Did you get the message as a kid that you were too loud and needed to tone it down? When I was a child, my dad would always recoil when I laughed at full volume. I got the message that my laugh was somehow bad, and I spent decades embarrassed by it. As I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I realized that I had taken it personally when my laugh did not resonate with my dad. After several years of healing and learning to accept myself exactly as I am, I now can laugh freely. Much to my surprise, I found myself being complimented for my laughter. Now, people often tell me it’s infectious.
Many times we take it personally when others reflect to us that the way we are naturally is undesirable from their point of view. We may react to this perceived rejection by trying to be smaller and less obtrusive in an attempt to secure acceptance and love from the other person. Sometimes, however, the reflection that we are too big is an invitation to find a bigger space within which to play. While leaving the familiar may seem scary, playing in a bigger playground allows you to shine just as brightly as your soul desires.