Anamchara – Soul Friend

I read a recent article here that introduced me to a new, amazing word: “Anamchara.” It’s an Irish word that means “Soul Friend” and describes exactly that.

This friend might be a coach, a teacher, a mentor, a spiritual director that one feels comfortable enough to open one’s heart and shared the vulnerability of one’s life. This is defined by mutual love for one another (not necessarily a romantic love).  An Irish writer and poet, John O D’onoghue in his book ‘Anam-Chara’: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World (1997) believed that “love alone can awaken what is divine within you.”

I wish we had an English word that describes the same thing. However, whether we can describe it or not, I believe it’s essential for everyone to have at least one Anamchara. Each of us needs someone with whom we can be completely open and vulnerable. One who will encourage us and challenge us, weep with us and celebrate with us, learn with us and grow with us. We seem to all have this innate need inside us.

What about you? Do you have an Anamchara? If so, who? Sound off in the comments!

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