When I was the ripe old age of two, my mother wrote…
“I’m worried about my Hessy (my nickname, embarrassingly used to this day), she’s such a serious little girl. Sometimes when I look into her eyes, I see an old woman staring back at me.”
She showed me this hand-written passage in a distinctly ‘1970’s brown’ colored journal she pulled out from the back of her very disheveled closet.
I was 15 years old at the time; already keenly aware I saw and felt the world very differently than most people.
I’d also figured out my ability to see the world in unique ways wasn’t really an ability at all. It was simply the natural result of my “who I Am-ness” in this world. And it made my very uncomfortable.
Even though I intuitively understood I was different, I still wanted to know why
When I asked my mom what was wrong with me, she sighed and said, “I don’t know honey…you’re an old soul, I guess.”
Being an old soul is half blessing, half curse. The blessings are that you feel far deeply, see truth more clearly, and have access to a breadth of knowledge that is quite literally out of this world. The curse is that you can’t turn it off, even when you want to.
What makes being an old soul even harder, is not knowing you are one. In the next few paragraphs, you’ve find the 7 defining characteristics of an old soul.
Pay close attention to the ones that resonate! That’s your intuition asking you to acknowledge and celebrate this aspect of who you are.
You might be an old soul if….
1. You’re interested in essence not appearance.
Old souls live by the idea that it’s better to live a hard truth than a beautiful lie. They have the uncanny ability to strip things down to their essentials and face whatever they find there. The Truth is incredibly important to old souls. Because of this, they have very little interest in shallow or superficial conversations, people, places or things.
Their disinterest in the mundane doesn’t come from a judgmental place. Hell, most desperately wish they could enjoy superfluous things like football, reality TV, and whether or not someone is a republican or democrat. It just all seems so utterly, terribly, mind-numbingly boring to them.
They’ve been there. They’ve done that, and they’ve seen too much bullshit to waste their time on it.
2. You just know things.
Old souls often don’t know how they know things, but when they do, 9 times out of 10 they’re right about whatever it is. Their wisdom even surprises them at times because their conscious ability to express it often doesn’t arise until precisely the moment it’s needed.
Have you ever had someone ask you a question on a topic about which you’re a complete dilettante, and yet somehow you manage to respond with an incredibly detailed, accurate, and astute answer you didn’t know you knew? (Re-read that sentence…Ok, you’re nodding your head right now aren’t you?) Old souls have spent countless lifetimes on Earth acquiring knowledge. When it’s needed, they have access to it which makes them very powerful…and leads me to my next point.
3. You love life but feel weary.
Have you ever felt tired in a way that you know no amount of sleep will cure? Old souls tend to have an odd feeling of ‘spiritual fatigue’ in their life. In relation to their own soul’s evolution, they sense they’ll soon be off the karma wheel and they just want to be done with it already.
In relation to the world, there’s a solemn “When will this planet get it’s shit together?” kind of feeling going on in the background.
On the flip side, old souls genuinely love life and honor every moment of it as a sacred gift. They tend to be very long-suffering and patient in helping others, despite feeling completely ‘over it’ at times. They’re also very committed to faithfully serving and accomplishing their life purpose; because they want off the karma bus.
4. You are deeply ethical about your use of personal power.
Old souls are innately very powerful people. They carry this power everywhere they go and others intuitively feel it. Their strength is different from ‘worldly’ power in that they never incite fear, use force, or intimidate others with it. It’s a magnetizing force that creates a sense of benevolent awe, mystery, and admiration in others. People want to be like old souls, not because of status, wealth, or perceived social value, but because they’re an inspiring and uplifting mirror for what they might become, if they apply themselves.
Old souls are very aware they have this effect on people and are careful not to allow other people to give their power away. They value cooperation over competition and definitely prefer not to cast in the ‘guru’ role.
Paradoxically, it’s hard for others not to put them on that pedestal (however unwillingly they go) because of how capable, encouraging, and supportive they are. Their right use of power makes them a natural ‘lead-from-behind’ leader that other people love to follow.
5. You’re a natural coach or healer.
Many old souls can be found in the teaching and healing professions. Their dharma (right way of living one’s life purpose) usually entails ‘giving back’ what they’ve learned in previous life times. They’re natural problem solvers and they do so with compassion, warmth, and honesty.
Old souls also have no problem speaking truths many people are too scared to say. They care and respect others too much to not be honest with them, which makes them excellent advisors.
Person: “Why is my boyfriend cheating on me again with that nasty hoe from his office?
Old Soul: “Because you keep taking his sorry ass back, that’s why.”
Person: “But I’ve been such a good girlfriend! I’ve been so nice and I’ve given him so many second chances!!
Old Soul: **Sighs…sips wine.** “Yeah, that’s the problem, honey.”
6. People trust you with just about everything.
Old souls have the natural ability to make others feel safe. They are highly empathic, with the ability to logically and emotionally understand what others are saying (or not saying) at any given point in time. They’re fabulous listeners with a sincere interest in making deep connections. Since they’ve been around the block a few times, there’s not much you can say that would shock them or make them judge you.
They create an unconditionally accepting atmosphere everywhere they go, which makes it irresistibly easy for others to spill their deepest secrets all over them.
7. You struggle like a mutha with self-doubt.
Old souls are smart enough to understand they don’t have all the answers. The ultimate old soul, Socrates summed it up perfectly when he said, “I know that I know nothing.” They have a hard time believing in themselves because many of their previous soul experiences involved making decisions, taking risks, screwing up, and paying for them the hard way.
This characteristic is ironic because old souls often possess a high level of skill across a myriad of domains. They’re super talented and more than capable of accomplishing anything to which they put their mind.
The hardest lesson for an old soul is to learn how to believe in themselves.
And now, it’s your turn! I’d love to hear from you.
- Which of these characteristics do you feel you often or easily express?
- What ‘old soul’ characteristic would you add to this list?
- If you are an old soul, what’s your greatest challenge in being one right now?
Let me know your thoughts, insights and a-ha’s in the comments.
With Love & High Vibes,