How to Embrace Your Radiance in the Midst of Darkness

Light is a funny thing.

We all know how tough it can be when there isn’t enough light, but is there such a thing as too much light? Or is it just a matter of adjusting?


My family had the opportunity to live in Denmark for a period of time. We arrived towards the end of summer, when there was about the same amount of daylight hours as we were used to in the United States. Everyone warned us about winter, however. The long hours of darkness. Dark when you get up, dark when you go to work, dark when you get home.


But the Danes have this whole darkness thing figured out with hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah").


Loosely translated as “coziness,” hygge involves candles—lots and lots of candles. Lucky for us, we quickly appreciated and adopted the concept of hygge. And suddenly, all those hours of darkness weren’t so hard to accept. We focused on the light, and winter passed. Then, we congratulated ourselves on getting through the darkness.


What we weren’t expecting, however, was the quick change from darkness to light, and how quickly the days would lengthen. As it turns out, summer—with its endless hours of daylight—was a much bigger adjustment for us. In summer, it’s light nearly 24 hours each day. Which sounds great, at first…until you’re trying to fall asleep and it’s still bright at midnight (and brighter still at 4AM). For us, adjusting to all that light was much harder than adjusting to the darkness.


In the dark days of winter, we retreated, in a way. We were inside, with candles—and it felt safe. When the light was always present, it was sort of a free for all. Fix the roof at 3AM? Dance under the sun on the beach at midnight? Both perfectly acceptable.


We all know someone who’s having a winter moment, and at the same time, we have another friend who’s dancing in the sun at midnight. No matter the circumstances, you’re there for both of them—shining, radiant, providing just the right kind of light at just the right moment.


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There’s a moment when the light appears, and then it shines brighter—pushing back the dark, filling up the room. It is then that we know everything will be alright. That’s radiance. Just like you. Somehow, somewhere, you are someone’s light—glowing, welcoming, encouraging, inspiring. Just remember to bask in your own radiance, too.


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