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.

24 comments

Nona, Thank you for this beautiful post. Sending love and light to you and your mother.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Melanie McGhee Sep 15, 2010 04:42am

Oh Nona, holding that long range view of her, the view where it's clear that her brilliance shines still is a sweet sweet gift from your tender heart. Blessings to you and her from another Yogini.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Grace @ Front Porch Yoga Sep 17, 2010 07:37pm

Your heartfelt post reminded me of this book: "Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow" by Elizabeth Lesser. A very powerful, heartbreaking, and affirming read.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Desiree Adaway Sep 15, 2010 04:22pm

A beautiful, beautiful post. As a woman who comes from a long line of alcoholics I feel your pain, but baby do I love your insight and wisdom. Bravo.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Jennifer Voss Sep 15, 2010 12:42pm

Nona - You are simply one of the bright spots in this world. Thank you for sharing so that we may send you love and light. Prayers to you, your mom and to all who these words touch.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Laurie Foley Sep 15, 2010 04:49am

I love and adore you. I love that you can hold the painful thought of what is happening without letting it swallow you. You do shine. I pray that she will, too.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Nona, thank you for sharing your beautiful and brave post. Yes, there is always hope. Sending love and healing thoughts to you and your Mom.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Mine didn't have the strength to be in my life past 8 yrs old. I did get a birthday card this year, 33 yrs later. Hoping for a miracle, sounds like she's found them in the past! Which is great, may she find alternate vices next time too. Still deciding what to do about that card myself and I wish life were less tough on us at times!

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Tweets that mention Letting Life Break You Open -- Topsy.com Sep 15, 2010 01:46am

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fabeku Fatunmise, Nona Jordan. Nona Jordan said: Blogging about: Letting Life Break You Open http://goo.gl/fb/3Nr7n [...]

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Thank you so much, everyone for your heartfelt honesty and appreciation. I am incredibly grateful to have such a beautiful circle of women in my life. xoxo

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

This touched me deeply. So wise. So real. So beautifully written. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Thank you so much to each and every one of you -- I am speechless at this outpouring of love, connection, and pure brilliance from each of you. xoxo. Nona

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

sometimes the hardest place to be is on the outside with that perception in your focus...i know no words can comfort with what you are experiencing but know that my heart is open and sending you strength. blessings & namaste, nona. warmly, sperlygirl

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Nona,I have no words. (And I'm a word-y girl!) I just....feel you. And so appreciate your honesty that will reach out and pour out grace and healing for others. To hold that tension of opposites facing the reality but holding out hope, all while not getting (as someone said) swallowed up by it. Truly amazing. Thank you for sharing this, and touching the hearts of many today. Love, deb

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

My father died when I was only 17. Sometimes I wonder how my life would've been different had he lived to feel the love from my four children. Would THEIR love have been enough to inspire him to stop drinking? Namaste to you dear Nona. xo

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Debi johnson Sep 15, 2010 06:24am

Thank you Nona for sharing this as I know that there are many that can relate. It is so profoundly painful to see the ones that we love self destruct. Sending blessings and prayers, Debi

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Nona, wow...blown away with your candor and love. Beautifully written and very brave. Thank you.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Wow, Darlin' that's just beautiful writing from the heart. Thank you.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Oh Nona I loved this post and loved the message it leaves ... that of hope. The reminder that the most difficult and painful situations life throws us, those that truly "break us open", bring with them the opportunity to "reveal the perfection" ... profound and heartfelt. Love to you and your mom.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Nona, your write so beautifully and even at this painful time you are taking this situation and offering it as a heartfelt example of the gifts of hope and change, rising above, and creating lives we willingly embrace. I love your blog, I love your insights and wisdom and exceptional writing. Love and prayers for you and your family, Helen

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Bridgette Boudreau Sep 15, 2010 04:34pm

Brilliant Nona.In my experience we hide because of shame. Your beautiful piece shows us there is no shame, there's just the truth of what is. Both sides of the addiction equation bring their own flavors of pain. Sending loving thoughts you and your mom's way.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Beautiful Nona. Thank you.

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Sweet words of inspiration and encouragement dear Nona. I had to go back and read your "it has been me" post and I am celebrating the beautiful life you have created. Thanks for sharing it with us.xo Dana

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Thanks to each and every one of you for commenting with such compassion -- you bring tears to my eyes. I struggled with whether to post about this -- though I know that many, many people can relate. There is always, in an alcoholic family (and many others!!), the tendency to want to hide what is flawed. But that is the inroad to our perfect brilliance, isn't it?? Again, thanks to each of you for commenting. I can't help but think my Mom is feeling your love as much as I am. xoxo

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Leave a comment