Music. Poetry. Nature. Art. Deep conversations.
Are you into any of these things? You might be what we call a genuinely soulful person.
It’s a little hard to encapsulate what soulfulness means in a few words, but if I had to, the closest would be to say it involves a certain depth. A natural sensitivity that allows one to feel things deeply.
Because of that, a genuinely soulful person feels so much more than the average person – a whole range of emotions!
Curious to know what these emotions are? Let’s take a look at some of them in this list. And if you find you feel these emotions yourself, then that means you’re a genuinely soulful person yourself!
1) Compassion and empathy
Does “getting other people” come easily to you? I mean, when you listen to their problems, do you feel how hard things are for them?
Or when they’re happy, do you rejoice and feel every tingle of excitement right along with them?
For soulful people, empathy is a natural tendency. That’s why it feels so comforting to talk to them; you won’t be afraid to shed your fake bravado or your cool facade.
You can just be as raw and vulnerable as you want to be, and it will be alright.
Remember, a soulful person has the ability to feel a wide range of emotions. So whatever it is you’re feeling, they won’t dismiss it. They’ll assure you that every emotion is valid.
This, I think, is one of the most telltale signs a person is soulful.
You see, too many of us lose that sense of wonder once we grow up. Adulting, and all the societal expectations that come with it, requires us to be practical, to loosen our hold on our imaginations and make decisions we don’t really want to do.
So, what often happens is disillusionment. Or at best, a certain apathy or world-weariness.
And that child-like wonder we used to have, the one that made us gaze at fireflies in awe or shake snow globes for hours, would drift farther and farther away from us.
But if you’re a soulful person, you never lose that connection with the stirrings of your soul. You have that sense that there’s always something larger than you, and that idea keeps you looking at life wondrously.
So, no matter how old you are, if you can still marvel at the little things, like for example, the intricate patterns and textures in a mushroom, or the sound of waves gently crashing on the shore…
…You, my friend, definitely have your soulfulness intact.
This is closely connected to wonder. If you still have your sense of wonder, you just can’t help but be grateful.
According to Dr. Robert Emmons, gratitude is two-pronged. The first stage is acknowledgment of what’s good in your life.
And second, acknowledgment that those good things come from something outside us.
Which means, we can’t take credit from them!
So, because we acknowledge that, a soulful person would feel intense, overwhelming waves of gratitude. Something along the lines of, “This moment right here is a gift, and I’m so blessed to be here for it.”
And when they say, “I can’t express how much this means to me,” you better believe it. That feeling of gratitude is just so deep and large that they literally can’t find the words for it!
Oh, joy. My favorite emotion. So elusive and hard to come by, but intensely rewarding when you get to experience it.
Being joyful is more than just being happy. I see it as an indicator that we’re in harmony with our inner self and the world.
That we’re filled with so much lightness of being that no matter what life throws at us, we’ll be okay.
If I had to make a visual picture of joy, it would be any of these:
- A sax player creating glorious riffs with his eyes closed
- An artist lost in the movement of brush and paint against canvas
- A writer fully in flow, words spilling out of his fingers and onto the keyboard
You get the idea.
And it doesn’t even have to be connected to an activity. A soulful person can feel joy by the mere act of sitting on a park bench, closing their eyes, and breathing everything in.
I guess what it all comes down to is that joy is the result of a passion for life. Which leads me to my next point…
I’d like to share an excerpt from one of my favorite classic poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee”:
“I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.”
I hope you feel just how brimming with passion this poem is! And you can even apply it to everything that makes your heart sing, not just a person or a loved one.
That’s exactly what soulful people do. When something strikes their fancy, they’re all in. Whether it’s a social cause or a piece of art, their heart beats with full fervor.
I was once told I feel things too much. A poem like that one above or a piece of beautiful jazz music (like Skating in the Park) can move me to tears.
But what can I do? As much as I want to be more “cool,” I just can’t. I feel things profoundly, and if I had to stop myself from doing that, I would be deeply unhappy.
So if you’re the same way, heed the call of your soul. Go ahead and experience life in its full spectrum of colors and with all the passion in your heart. You owe it to your soulful self to be authentic.
Now, this might sound contradictory, but along with passion, soulful people also have a sense of quiet acceptance.
I say “quiet”, but this emotion is quite powerful.
As passionate as they are, soulful people know when something is beyond their control and they come to terms with it. They accept life as it is, not how they want it to be. That means embracing the bad along with the good.
I think we can credit this once again to their understanding that there’s a greater power at hand. And that life has a transient nature. So, they see the wisdom of being able to accept the painful parts of life.
That said, it’s also why they find it easy to do the next thing…
Forgiveness is another emotion that speaks volumes about your depth as a person. When someone close to you hurts you or betrays your trust, you feel the pain deeply – that’s your nature as a soulful person.
But then, because of your deep well of love and understanding, you still manage to forgive. You know that harboring resentment will only weigh you down and keep you from soaking in all of what life has to offer.
Simply put, you’d rather be whole. A huge part of being soulful is to heal and bring yourself back to a place of harmony.
Finally, we can’t end our list without talking about love. After all, the relationship between love and the soul is profound.
Think about all the soulful music and art that have moved you. I’m pretty sure you’ve found it hard to define what exactly it is about them you connect with, right? All you know is you love it.
That’s your soul speaking – indeed, love is said to be the language of the soul.
It’s also why your experiences are rich and your relationships are meaningful and authentic. As a soulful person, you just crave substance in everything you do.
So, you understand what it’s like to love truly and deeply, in every possible way, whether it’s:
- Romantic love
- Platonic love
- Universal love
That huge capacity to love allows your soul to experience the depths of human emotion and express itself.
Being a soulful person can really feel like you’re forever at odds with a world often focused on the external and the material. I can’t blame you – it can really seem like you’re on a different wavelength from the rest.
But no matter how much the world tells you to brush those emotions away or to take things more lightly, pay them no mind. You do you.
You know yourself best, and to deny yourself the freedom to feel things deeply would be to deny your very nature.