The Challenges Free Spirits Face
Free spirits often get a bad rap.
There’s this idea that being a free spirit is something superficial, something people choose to be. That it’s a trendy way to be for a while, and consequently, there is condemnation of it as being frivolous and self-absorbed.
But you know that this isn’t about the latest craze to dress boho – this is about something far more – this is who you are at your core.
Often it’s easy for us to express ourselves this way when we’re younger, but as we get older, just like anyone else, life gets in the way and challenges occur. And those challenges sometimes make us feel like our free spirit has flown out the window and left us adrift somehow.
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This happened to me – I didn’t even identify with being a free spirit really, I just thought I was slightly unconventional in how I lived my life. But as I grew older and looked at all my peers, I started to wonder if somehow I’d taken a wrong turn.
Only after a lot of soul searching, looking for answers and trying to understand who I really was did I find out the answer to that question.
I'm a free spirit, and with that come different struggles and challenges from those that afflict others. It was a relief to find that out.
Below are the challenges that I most identify with – if any of them resonate with you, then know you’re not alone.
12 Ways Free Spirits Struggle Later In Life
1 - You Never Feel Like You Quite Fit In.
You naturally befriend people from many different walks of life, but you never feel totally at home within any group.
You struggle to label yourself as one thing or another and even though you find those that are on the same wavelength as you in some ways, they tend to only go so far, seeing you as a little extreme.
You can see the beauty in everyone, but often you feel they don’t really get you. So you move from group to group, loving everyone for their unique take on life, but never really being understood by anyone.
2 - Being Way Too Intense Too Quickly Then Changing Your Mind.
You find yourself going from mild interest to absolute fascination within 2 minutes.
You throw yourself into any endeavor with all your heart, and if you don’t like it, you’ll drop it just as fast and find something else. There’s no in-between for free spirits, it’s all or nothing.
One thing that you’ll never do is keep on doing something that doesn’t fire you up, not for too long anyway. You’ll find a way to move on so your passion can be re-ignited by your next adventure.
The trouble with this is you can be seen as shallow, having a lack of depth and focus, which doesn’t show you in your best light.
The truth is when you do find what you love, you have the ability to take risks and live on the edge in a way that others won’t, so you're likely to be successful. But it’s finding that passion and sticking with it that can be your undoing.
3 - Always Being Slightly Detached.
Paradoxically, whilst idealistic and passionate, free spirits tend to be slightly detached from things simply because they know there is so much more still to see, so many experiences to be had, that there is always this idea of keeping the back door open, just in case some new exciting opportunity beckons.
You’ve learnt not to commit too readily because you know from experience that if this happens you won’t be able to stop yourself following your heart.
Others can misconstrue this as cold or uncaring – but actually it’s the opposite. You care so deeply, get so emotionally involved, that you feel the need to distance yourself slightly so that you can extricate yourself should the need arise.
4 - Being A Romantic – Sometimes To Your Detriment.
Life to a free spirit is full of magic. Everything from the stars in the night sky to the funny man in the corner shop has a little place in your heart as you have the knack of always seeing the beauty in life.
But sometimes this comes at a cost. Mostly the cost of being seen as someone who is not in touch with reality, which can be hurtful as much as it can be annoying. You know that you have bad times too, but somehow that romantic nature of yours leaves you eternally optimistic.
Even when you do hit a bad patch, you appear to navigate through it with a smile on your face and head off into the sunset with your rose coloured glasses still in place.
This can cause friction with those who just don’t manage to do that, who have massive roadblocks in their lives that they can’t get past. They insist that you’re just ‘lucky’ and have never had to deal with any difficult challenges before.
In some ways this may be true, but not for the reasons they think, but simply because free spirits see all these events as another experience in the adventure of life.
5 - Having To See Beauty And Meaning In Everything.
To most people this wouldn't really seem to be a struggle. But I’ll bet it is to you.
In order to put your mind to anything it needs to feel like something, not just another-thing-to-do.
I find it so hard to find the beauty and meaning in housework. I do like the results – but it just seems like some massive waste of time and energy to me. I’d much rather be writing or reading my latest can’t-put-down book, meandering in my mind about ideas and possibilities, walking my dog, or researching an interesting topic for my website…
And I know that you know exactly what I mean. It’s more than the normal resentment of mundane chores, it’s just feels like a complete waste of your life-force.
6 - Rebelling Against Rules and Authority Figures.
It’s inbuilt within you to question everything – and didn’t someone say that rules are meant to be broken?
An instruction has to appeal to
your free spirited nature before you’ll agree that it’s a good idea. And quite often this gets you into trouble as
you blithely flout the rules and disagree with those who those who purportedly know
better than you.
