Recently, I’ve had a couple of friend’s who have had to deal with cliques (and you thought you were over this in Jr. High right?)
One was a friend who served on the board of a group, spent endless time and effort making the group great-yet, an event was held where she was excluded. In fact, several key people in the group were left out with no reason. My friend was justifiably hurt as were the others. They’d joined the group because of it’s off-beat ways and accepting values yet were left out. My friend felt like she was left out because a choice few decided who was in and who wasn’t.
Then, another friend vented to me about a situation where she became close with a friend, only to have her bail once she got a boyfriend.
Both conversations felt an After School Special (minus Scott Baio) and I have to admit, I must have sounded very smug as I gave them my advice (channeling my most-yogi self, of course)
To one, I explained friendships like the solar system and that only so many planets can be orbiting close at any given time. Each of us can only handle so many people close to us, drawing from our energy, so some have to move further away. And, while the timing may feel bad and/or hurtful, it just makes space for someone else to move in and orbit closer.
Of course, my sage yogi advice came to bite me in the ass. There’s a funny story about mediation that just about sums it up:
A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!”
“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.
A week later, the student came back to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It’s just wonderful!”
“It will pass,” the teacher replied matter-of-factly. Unknown
Predictably, the next week, it came full circle. I went to class and came upon a few friends, and I ran up (probably like a dumb, lumbering puppy) and gushed ‘Hello’ to everyone. From the looks on their faces and the silence that ensued, they were in the midst of making plans for later-ones which I was not invited to. It wasn’t a big deal (I actually had plans after already and, honestly, I’d been away due to one plan or another) but, I felt like a 13 year old all over again.
For most of the practice, I reviewed the scenario for reasons why I wasn’t invited-how? and why? and basically, ruined my practice.
Ughhhhhh -I thought in my head.
Yet, she worked us slowly and methodically into this pose which exposes your most delicate area (groin and hips-home of bad emotions and feelings). By the end of class, my Bird felt victorious and I laid in savasana and cried and didn’t even feel self-conscious about the tears running down my face.
Later that evening, I was blessed to spend a meal with some of my closest friends. We ate and drank and smoked a bit and talked shit and picked on each other, you know, friendship! And, some of the content was raw: funny stories, goofy mistakes, even working through lifelong struggles. Yet, we made space to voice (and even poke fun at) these issues. Sometimes debate would ensue, but done in the most loving way.
There are few people I can do this with, expose my real self without expectations or pretense. And, I’d imagine, there are few who want to do it with me. While I may have been snubbed, or my other friends left-out, maybe its the Universe telling us we need to pull it in a little bit, focus on the people who are orbiting closest to us at that period in our lives.
Because, if you think about it, if we stuck to pleasing cliques our whole lives-we’d still be kissing ass to the popular crowd from our Jr, High days and hanging out with those people. And, I know for sure, those people aren’t nearly as interesting as the ones I’ve got orbiting around me now!