How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are? ~ Satchel Paige
There is a special kind of person in our world who finds himself alone and isolated, almost since birth.
His solitary existence isn't from a preference or an antisocial temperament - he is simply old. Old in heart, old in mind and old in soul, this person is an old soul who finds his outlook on life vastly different and more matured than those around him. As a result, the old soul lives his life internally, walking his own solitary path while the rest around him flock to follow another. Perhaps you've experienced this in your own life, or have witnessed it in another person? If so, this article is dedicated to you, in hopes that you will come to define yourself, or understand another better.
The "Old Soul"
Robert Frost, Eckhart Tolle and even Nick Jonas have been called them. Perhaps even you have? I did. Like many of them, this self discovery was made upon meeting Sol, who told me about his childhood as a precocious, intelligent boy who would befriend the teachers instead of the students, just because they were too different from him. As he related his inability to find interest in and connection to the people his age, I discovered that I felt the same, and still do.
If you have not yet discovered whether you're an old soul, read some of the revealing signs below.
9 Signs You're An Old Soul
1# You tend to be a solitary loner.
Because old souls are disinterested in the pursuits and interests of the people in their age groups, they find it dissatisfying to make friends with people they find it hard to relate to. This is one of the major problems Old Souls experience. The result is ... old souls tend to find themselves alone a lot of the time. People just don't cut it for them.
2# You love knowledge, wisdom and truth.
Yep ... this seems a little grandiose and overly noble, but the old soul finds himself naturally gravitating towards the intellectual side of life. Old souls inherently understand that knowledge is power, wisdom is happiness and truth is freedom, so why not seek after those things? These pursuits are more meaningful to them than reading up on the latest gossip about Snooki's latest boyfriend, or the latest football scores.
3# You're spiritually inclined.
More emotional old souls tend to have sensitive and spiritual natures. Overcoming the confines of the ego, seeking enlightenment - as modeled by the Awakened Souls - and fostering love and peace are the main pursuits of these young-in-body Mother Teresa's. To them it seems the wisest, most fulfilling use of time.
4# You understand the transience of life.
Old souls are frequently plagued with reminders of not only their own mortality, but that of everything and everyone around them. This makes the old soul weary and at times withdrawn, but wisely dictates the way they live their lives.
5# You're thoughtful and introspective.
Old souls tend to think a lot ... about everything. Their ability to reflect and learn from their actions and those of others is their greatest teacher in life. One reason why old souls feel so old at heart is because they have learnt so many lessons through their own thought processes, and possess so much insight into life situations from their ability to quietly and carefully observe what if going on around them.
6# You see the bigger picture.
Rarely do old souls get lost in the superficial details of getting useless degrees, job promotions, boob jobs and bigger TV's. Old souls have the tendency to look at life from a birds eye view, seeing what is the most wise and meaningful way to approach life. When confronted with issues, old souls tend to see them as temporary and passing pains that merely serve to increase the amount of joy felt in the future. Consequently, old souls tend to have placid, stable natures as a result of their approach to life.
7# You aren't materialistic.
Wealth, status, fame, and the latest version of iPhone ... they just bore old souls. The old soul doesn't see the purpose of pursuing things that can be easily taken away from them. Additionally, old souls have little time and interest for the short-lived things in life, as they bring little meaning or long lasting fulfillment for them.
8# You were a strange, socially maladaptive kid.
This is not always the case, but many old souls exhibit odd signs of maturity at young ages. Often, these children are labelled as being "precocious", "introverted", or "rebellious", failing to fit into the mainstream behaviors. Usually, these children are extremely inquisitive and intelligent, seeing the purposelessness of many things their teachers, parents and peers say and do, and either passively or aggressively resisting them. If you can talk to your child like he/she's an adult - you've probably got an old soul on your hands.
9# You just "feel" old.
Before putting a name to what I felt, I experienced certain sensations of simply being an "old person" inside. The feelings that accompany being an old soul are usually: a feeling of world wariness, mental tiredness, watchful patience, and detached calmness. Unfortunately, this can often be perceived as being aloof and cold, which is only one of many Old Soul Myths.
Just as some old people describe themselves as being "young at heart", so too can young people be "old at heart".
Are you an old soul? I'd love to hear your stories below.
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Photo by: Ryan Seyeau - Color Enhanced