Letting Life Break You Open

My Mother is self-destructing.

As dramatic as that sounds, it's true.  Just a fact of life.   She's been in four rehab centers this last year and hasn't maintained more than 2 months of consecutive sobriety to my knowledge.

This is an old, painful story for me and my family.  Part of me would like very much to march on like a good little soldier and say that it's okay -- that we know, as adults, we can't do anything but pray.  That the people we love have their own paths and make their own choices.

But here we are.  Two women, living wildly divergent lives.  Her pain and suffering come to me through the distance of a Skype call and whispers of family saying they've never seen her so bad.  I move through my day with this inside me, and it makes everything about my life come into sharp focus -- coffee with friends, yoga class, coaching clients, making dinner, reading books with my daughter.  The basic sanity and sweetness of life that I take for granted seems so precious.

I am in one piece to the naked eye, but inside, I am broken open.

Sore to the touch, but very much alive and vibrating with the ache that seems to start in my toes and blossom fully in my chest.  I feel the tenderness of it all: the love, the wanting, the inability to do anything tangible, the anger, and the hope.  Yes, there is the hope.

My Mother is self-destructing.  Maybe she will stop, maybe she will continue.

When I step onto my yoga mat, the comfort and clarity of my practice are dedicated to my Mom and to all fellow human beings who hurt so much that they want to disappear.  To those who have lost faith in their own worth.  To those whose hope is gone.  For them, I practice, knowing that it could just as easily be me.  Because it HAS been me.

It's good to remember.

To know in my bones that we all have the capacity to rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, to leave our stories and our pain behind and redefine ourselves -- no matter how irredeemable we might feel. We can let our pain become our strength and let our experiences break us open and reveal the perfection that is our truest nature.

I learned that from my Mom, many years ago.  May she prove it to me once again in the days to come and let her life break her open, revealing the brilliance of her nature.

Namasté to you, business yoginis.  Shine on.

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Posted on September 14, 2010 and filed under Being Present, Feeling overwhelmed.