There are various cues through which you can tell whether or not the child you’re raising is actually an old soul. This is a person who’s been watching the world grow around them and has always known the key events that shape us in our youth. To find out if your kid is an old soul, your best bet is to ask them. There are four main criteria to look at:
1) The old soul knows life isn’t static. They know it’s an adventure, but they also know they have no place in the details of life.
They don’t need an answer or a judgment or even a confirmation of life’s journey. They take the journey for themselves, they enjoy it, but they know they have no way to control the ending. There’s no place to shelter in their travels, no safe place to put their head down and nap. They will learn and grow, but they won’t let anyone hijack their lessons.
2) The old soul knows life isn’t easy. Life doesn’t just roll out of bed with an invitation to go out and be awesome.
Life is complicated. There’s pain, disappointment, sadness. There’s illness and death. There are pressures that only adults can fully understand. They live with the constant knowledge that the world is constantly changing, that there are vast expanses that still don’t know what they’ve got. And when they’re with an older person, that knowing resonates deep in the marrow of their bones. They know things. It’s not exactly what we would call wisdom or insight, but they’ve been paying attention, they know things about life, and that’s part of what’s gotten them here.
3) The old soul doesn’t have to fix anyone’s problems.
They don’t like arguing. They don’t like whining or complaining. They’re fine with handing out guidance, but they won’t say “This is what you should do.” They want to see what you do with your life. They want to see if you can actually make something of yourself. And they want you to be happy with yourself and with your life.
And if you’re not happy with yourself and with your life, they want you to find your way. It’s not their job to tell you how to get where you want to be, they just want you to know that you deserve to be happy.
4) The old soul knows life is worth something.
The best thing they can offer is simply their experience, their personal taste, their personal understanding of the world. They don’t need to beat you over the head with a lesson plan or cite some numbers or data to justify your life or the choices you’re making.
They just know that there is something special about the way the world looks to them. It makes the world worth a look, worth a look with your own eyes, worth stopping for a moment to experience. They don’t say to you, “I think you should be making more money than you are. Because you’re just doing so well, you must be a better person.”
Too bad they can’t use some of that space-age wisdom to let you know which new casino you should try your luck on, sure to walk away with some mega winnings…