Light in the Darkness

What does it mean to get to a “Breaking Point”?

For much of my life I thought those two words related to when a person ‘breaks down”; something in the realm of a “nervous breakdown” I recalled hearing adults whisper and talk softly about when I was a kid. Having arrived at what might be called a “Breaking Point” about five years ago, I see it very differently now.

I did not have a “breakdown”. I had a “break through” more like the description of “Breaking Point” found in dictionaries: the moment of greatest strain at which someone or something gives way. What happened was I “gave way” so what needed to move behind me could go there and “gave way” to let healing and a new way of being come to me. So much good has arrived since I loosened my grip on living and stopped trying to make everything the way I wanted it to be. In learning to allow life to come to me and accepting “what is” came my new beginning. Today I am very grateful for finally reaching my “Breaking Point” when I found light in the darkness!

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only that you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.
“The Journey” by Mary Oliver

What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through,
just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day.
Your part is to open the windows of your mind.
Vernon Howard