"Every human being on this planet has their pain and their heartache and it's up to all of us to find our way back to light."
These words were proudly and bravely pronounced by champion swimmer Diana Nyad in a TV interview after she finally realized her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida (without a shark cage) on her fifth attempt. This sentiment certainly rings true for everyone who has ever endured a season or two or three in darkness.
"Finding our way back to light" at times sounds like an odd phrase to me. I am used to the old tried and true illustration: "turn on a light switch and the darkness immediately disappears." I have discovered, over time, that darkness occurs in degrees as does light. Making one's way back is absolutely the appropriate process; and, a process it is.
In my own life, I find that another famous quote is apropos. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. through his personal experiences was more than qualified to utter this piece of wisdom. Now when I find myself in a dark place, face to face with obstacles, mountains and closed doors, like Diana I am learning to "find a way," like Dr. King, I endeavor to summon the light to drive out the darkness. The trick, I am finding, is to love from within and draw on the light on the inside. For as within, so without.
Jennifer Lavern is a keen observer of the issues that affect how women view themselves and how they interact with their world.