How many of you feel as if you must hide, wear slightly false identities, or dull and water down your true self to survive in this world? It’s brutally painful sometimes, isn’t it? We value authenticity and depth in others, but how many people appreciate ours? And how often do you observe true authenticity and depth in another person? I bet it’s not often. I rarely encounter it. This is why I prefer an isolated, loner-ish existence. I feel like my tribe does not exist, although I know this is not true. (Those of you who are drawn to my blog are likely my kind of people.)
Many of us old souls and INFJs, due to feeling misunderstood or unappreciated, suffer with intense loneliness, low self-esteem, shame, social anxiety, depression, and even existential crises. You may feel quite wounded at your core because of this feeling you’ve carried all your life that you aren’t like others. Do you constantly question your purpose and where on Earth you belong? You might feel deeply flawed because of it, like I have many times in my life. When you’ve tried to be brave and present your real self to the world, you’ve probably been criticized, ridiculed, misunderstood, looked down upon, or flat-out rejected.
As much as we value our alone time and take pride in being independent, there’s been that place within us that has ached from not having our social needs met. It sounds cool and superior to say you don’t need people, but most of us still have the human desire to belong somewhere and to be accepted for who and what we are. When we can’t find it, we learn to stop expecting much from others, and we either become more self-sufficient or put on a mask that will be better accepted by others. Despite our attempts to ignore it, once in a while that pain intensely bubbles to the surface to remind us of just how terribly alone and invisible we feel. And it’s not attention we crave. No, we’re looking for a deep, raw connection that brings life to our heart and soul.
Maybe you’d rather pretend sometimes that these issues don’t bother you much or that you’ve overcome them, but let’s just get real about these wounds we carry. To be real about our deepest wounds means that we can reach out to the other old souls and INFJs to let them know they’re not alone and that we understand. You know that there are more of our kind out there. Also, being honest about our pain is the first step in healing it.
I found a YouTube channel recently about old souls. I’m sure some of you will receive validation through what Abby shares on there. Please start with this video: Old Souls and Autism of the Soul. It really speaks to that struggle we’ve faced to be real in a world that doesn’t value honesty, truth, authenticity, sensitivity, and vulnerability. In the description, she says, “Unlike those with autism spectrum disorders in the outer world, we’re able to “pretend” to get along with the herd or the crowd. Only those of us with autism of the soul slowly die inside, and our gold turns to rust, our hearts break, and our bodies go numb. I was dying a slow death before I started a process of shedding all that was a lie about me…”
Sometimes, opening up to someone is the solution for creating a deep, authentic connection. Most of the time, it isn’t. Most aren’t comfortable with the truth and depth of an old soul. I’ve become quite choosy regarding who is worthy of seeing my underlying layers, and I’ve realized it’s only a tiny percentage of people out there. I’m not trying to be snobby about it. Sometimes you just get the feeling that a lot of people can’t handle you as you are, you know? My boyfriend has suggested that I am at a level that probably intimidates or confuses people because they are not accustomed to encountering someone like me.
If you relate to this post, I’m asking you to please leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences related to being misunderstood due to your authenticity and vulnerability. I know your fellow old souls and INFJs would appreciate knowing you exist, no matter where you are, and that you understand what we feel. I promise that someone will feel validated and relate to your own experience. We might not be able to get much acceptance from the world, but maybe the best we can do sometimes is to send out the message to the others who need to hear, “I’m here, and I see you. I know your pain so well because I carry it, too.”