind and spirituality over the financial abundance of someone else who may be selfish and vain.
You know how to recognize a narcissist immediately, because you have developed intolerance to their way of selfish living. You might not have wealth in terms of possessions, but you are very rich on the inside. As your soul grows, you will value more and more knowledge and wisdom over things.
5. You value what is important in life. If you were given a choice between being a miserable millionaire or a happy person with little money, you would probably prefer being happy.
You are a superb human being who truly knows that life is short and that the most important aspect of living is a deeper understanding of yourself. You nurture your few good friendships and relationships. You try as much as you can to enjoy the moment with your loved ones. You can be a realist at times because you know that life is not a fairytale.
6. You are usually an introvert, but can occasionally be the life of the party. You may be able to get down and throw your friend a great birthday celebration, be the clown in the crowd, get the party started, keep the conversation going, and all sorts of great social skills, but at some point you need your “me time”. This is because although you temporarily display the qualities of an extrovert, deep down inside, you are an introvert.
You get your energy from inside of yourself, and not from other people. You give your time to people, but sometimes when you socialize heavily you find it necessary to rest. This is when you regroup into your own self to regain your emotional and mental strength.
7. Your alone time is part of what keeps you sane. You have been called a recluse and a loner at times. Friends might be worried that you are being on your own too much, but you’re not worried at all. You enjoy people but you also like your time with yourself.
“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” (Audrey Hepburn)
When you are alone with your thoughts you go back in your thinking and often reflect on your life, not in a “broken record” kind of way, but more in search of a higher understanding of what the next step needs to be.
8. You are of the “Growth Mindset” and you realize that challenges are a part of life. You understand that living on this earth can be tough and that being uncomfortable at times is part of it. You know that if you stay put in your limited cocoon, you will not progress and grow. This is exactly what Carol Dweck wrote about in her book “Mindset”.
You may dislike your job, but you do it anyway because it is a path along your journey. It doesn’t define who you are, but it helps you grow as a human being. Your exchange of your time for money pays your bills and that’s how you look at it. Sometimes you show signs of starting or wanting to start your own business, not primarily because of money but because you value your freedom.
You may dislike your financial situation, but you learn to live with less and still have an appreciation for life. You don’t necessarily enjoy the struggle, but you respect it.
9. You have been called “genuine” on many occasions. People can sense that you are down to earth and real. They may open up to you the moment they meet you.
You have an aura of trust around you and people usually flock to you with their problems, hoping you would help them. In reality, all they want is to be validated. You are great at validating others since you continue to grow at being non-judgmental.
10. You feel like an outsider. This is not about what people perceive you to be, but about what you perceive yourself to be around others.
You like your privacy and prefer not pouring all your life on social media. You can’t understand how people can do that all the time. You are comfortable being alone for days, doing things you enjoy, and enriching your own soul from within.
11. You are sensitive around pain and suffering. Although you may have taken in a lot of punches in life, you still have a very soft heart. You are unable to fathom all the evil in the world, but you also believe in hope, humanity, and helping others. You are first to give your money to the poor, the hungry and the needy, even without them asking for it.
You may donate your money to good causes, but you may not able to watch commercials, movies, or any sort of outreach programs about abuse of any kind including the abuse of our planet.
12. Your sense of empathy and acceptance of others is above average. You are loving, forgiving, and accepting of all people, animals, and living things. You can be the open minded aunt, uncle, sister, or brother when your family might not be as open to sensitive subjects.
You could be the person who simply pulls out a $20 bill and gives it to someone you feel is in need, without asking them if they want the money.
You are the person who offers a free cup of coffee and a meal to a woman at a coffee shop whom you suspect is homeless. You don’t ask. You just help. You may find yourself sitting with her, grabbing a cup of coffee and talking about life, not about her circumstances because you don’t want to embarrass her. You just want to make her feel human and respected. People may tell you that you are crazy and that the other person is using you, but you just do what your heart tells you to do.
13. You appreciate the simple things in life. You are not one who needs a lot of excitement to feel happy. You may love sitting by the lake with some greens around you, the breeze caressing your face, and the ducks swimming by. You prefer that any day over going to a baby shower where kids are screaming and people are gathering and pretending to have a great time. It’s not that you don’t go to those events; it’s just that you prefer the simple things in life, and usually those things cannot be bought with money.
14. You are spiritual. Although sometimes you don’t think you are spiritual because others define spirituality in terms of religious faith, you are nonetheless very spiritual in your own way. Your respect for all living beings is spiritual enough to start with.
You also like to keep things quiet and Zen. You’re not a huge fan of very crowded and loud places. Don’t get me wrong, you will attend the parties and weddings, but after a couple of hours of constant bombardment of attention seekers you feel that are ready to go home and light a candle, or burn some incense or sage to re-ground yourself.
15. You think you have a past life and you have been here before in a different time in history. You might feel very strongly about a specific time from the past. Was it the 1920’s in Long Island a la “The Great Gatsby”? Or are you very attracted to the French Revolution of the late 1700’s?
Some people are very attracted to even older periods. It cannot be proven, but usually people with old souls have an interest in past historical events.
How did this soulful post come about?
I have a unique friendship with a pen pal that I have known through the written and vocal words. We never met, but we’ve known each other for over 10 years now.
My friend and I live in different countries and speak two common languages. We enjoy occasional chats with each other. Usually we say “hello” and check on the other person’s family. These simple conversations may happen once in a blue moon, separated by days or months.
This morning my friend recommended that I add this quote to this post…
“When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes.” (Amedeo Modigliani)
Modigliani is a soulful Italian painter and sculptor who only lived until the age of 35 and died of tuberculosis in 1920. He is famous for painting nudes and not so perfect looking visages. Perhaps his most notable works are paintings of disfigured features on elongated faces. This uniqueness of seeing into someone’s deeper soul beyond the “perfect” was the essence of Modigliani whose work was not appreciated until much later.
My friend told me that that she earlier woke up with this Modigliani quote in her head, as if we were telepathically connected and on the same subject: Her with this quote and me with a quote from my compatriot Kahlil Gibran…
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” (Kahlil Gibran)
Eleven years after Modigliani’s death, Lebanese-American poet, author, and illustrator Khalil Gibran (The Prophet) also died of tuberculosis. Gibran was 42, and he too had his share of pain that came through in his writings long before his book made it as an international phenomenon.
The amazing thing about this whole notion is the collective consciousness that two people share: Me and my friend. We are two humans who have never met and may never meet, but who have a unique and priceless soulful connection without any demands or pressure. This is a gift that brings humanity out to light.
I am grateful for this friendship as my friend is, no doubt.
What about you? Do you care to add any experiences or any other characteristics to the list of what makes people have old souls? Share your thoughts with us and let us know what you think.