What on Earth is a Soul Friend?

Anam Cara, Soul FriendsAnam Cara

A Celtic phrase meaning “the essence of true friendship.” Here’s a few that might sound familiar:

David and Jonathan—Bible (Samuel I and II )

Anne and Diane—Anne of Green Gables

Pooh and Piglet—Well, you know


According to Wikipedia (and other more scholarly sources):

Anam Cara or anamchara is an old Gaelic term for “soul friend”; anam meaning “soul” and cara meaning “friend”. The term was popularized by Irish author John O’Donohue….

(Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

Our friendships profoundly impact us. True ones that go deep are treasured, uncommon and can be as strong as or stronger than family ties. These are the souls we choose to share our lives with. While writing this I accidentally typed “livers” instead of “lives”. Yes, sometimes folks even share an organ with a friend in need. There’s more than one way to share life.


Give a gratitude shout-out to a dear friend! Just type their 1st name if you’re reading this on social media. Now, call, text, write and let them know one thing you love about them.


If you’re writing your memoir on or interviewing someone else, make sure to ask about their best friend growing up. You can dedicate an entire chapter to exploring this answer. In fact, while working on this section you’ll probably run the gamut from laughter to tears. I’ve done this exercise with young kids and adults, age doesn’t matter. The smiles, chuckles, eye twinkles and sighs show how much these memories shape our hearts and souls. Treasure them.


One of my favorite humor writers is Patrick McManus. His stories of adventures with his childhood best friend will delight you with a hefty dose of belly laughs. Try this one, The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw  (my favorite) for a great read and some “good medicine!”


A merry heart does good,  like medicine…

Proverbs 17:22


(Thank you, Abigail Eiceman, for the great discussion on Anam Cara)

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