Through Darkness into the Light - A Path to Health as Described by Adults after Having Lived through Personal Suffering

Jessica Hemberg, Katie Eriksson, Lisbet Nyström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Background: Health and wellbeing are highly prioritized among human beings today. Exploring the nature of health and finding deeper ways of understanding health from a holistic perspective and from the viewpoint of human beings themselves is crucial for becoming in health.

Aims: The aim of this study is to uncover a nuanced understanding of the core of health by exploring what gives the suffering human being the strength of becoming in health. The research questions are: 1) What is the source of strength for the suffering human being on the path to health? 2) What enables the suffering human being to dedicate continuous strength when becoming in health?


Methodology: The study uses a hermeneutical approach. The material was collected through focused interviews with ten adults who had lived through personal suffering and regained health. The texts were interpreted through hermeneutical reading.

Results: The path to the source of strength leads through darkness. The suffering human being may find strength from within. Love is seen as the inner and eternal source of strength. Faith and hope enlighten life in a new light. The human being’s movement towards the source of strength goes through a creative act. The source of strength demands a sacrifice which is the human being’s smallness. An encounter in communion enhances strength. The source of strength awakens the love for the almost other which is seen as a health potential. Actively loving the almost other enables a becoming in health.


Conclusion: The darkness of suffering conceals the keys for initiating a movement in health. Actively loving the almost other is the basis for becoming in health and covers a continuous dedication of strength and love.


Keywords: health, source of strength, becoming in health, strength, health potential, wellbeing, focused interviews, hermeneutical reading

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)393–399
JournalInternational Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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