Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Company You Keep

August 2008
As a younger woman I never really had a lot of girlfriends. A prepubescent, rather nasty snub from the sixth grade female "in-crowd" had soured me on the trustworthiness of other women that lasted well into my third decade. And although I had one or two or three very fine "best" male friends along the way, I never could seem to cozy up to the idea of confiding in another woman, which by the way, was fine with me.

Then few years ago I started to form a friendship with a group of women at work. There were five of us in all and we came from very different paths. That didn’t seem to matter though; and even as we scattered to other jobs, we regularly planned get-togethers and always had way too much fun. [Kind of like a more cerebral, creative Sex and The City without the expensive shoes.]

It was at this point that I realized what I had been missing. All those years of shutting out female companionship had left a hole in my heart that was becoming joyously filled with female camaraderie, when, suddenly, my beautiful, womanly world collapsed. The details require a few hours and some good red wine but the end result was me with a broken heart and no best girlfriend[s]. Sixth grade redux.

But lucky for me this time around I had yoga to turn to, and I did. I stepped onto my mat as a pitiful victim and pouted my way through a few weeks worth of practice before I began to realize that I had choices in this whole scenario-- and also responsibilities. Situations, both good and bad, don’t happen to you unless you let them. Slowly I began to realize that I had certainly had a part in the collapse, and I also realized that I could choose to forgive them--and myself--and choose to remember the lesson learned instead of harboring bitterness and blame.

That realization helped me to make better choices about the company I keep, and today I am regularly astonished at the breadth of my female companions. They are each of them warm and loving and full of grace and I adore them with all my heart.

As for my former friends…well, I’ll always be grateful. Because I do have some wonderful memories, and because what happened between us made me examine my own intentions and actions, and at long last allowed me to have the strong female companionship I always craved.

Love you girlfriends,
[You know who you are!]

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