There was something almost mysterious about this woman. Her face had lots of wrinkles. These were the first things to catch your eye, but they didn’t make her look old. Instead, they emphasized a certain youthfulness in her that transcended age. The wrinkles belonged where they were, as if they had been part of her face since birth. When she smiled, the wrinkles smiled with her; when she frowned, the wrinkles frowned, too. And when she was neither smiling nor frowning, the wrinkles lay scattered over her face in a strangely warm, ironic way. ~ Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
My first insight into the feeling of being internally old occurred during adolescence. I felt unusually different from the kids around me, somehow older, but ‘mature’ wasn’t exactly the right word. The best way I could describe it back then was as though I had lived hundreds of years of life which had been condensed into 16 years of time.
As the years went by, I encountered a few Old Souls who I shared my experiences with. I would talk about my insights and introduce them to the concept of Old Souls. One of these people was Luna. She was so excited about it that she eventually wrote the well-received article 9 Signs You’re An Old Soul as well as a subsequent Old Soul Book.
Recently, many other websites have started writing on the subject of Old Souls as well. In fact, so many people seem capable of relating to this experience that I thought it would be a good idea to create a community specifically dedicated to Old Souls, and this was when the Old Soul Facebook Group was born. The lack of conflict within such a large group of members is proof of the maturity that exists among them.
But in the real world having people of different levels of soulful evolution co-existing with each others comes with its problems. Not only that, but having an Old Soul doesn’t necessarily equate to being ‘all-knowing’ or perfect. Rather, it’s an indication of the age of the energy known as your soul.
In my years of mentoring Old Souls and helping them through their spiritual development, these are some of the biggest problems I’ve seen, and personally experienced:
1# You’re A Social Outcast
As with anyone who perceives the world differently from others, Old Souls can experience a great (and unending) sense of isolation. Because they fail to fit into the standards that society admires and values (careers, materialism, status and so forth), they’re commonly seen as strange, offbeat and unconventional.
2# You’re The “Black Sheep”
While Old Souls can build many strong relationships with people, their penetrating ability to connect with the depths of the people in their lives can create many enemies. Seeing deeply into the core issues of the people around them, Old Souls feel an innate desire to be truthful, even if this means revealing uncomfortable truths such as the fact that many problems are caused by immaturity, or a failure to take responsibility.
Those who are willing to change will listen and like you, while the rest will feel great disdain towards you. This is why Old Souls often become the “devils advocates” or “black sheep” of their friends or family.
3# You Often Get Mislabeled
If there’s something we all love and are good at, it’s labeling people. We fool ourselves into thinking we can “know” someone by attributing a label to them. However, humans are far too complex to be boxed into a specific and unchanging group of people. In this case, Old Souls will often be given different labels, from “beatniks” to “hippies”, “anarchists” to “new age freaks”.