This doesn’t endear you to others, especially those in
authority of some kind. It also ruffles the feathers of more conventional
types who secretly long to just break free, but don’t dare. The only way they can justify their life in
chains is to try and shut you down.
7 - Doesn’t Suffer Fools Gladly.
Sometimes this can make you look a little impatient and uncaring.
But the reality is, your free spirit doesn’t have time for stuff-that-doesn’t-matter. Life is short enough as it is, and there is so much more exploring to be done.
So rather than enter into any kind of conversation to explain your views about the situation – you’ll just end the conversation abruptly, leaving the other person slightly stunned.
8 - Having to Learn Everything For Yourself.
Never one to listen to other’s constant worries about all the bad things that can happen, you will always need to test firsthand whether what they say is true or not, often completely disbelieving any warnings given.
As a born adventurer, if some idea has taken hold of you - you have to experience it for yourself. This can often make you feel more of an outsider than anything because there you are off on another adventure, and everybody is questioning your sanity.
I've frequently been in this
situation because of my love affair with South Africa. Generally, nobody has ever understood why I
would choose to leave the relative security of Australia to live in what many
see as a dangerous place.
experiences have always been good. Not
that bad things never happen, but the reasons that others gave for their lack
of faith in my choices never occurred even once.
9 - Having To Be Constantly On The Move.
Unlike many people who cling to continuity and certainty, you crave adventure and new experiences, and you have the knack for integrating into new places and befriending people pretty quickly.
But once you’ve established yourself, and the challenge is over, it’s time to move on to something new.
You can no more ‘settle down’ and stay put than a pig can fly. You always think you will, but somehow there’s always one more path to explore first, before you finally come home to roost.
It sounds like fun, but it does take it’s toll.
Because undoubtedly there are certain things you miss out on, and sometimes it can make you feel isolated, but not for long, because without even realizing it, you’re soon planning some new exploit and off you go again.
10 - Crave A Deeper Connection.
Free spirits, for all their love of movement and challenge – want to really know the people in their lives. You crave more than the occasional Facebook message, phone call or quick cup of coffe.
You want to be intimately aware of what they’re going through, how they feel and their challenges or celebrations.
In this age of text messages and emoticons, of busyness and fast paced lives, it can leave you feeling disconnected from those around you, pushing you to change your environment yet again, seeking some place where you will fit in and have those deeper connections you long for.
11 - A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss. An old saying from my youth – and very apt to the free spirits of the world. Constant motion, whether it’s physically moving from place to place or figuratively, from situation to situation, (job to job, relationship to relationship, passion to passion), it means you don’t amass much by comparison to your peers who tend to value consistency over crazy-risk-taking-ventures.
Generally, this isn’t a bad thing – accumulating stuff isn’t really something to aspire to. But it does mean you live a little bit on the edge – especially when talking about money.
All this moving about and shifting of circumstances can cost a lot financially and means you need to travel light. This is not a problem necessarily – but if you’re surrounded by others with all the trappings of a conventional life, it can make you question if you made the right choices.
Of course, when you then think of what they had to go through to get that – you realise you would do it all again in a heartbeat.
12 - Trying Not To Be A Free Spirit. With a world around us that values conformity, a society that doesn’t trust those that don’t fit the mould, it’s hard sometimes to keep your free spirited nature in the open, to follow your heart and make mistakes and still stand firm and true to who you are.
Umpteen free spirits have fallen into the trap of trying to curb their natural way of being to conform to what those around them want them to be.
If this is you, just the fact that you’re reading this is a good sign that you haven’t truly abandoned your free spirited nature and if so – know that you’re not alone and the benefits of being you surely outweigh those of trying to be someone else just to please other people.
This Is Your Path To Happiness
It does take courage to live the life that your heart calls you to. But free spirits know that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. You have to be who you are and let your true nature shine if you want to feel any sense of peace.
This is true for anyone – the one that just wants to live a conventional life, to bring up her children and stay in the same house for 30 years finds peace in that, you find peace in expressing yourself in your way – and you need to honour that.
The more you stand true to who you are, the more you stand tall and express yourself authentically, the more the universe will bring you the opportunities, the synchronicities and adventures that allow you to live a life you were meant to live.
So, if you’ve been feeling uneasy, feel you’ve taken a wrong turn in life, you need to be brave and allow yourself to just be you.
Next time you feel isolated because of the way you’ve lived your life, remember there are others out there who understand exactly what you’re going through.
It isn’t the easiest way to live life, but for born free spirits like you, it’s the only way you will be truly happy.
If you need clarity on how to allow your true nature to shine, if you're feeling shut down by the life you're living - sign up for my free e-course:
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