Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Soul Friend

In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul love; “Anam Cara” refers to the Celtic spiritual belief of souls connecting and bonding.

In Celtic Spiritual tradition, it is believed that the soul radiates all about the physical body what some refer to as an aura. When you connect with another person and become completely open and trusting with that individual, your two souls begin to flow together.


Should such a deep bond be formed, it is said you have found your “Anam Cara” or soul friend.
Your “Anam Cara” always accepts you as you truly are, holding you in beauty and light. In order to appreciate this relationship, you must first recognize your own inner light and beauty. This is not always easy to do. The Celts believed that forming an “Anam Cara” friendship would help you to awaken your awareness of your own nature and experience the joys of others.


With the “Anam Cara”, you could share your innermost self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an “Anam Cara”, your friendship cut across all convention, morality and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the “friend of your soul”.


This art of belonging awakened and fostered a deep and special companionship. When you love, you open your life to an Other. All your barriers are down. Your protective distances collapse. This person is given absolute permission to come into the deepest temple of your spirit. Your presence and life can become their ground. It takes great courage to let someone so close. Where a friendship recognizes itself as a gift, it will remain open to its own ground of blessing….. When you are blessed with an “Anam Cara”, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home. This bond between friends is indissoluble.

~ from “Anam Cara…Wisdom from the Celtic World“, by John O’Donohue


I love this idea. It is a lovely tradition, and I have been lucky enough to have several of what I call 'soul friends'. For some reason, we have been drawn together, despite distance or difference. They are some of my most cherished blessings. You know who you are.

I believe that Piper is an Anam Cara to me. I feel that way because her friendship happened as the result of prayer. I was struggling to be happy in my present circumstances. I was feeling alone and discouraged, and I was having a difficult time focusing on my blessings and creating an abundance of gratitude and cheerfulness in my life. I can remember one morning getting dressed for the day, all the while praying and struggling in my heart for answers, and Piper's avatar came vividly into my mind. Clear as day. I think we had said hi to each other in passing on the cre8buzz site, but that was it. But suddenly there was this magnetism. I knew that I must get to know her. I knew that she had something I needed to learn and could draw from. So I emailed her from my profile page. I was direct, and even a bit bold, but I knew that she would respond with grace and kindness, which she did. And from that moment, we clicked.


The more I get to know Piper, the more wisdom and providence I see in our friendship. I have great admiration and compassion for her, as she is a single mom of two boys, struggling to be all things to them to bring them up in goodness and faith, while trying to heal from a traumatic and destructive marriage that she wanted so much to believe in. I've been there. I can feel those days as if they were still weighing upon my soul. My heart goes out to her. But what I love about Piper, is that despite incredible difficulties, her focus is on blooming where she has been planted. Her blog name is "Bliss in Bloom". She made that up! Isn't it magical? And it's so Piper. She has no regrets. She harbors no bitterness. She gives all glory to God and is grateful for the experiences she has passed through that have helped to form and refine her. She is passionate about life and her future.

Her About Me reads, in part, "I have a strong desire to be a force for good. I want to be a fearless giver. I want to love fearlessly. I want to live life like I mean it. I have a strong desire to be an encourager and an edifier to everyone I meet. I just want to be a blessing."


ME TOO! Teach me how! Well, that is part of the reason that I need Piper in my life, and part of the reason that God allowed our paths to cross on some random site on the internet, she in Oklahoma City, me in Los Angeles. But she is my soul friend. I feel connected to her. And I feel indebted to her.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had the sweet privilege of meeting Piper in person. She flew to Phoenix to stay with me and was even brave enough to meet my entire family at our family reunion. She fit right in! As I watched her walk down the terminal at Sky Harbor airport, I recognized her immediately. We hugged, and my heart laughed. I was so happy to have her in person! And it felt completely natural and familiar, as soul friends do. She is a mighty woman. Mighty in faith, mighty in goodness, mighty in grace, mighty in the vision that she has created for her life and her existence on this planet. I have no doubt she will achieve her every aspiration. Piper is easy-going (that's how she rolls), witty, considerate, and very sincere. She has the ability to put people at ease instantly and to make them feel as if they've been old friends. She's a great listener and a trustworthy confidante. She also gives the warmest advice! She lives for her boys, and her eyes light up whenever she mentions either of them. I know she is a supremely talented mother. It is a pleasure and an honor to call her my friend. And if you want to visit one of the coolest blogs ever, stop by Bliss in Bloom.


