8 things only old souls understand about life

Being an old soul transcends mere age; it’s about possessing a unique wisdom that surpasses the superficialities of everyday life, delving into the profound and transcendent.

Through years of immersion in mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve acquired invaluable insights into the essence of old souls—truths about life that resonate deeply with them. These are not your ordinary life lessons; they penetrate to the core of our existence, our purpose, and our journey in this world.

Without further ado, let’s talk about 8 things only old souls understand about life. 

1) The beauty of impermanence

Old souls have a unique grasp on the concept of impermanence. In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, many of us scramble to hold onto things, situations, even people.

But old souls? They understand that everything is transient.

Just like the teachings of Buddhism, they perceive the fleeting nature of all things in life. The joy, the sorrow, the success, and the failure – nothing lasts forever.

This understanding doesn’t make them pessimistic. Instead, it brings a sense of peace and acceptance. They know that no matter how great or terrible a situation is, it will change. It’s just the way of the universe.

2) The power of mindfulness

As Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American professor emeritus of medicine and veteran researcher of mindfulness, once said: “In Asian languages, the word for ‘mind’ and the word for ‘heart’ are the same word. So when we hear the word ‘mindfulness’, we have to inwardly also hear ‘heartfulness’ in order to grasp it even as a concept, and especially as a way of being.”

In other words, to truly understand mindfulness, we must recognize its inherent connection to the heart and approach it with a sense of ‘heartfulness’—a deep emotional engagement and openness that complements the cognitive aspect.  

For old souls, the concept of ‘heartfulness’ resonates profoundly because it reflects their natural inclination towards empathy, compassion, and intuition. It aligns with their inherent understanding of the interconnectedness of mind, heart, and spirit, because they tend to possess a heightened sensitivity to the subtleties of the human experience.  

Therefore, when they hear the idea that ‘mindfulness’ inherently implies ‘heartfulness,’ it confirms their intuitive understanding of the deeper dimensions of mindfulness practice.

3) Embracing suffering as a part of life

Embracing suffering might sound like a bitter pill to swallow, but for those brave enough to confront it head-on, it’s a radical act of liberation. It’s not some abstract notion; it’s at the very heart of Buddhism’s core teachings, encapsulated in the First Noble Truth: Dukkha, the acknowledgment of suffering and unsatisfactoriness.

Old souls understand this truth on a visceral level. They take it as both head and heart knowledge that pain, loss, and disappointment are integral parts of the human experience. Rather than running away, they take what life throws at them in their stride. 

However, they don’t romanticize suffering, nor do they cower in its shadow. Instead, they meet it head-on with grace, knowing that within its depths lie profound lessons waiting to be learned.

4) Living without judgment

Old souls possess an extraordinary gift—the ability to navigate life without the heavy burden of judgment weighing them down.

They recognize that each person traverses a distinct path, and it’s not their place to make any judgmental observation. This profound insight isn’t just a testament to their empathy and compassion; it’s a cornerstone of their wisdom.

With every interaction, these philosophers foster an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding that transcends the barriers of judgment. Rather than casting stones, they extend a hand of empathy and support, recognizing the inherent worth and dignity in every soul they encounter. This isn’t merely a passive acknowledgment—it’s an active choice to embrace the richness of human diversity and honor the unique experiences that shape each individual.

5) The balance between self and others

Helpful to others 8 things only old souls understand about life

As an old soul, I’ve come to understand the delicate balance between self-care and serving others. It’s a theme I delve into deeply in my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego”.

Old souls inherently understand that you can’t pour from an empty cup. They prioritize self-care not out of selfishness, but from the understanding that it’s necessary to be of service to others.

At the same time, old souls don’t merely exist for their own sake. They hold a profound belief in the interconnectedness of all beings, understanding that the ripples of their actions extend far beyond themselves. Driven by a deep sense of purpose, they actively seek to make a positive impact on the world around them. They generously give of their time, energy, and wisdom, not seeking recognition or reward, but motivated solely by the desire to contribute to the greater good.

6) The pursuit of inner peace over material wealth

Old souls possess a unique perspective on success that transcends conventional notions of wealth and possessions. They understand, on a deeply personal level, that material abundance is fleeting and incapable of delivering lasting happiness.

In the eyes of an old soul, true richness is found within the depths of one’s being. They resonate with the timeless wisdom of Buddhism and mindfulness, which prioritize the pursuit of inner peace and spiritual growth above all else.

For them, the true treasures of life lie in experiences that enrich the soul, in relationships that nurture the heart, and in personal growth that expands the mind. It’s not about renouncing material comforts, but rather about recognizing the inherent value of what truly matters.

In a society fixated on the pursuit of wealth and status, the wisdom of old souls serves as a beacon of authenticity and enlightenment. Their perspective challenges us to reassess our definitions of success and to seek fulfillment from within rather than from external sources. It’s a reminder that true happiness is not found in the accumulation of possessions, but in the cultivation of a rich inner life.

7) The wisdom of letting go

Old souls possess a deep understanding of the power of letting go. They will be the first to tell you that holding on to anger, resentment, or regret only leads to suffering.

As the famous Buddhist monk, Ajahn Chah once said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” This wisdom resonates deeply with old souls, who have experienced firsthand the peace that comes from releasing emotional burdens.

For them, practicing forgiveness is not just a gesture towards others, but also an act of self-compassion. They understand the importance of releasing the past, allowing themselves the space to heal and grow.

Moreover, old souls are adept at letting go of expectations. They embrace life’s unpredictability and understand that plans don’t always unfold as anticipated. Instead of resisting change, they gracefully adapt and flow with the currents of life.

8) The value of solitude

In a world where the bustling noise of constant connection often drowns out the whisper of our own thoughts, old souls stand firm in their belief: solitude isn’t synonymous with loneliness; it’s a sanctuary for self-discovery and growth.

For them, solitude isn’t about isolation—it’s a sacred space for introspection, a chance to delve deep into the labyrinth of their own minds without the cacophony of external distractions. It’s a time to reconnect with their essence, to listen to the whispers of their soul amidst the clamor of everyday life.

Yet, it’s not a retreat from the world. Old souls cherish meaningful connections, valuing the richness that comes from genuine human interaction. However, they also swear by the invaluable power of solitude—a quiet refuge where they can replenish their spirits and nurture their inner worlds.

From suffering to liberation

In conclusion, these 8 timeless lessons aren’t just intellectual constructs—they are examples of mindfulness in motion, guiding old souls through the twists and turns of existence with grace and wisdom. Each lesson is etched into the very fabric of their being, a testament to their deep understanding of life’s profound truths.

As these deep thinkers navigate their journey, they embody these teachings with a personal touch, weaving them into the very essence of their being. In a world hungry for meaning and direction, may these lessons stand as beacons of enlightenment, illuminating the path toward a life rich with purpose and fulfillment for all who seek it.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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