Want to know the hardest thing about deciding to let the real you shine through? Not everyone is prepared to handle your light.

Think of a time when you were in a dark room – maybe resting, maybe meditating, maybe just tiptoeing your way through – and someone flipped on the lights. Whoa! It was like an assault on your senses, right? You probably shielded your eyes, turned away, maybe even lashed out at the person responsible for all that unexpected, unwelcome light.

There are people in this world who live like that, day in and day out, walking through the dark. You know some of them, right? Every time you say something kind, share something enlightening, or encourage them a little they act as if you’ve just flipped on a big, bright light in the comfy dark room that is their life. They whine, they turn their backs, they shield their eyes.

That’s what happened recently to a wonderful woman I met this weekend. She loves to print out inspiring quotes at work and hands them out to her co-workers just to brighten their days. A few weeks ago, she printed out this free PDF I posted here. One of her co-workers – known for being particularly grouchy – read the little poem and grimaced, saying she didn’t like it or need it. Ouch.

The woman who had printed it out felt disheartened and defeated…wondering why she had even bothered. But a few days later, she noticed the poem taped up inside her co-worker’s cubicle. She asked how it got there and her co-worker teared up, saying she realized she did like it after all and she knew she needed to see its motivating message every day. Apparently, it just took a little time for her eyes to adjust to the light.

You never know when what you do or say will illuminate possibility and hope for someone who needs it. You’ve got a light inside you that is so special, so divine, so needed in a world full of dark corners. So let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.