Piper, dear, rest assured you are a blessing. Thank you for being my friend!

21 comments:

Misty said...

Jenna, thanks for bringing to mind the "Anam Cara"s in my life and making me grateful for them all over again. Piper sounds amazing, just like you!

Piper of Love said...

It's not nice to make Piper cry!

Jenna, I'm coming for you now, you my friend, are going to get it ;)

Thank you for all the wonderful things you think about me. Thank you for being my bossom friend.

I'll thank God forever, and love you that long too. You are such a BLESSING in my life! Thank you ~xo

Summer said...

I had never heard of "Anam cara" but I definitely have that bond with my best friend of 13 years now. It is the most wonderful thing.

Alyssa said...

What a beautiful post. Piper sound exceptional, with a beauty that shines through. I have thought for many years that my best friend/sister-in-law was my "soul sister." (We love Moulin Rouge.) Now I know the true term for it. Thanks.

Kimmylyn said...

What a beautiful post about friendship and how important it is to share such bonds.

I can only imagine the beauties of meeting Piper in person, she is a wonderful soul.

Kimberly said...

This post should have come with a kleenex warning. So very, very beautiful expressed!

Shellie said...

That whole post is so incredibly cool! Such a great new friendship and wonderful insights on friendships and relationships. Sweet!

Ethan VS said...

It's weird, because Anam Cara is actually a slate grey colored, cannibalistic rat monster that fights Green Lantern. These cultural divides....

Piper looks familiar.

EVS

Momo Fali said...

You both are amazing and very special women!

rjlight said...

Oh this is just so sweet. Both of you are just so wonderful and it is just great that you can be there to encourage each other.

Moody said...

I like the idea of a soul friend too. I've never really bought into "soul mates" but I have definitely experienced a soul friend. What a very cool story and how neat that you actually got to meet in person.

Candace E. Salima said...

Anam cara - interesting. I like that.

Sarah said...

How fortunate for you guys to have this sort of friendship! I'd have to say that's the sort of friendship I have formed with my best friend from HS, Lisa. It truly is a blessing to have a friend like that!

It was very nice to meet Piper! She definitely clicked with the family right away. What a wonderful person she she seems to be!

Josi said...

Piper is a gem, and now I'm feeling even worse for not keeping better tabs with her. But she is definitely a ray of sunshine, I'm so glad you guys got together--what fun!

BTW--I think you and me have the same swimsuit--from Modestee, right?

Julie Wright said...

Soul friends rock. I find it amazing that some of my dearest friends I've met on the internet and have never really "met."

Beautiful post about friendship.

Piper of Love said...

Okay dollface, Jenna of Love is happening at my place now.

~xo

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

You have confirmed my instincts about Piper; she is a treasure...

brandi said...

I am a friend of Piper's in Ok. I have been laughing Hysterically here for about 15 mins. I read her blog about you and decided to take a look and was just blown away. The Doo-Doo kills me, and I feel the exact same when I go shopping, (nothing ever fits) Piper is a really great person and I am glad that she has a friend like you.

amy t sharp said...

piper is an angel...I just adore her..yahoo for friends!!!

Mom2My6Kids said...

This was such a great post! I love the belief of "Anam cara" and I'm so glad that you had such a wonderful time together. I can't wait to go over and read her blog now.

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

awh jenna!

this is beautiful. very happy for you that you and piper found soul friends in each other.

what a blessing it is to find that kind of connection, deep, in another being.

i know i am grateful for having found this, too.

awesome post, and yes, tissue warning would have been good. hehe

blessings, kathleen