A good friend shared with me how she hasn’t had the greatest track record with women friends.
“There’s always jealousy, back-stabbing, competition, it never feels like true acceptance,” she said with a little frustration in her voice.
I was reminded of being in a program on women’s empowerment once where 250 women came together for 5 weekends to look very deeply at feminine energy and how it is distinct from masculine.
Yes…you could say it’s all stories and never clearly defined. It’s all conditioning. It’s all related to cultural history, or family and society.
You could say that ultimately, none of us are our gender, personality, age, or even identified as our bodies at all.
There is of course something far greater than how we appear. This mind is vast and brilliant. You may even have experienced the mystery of yourself as something quite completely different than the form of your body.
It was really fun to be in that program with all the women.
We were spending time with these female bodies, concepts, social and family experiences and taking a exploratory look.
It was like painting a picture with the colors of “feminine” however we might distinguish these.
Open, receiving, beautiful, vague, mysterious, curving, circular, feeling, pink.
And we inquired into the concepts of competition, mean-girl energy, anger, territorial fighting, jealousy.
Because one goal in the program was to invite women to notice where they believed their thoughts about other women….
….and to STOP IT.
Every woman in that program was encouraged to support other women, their sisters, at a very deep, core level. To connect, trust, love and share with them.
I loved it.
I grew up in a family of only girls. Four of us.
Sometimes….we definitely had this furious, demanding, competitive energy running between us for various reasons.
But also tons of love and laughter. I felt like I knew how to connect with women really well.
That whole competitive mean thing wasn’t really my problem.
Then…….not long after participating in this training, I was on the dance floor with many friends at a big dance gathering. I danced playfully through the crowd. People at this dance could dance together, apart, together again. It was free form dancing…..moving however you wanted to the music (I highly recommend it). No talking, but movement of any kind, in any order, with anyone or by yourself.
I danced happily up to a woman I enjoy, a friend. She was dancing with a man we both knew.
Then, I saw it.
The look. The gesture she made with her arm. Turning her back towards me. Like she was saying “get away from us, I AM dancing with him right now, NOT YOU!”
I danced away immediately.
But on the inside….grrrrrrrrr.
What is wrong with her? Seriously??!!
She should NOT be like that. She’s too insecure.
Maybe I wasn’t so “completely fine” with this whole idea of competitive mean-girl energy after all.
Because here I was, judging someone else for having it.
How did I react when I believed she should relax and quit thinking of me as a threat?
Defensive. Pissed. Feeling like NOT being her friend. Hurt on the inside.
Who would I be without the belief that she should NOT have been that way, that she should have been smiling and open and happy to include me?
I would have been much more compassionate. I might have even asked her about it later….to see if it was even TRUE (since no words were ever spoken).
I might have remembered that sometimes, people act unfriendly and don’t have smiles on their faces, and it doesn’t mean anything about me.
I turn the belief around: She should be like that. She should be worried or feeling insecure. She should have been mean. She should have gestured for me to get away.
How could this be as true, or truer?
This is really powerful to consider.
Her whole life and all the experiences she’s ever had have brought her to her conclusions. Just like my experiences have affected what I think!
That moment showed me who to dance away from.
Why would I demand anyone include me, if they don’t want to?
I turn around the thought again, to myself: I am the one who shouldn’t feel worried or insecure. I shouldn’t have been mean. I shouldn’t have been like that.
Yes, I was assuming everyone should love and welcome me at all times.
I haven’t even done this for myself! Why should someone else?!
If I don’t want to engage in competitions, be vicious and judgmental, attack others internally in my mind, make demands like how other people should behave in my presence….
….then it’s my job to be open, kind, gentle.
Especially with me.
“Would you rather be right, or free?” ~ Byron Katie
“We see people and things not as they are, but as WE are.” ~ Anthony DeMello