Soul Friend

Anam Cara, the title of a popular book in the 90s, is Gaelic for "Soul Friend."

This phrase was bouncing around in my head for several days, and I couldn't remember where I'd heard it.  Google was kind enough to provide a definition, but I already knew what it meant to me.

The person you meet who just gets you, who is kind and open-hearted, but will call you on your crap...This person is your anam cara.  You have an inexplicable connection and automatic trust.  

It's possible that your husband will roll his eyes when your back is turned when you say, "Well, Mary thinks...."  Mary is probably not the only soul friend you'll have in your lifetime, but until you've learned enough to progress to another, she is of central importance to your decision-making.

Somehow, she immediately sees the real you and also the potential you.  My first soul friend was Jane in high school.  I was a clean cut über born-again Christian and she was a punky, theater genius with a nose ring.  Even so, we talked a lot.  She challenged me and made me laugh, and then left me after saying that my lies and masks were hurting me and her and everyone around me.  I am so grateful she did.  

At the time, of course, I was too submerged in unhealthy habits and was not ready to take off the blinders and look at my heart.  

My next soul friend was in college. (Incredibly, he is still my friend.)  Jeff thought I was hilarious and I loved to make him laugh.  He was a gentle truth-teller, and modeled an authentic life for me. 

Professor Canfield was one of my favorite French teachers, and also a soul friend.  He stepped into the classroom and shook the hand of every person in the room.  He'd stop, take your hand, and ask, "Comment ça va, Rachelle?" He, too, modeled how to live a life with passion and gusto and sincerity.   I felt like I could stay in college and in his safe orbit forever.

My next soul friend, was in graduate school.  I signed up for a mandatory, "Foundations of Education" course, not really knowing what I'd gain from it.  Professor Woodhouse walked into the room in all white clothing, and Birkenstocks, with a rush a fresh air, and looked right into my heart.  She taught me everything.  We started with breathing (no joke).  After 3 minutes of proper breathing, I was crying.  The tears were escaping and it felt great.  She had us ask ourselves a series of questions like, "Where does your water come from?" and "Who were your ancestors?"  She taught me to take an interest in my story and in my surroundings.

My current soul friend lived right across the street from me for a time.  Kelli and I still talk regularly and about once a week she will ask, "Have you heard of the book...?" She is plugged into the collective consciousness.  I love our conversations because we are talking on one level and simultaneously communicating on another. 

Kelli, I love you with all my heart chakra, friend. 

When open, the Heart Chakra allows one to feel connected to others.  It is the transition between the lower 3 survival-related chakras and the upper 3 chakras, which are more spiritual and "other-oriented".

I am grateful for the role these people have played in my awakening to truth and to the others whom I didn't recognize. Thank a soul friend today.

1 comment:

I would love to hear what you think!