Sunday, January 3, 2016

Anam Cara: soul mate(s)

The Meaning of Anam Cara:

Anam Cara means “Soul Friend.” Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and Cara is the word for friend. In Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide. With the Anam Cara you can share your innermost self to reveal the hidden intimacies of your life, your mind and your heart. This friendship cuts across all convention to create an act of recognition and belonging that joins souls in an ancient and eternal way.
In everyone’s life, there is a great need for an Anam Cara, a soul friend. In this relationship, you are understood as you are, without mask or pretension. When you are understood, you are at home.
Love is the threshold where the divine and human ebb and flow, one into the other. Love is the most real and creative form of human presence. An expression of human consciousness, this love includes a depth of awareness and reverence for presence.
Where consciousness is dulled, distant or blind, the presence grows faint and vanishes. Therefore awareness which brings integration and healing, is one of the greatest gifts of this friendship. As a result, you look, and see, and understand differently. You refine your sensibility and transform your way of being in the world.
The Anam Cara is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you. 


So I grew up with the fairy tale of a  once in a lifetime, Knight in Shining Armor true love who would be my soulmate....

Well that didn't work out as planned! 

But I have been thinking about the idea of a "soulmate". Why do we equate it with only romance or marriage? And why only one? 

When I think about my most intimate & authentic relationships I realize I have several Anam Caras. There are few people who I trust implicitly. But there are those who have never broken my trust and always held our friendship in high esteem. We may have different belief systems and practices but there is an acceptance of one another on a deep soul level that eclipses reason. 

When I think of these friends, several who have been in my life over 40 years, who have been on parallel journeys with divergent paths, I am just blown away by love. These are the few people who have stood by with no judgement but total acceptance in all my permutations. Some have seen me grow from an uncertain teen to the woman I am today, taking in at least 3 career changes, a marriage and divorce, moving to and from Kentucky, myriad animal rescues as well as births and deaths of beloved family and friends. 

Those are the ones with whom I can pick up where we left off, even if it's been a day, week or decade between conversations. 

There is an undeniable link between our souls. A link that often defies conventional thinking. It is a link that exists on a spiritual level not the physical. And I think there is often confusion on that. One can be lovers but not soul mates and vice versa. I have been blessed with some very intimate relationships with both men and women that did not include sex. I used to labor under the illusion that one can only have 1 true soulmate. But that, for me,  is a fallacy. 

I have been musing on the topics of intimacy and authenticity. What it means to me to have both those things in a relationship. And what I have come up with thus far, is presence. 

To be totally and wholly in the moment with another. To focus only on the present moment while acknowledging the past between us... or maybe revering the past? 

And about the past... the past history in this lifetime? Or is there more? What about the concept of re-incarnation? Do we recognize one another from a previous existence? Is there a connection in our hearts because we recognize each other from a spiritual plane? Or is it a matter of namaste?

And is there more???

I sense this is a time in my life where I am embarking on yet another spiritual journey. I will be reading more, reflecting more and embracing more in the coming year. I will be intentional in my relationships. I will be seeking out my anam caras and bathing in that love. 

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