The older the soul, the stronger the desire for personal freedom. Generally speaking, at least.

In the movie Braveheart, Mel Gibson (a young soul) playing the Scottish patriot William Wallace (an old soul) led his warriors into battle with the word “Freedom!” Not “Keep your hands off our whisky!” Not “No taxation without representation!” But “Free-dom!” The concept of freedom resonates deeply in our souls.

We enter this world at the start of each incarnation seeking the opportunity to be who we are, and to complete the life plan our soul created while still on the Astral Plane. We crave the freedom to achieve our goals.

We come in with high hopes. Things don’t always go so smoothly, though. The moment we get here, other people start interfering in our ability to express our true selves.

It begins with our parents, then it’s our teachers, and if we’re not careful, we can bring the whole system down on our heads. Just look at Edward Snowden, the old soul who, at the time of writing is holed up in Moscow Airport, while his country seeks ways to bring him back and clobber him for daring to exercise his freedom of speech and conscience.

Or John Kiriakou. Thousands of people have suffered torture at the hands of certain Americans. And the only person to be prosecuted is Kiriakou (an old soul), who is currently doing time for blowing the whistle and trying to stop the abuses.

As your soul ages, it starts to get the sense that it doesn’t have unlimited lifetimes ahead of it. When it was younger, it jumped into each incarnation with a fair amount of abandon.

But with fewer potential lives in the future, it becomes more cautious. It doesn’t want to waste time, so it makes plans that ensure it gains loads of experience to allow it to grow.

The desire for freedom shows up differently depending on the soul’s age.

A young soul who suggests “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!” is expressing the same underlying sentiments as the old soul whose bumper sticker reads, “Keep your theocracy out of my democracy!”

Many old souls choose a mission of exploration to ensure they evolve as effectively as possible. The marker of this mission is travel, but it shows up in other ways, too. If you like lots of variation in your life, or if you keep learning through reading, classes, workshops, seminars and the like, then you probably have a mission of exploration.

A mission of exploration requires the freedom to accumulate knowledge and understanding. My spirit guides say there are few things sadder than an old soul with a mission of exploration who does nothing with it.

We seek freedom for ourselves. We want to travel without restriction, to speak our minds without fear, to be free to love whoever we want, and to be allowed to explore what it means to be human.

We’ve all had many lifetimes where our freedoms have been restricted through poverty, government intrusion, religion, misogyny and other external forces. We want to be free. And it’s important to extend the courtesy to others. To support them in exploring their soul’s life plan with minimum interference.

It’s incumbent upon old souls to also support the Edward Snowdens and the John Kiriakous of the world. When Mel Gibson (a young soul) yells “Freedom!” (albeit, in a terrible Scottish accent), he speaks to souls of all ages who seek to fulfill their life plan. Or, as my spirit guides would have it, to live the life their soul intended.