Blessings on this Spring Morning, My Beloveds!
It began in grade school with, "if you're "so and so's" friend, you can't be mine! "Why?", being the obvious question. The answer was simple, "Because "I" don't like her". It didn't matter whether I knew this person well or whether I had a reason to dislike them, this was the unofficial "Rule of Friendship."
I was a very shy kid growing up and because of this, I didn't make friends easily, so for me, this was the Kiss of Death. It filled my little anxious heart with dread! Why did I have to choose? Why did I have to lose a friend to keep a friend? Why was I being asked to treat someone unfairly because of the opinion of others? Why would I think this is the kind of thing that fades with childhood....
Recently, I had considered attending the Hexfest conference in New Orleans. The presenters are some of the very best I could imagine being assembled in one place. The organizers of the conference, Christian Day and Brian Cain, notorious in their own right, apparently have offended some within my immediate community. Who knew?! This was the first time I was hearing of this and at this writing, still do not have many of the details of the same. What I do know was that some of my friends were unhappy with my decision and discouraged me from supporting the event.
Again, I was back in grade school. Do I know Christian Day or Brian Cain? I know of them. I've heard rumblings within the Wiccan community about them. I visited Christian's shops in Salem and New Orleans. I belong to both Brian's and Christian's groups on Facebook. I don't know enough about either to offer a valid personal opinion of either of them. What I do know is that they've organized a conference with a kick ass line up of very experienced and highly respected teachers. If you know my level of passion for this Path, you know this is all I need to know.
Tell me, if Gerald Gardner were one of the presenters, you wouldn't put personal opinions aside and go? Something tells me you're not so sure! :)
What does one do in this situation? Of course, I want to be loyal to those I consider family. It upsets me to think that anyone would do something to hurt them. Still, isn't this a little like cutting off my nose to spite my face? Of course, I could not go and earn the respect of those that are near and dear to my heart. But, then I also give up the opportunity to learn from some very gifted people, whom I also truly admire and with whom there is no such issue.
It's kind of like the situation in which you find yourself when two beloved friends are divorcing. Of course you love them both. The last thing you want is to see their marriage end. You've heard all the reasons for its demise, from both sides. Despite trying to convince yourself otherwise, you may have already decided whose fault it was that the marriage ended. Often friends are divvied up like acquired personal possessions. His side versus her side. If you are truly a friend, your position is not one of judgement, but of healthy support of both. You learn to put your personal judgments aside for them, as well as the sake of your relationship to them.
Things can get entirely too complicated when friendships collide. It ultimately puts you in a position of choice or loss. I believe people are put on our paths in this life for a reason, whether we dislike them or not, whether we agree with their opinions, their personal choices, etc. They ultimately have something to teach us. Don't believe me? Think about the best and worst relationships in your life and what you learned from each.
In the end, we may not ever find the "perfect" interpersonal relationship balance, but in that imperfection, we might find the perfect teacher.
In Darkness, Light!
PS: Sadly, I couldn't swing Hexfest this year. If someone would like to set up GoFundMe for next year entitled, "Send Tracy to HexFext 2016", it would be greatly appreciated! :)