Why I love… anam cara

by Andrew M. Greeley and Mary G. Durkin from “The Book of Love”

‘They came to her and said: Speak to us of soul friends so we may find one for ourselves.

She was quiet for some time.

Then she spoke: Today many people speak casually of their new-found soul friend or soul mate, with little awareness of what the relationship entails. Soul friendship is serious business. To have a soul friend, you must be a soul friend.

They asked: What must we do to be a soul friend?

She replied: It isn’t what you do but what you are that makes you a soul friend. You will know you are a soul friend when you have allowed someone to weave his or her way into your heart and nestle deep within it, secure in the safety of your friendship.

They protested: We asked about soul friends not about heart friends.

She sighed and spoke again: The heart of your body and your soul are one. It is that one heart that keeps the body you see and the soul that is both within and around that body beating in unison. The heart that holds your soul friend will remain with you even after death. Your soul friendship will last forever.

They asked (for they wanted certitude in all things): How will we know that someone wants to be our soul friend or is our soul friend?

She paused, reflecting on how to say this so they would understand: You will know one day, like the man discovering the oyster with a pearl among a boatload of oysters, you realise that a friend rests in your heart. Perhaps this is a friend you have known for a long time and see often or it might be a fairly new friend. All that really matters is that you now have this special friend and you must tread lightly, but with love, upon his soul.

They asked (for they were still not sure they wanted to commit to a friendship without end): What happens if a soul friend no longer wants to be a friend? That could happen, couldn’t it?

She agreed it could. Then she continued: Once someone is imbedded deep in your heart as a soul friend, she cannot be dislodged. If she finds the demands of this friendship a burden and rejects or betrays you, you will still hold her in your heart. You will not feel anger at the soul friend for the lack of his companionship, only great sadness and heartache.

Your heartache will not destroy your love for your soul friend. It will be a reminder of your promise of never-ending love. The ache will disappear when your soul is finally free of the concerns of this world. Then you will understand, with the peace that surpasses all understanding, why he could no longer be true to the friendship. He remains your friend forever.

After listening to her, they agreed that soul friendship, as she described it, was serious business. Some decided they wanted no part of it. Others still thought they could work around some of the demands her ideas would place on them. A few knew that they had discovered the oyster with the pearl and pledged to treasure what they had found.

* As you listen deeply to parts of yourself with TLR Appreciation (thanks, love and respect), and understand the positive intention of those parts, and mature up the way that you get that positive intention met in your life, so that you can achieve each individual positive intention with grace, dignity and unquestionable success, then you become your own anam cara.

There is nothing that you could feel inside that would horrify or shock you any more, because you have come to thank, love, respect, acknowledge, validate, forgive and accept yourself completely.

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