Rebecca was an such an adorable child, so bright and filled with joy and enthusiasm, and what a voice she had! She sang freely without a care in the world and singing to her was as natural as breathing. From the first time her parents heard her singing they could not believe how beautiful her voice was, it gave them shivers. Every time she sang they were more and more amazed. One day they asked the neighbours over for her to sing for them, and they were in awe as well, “she’s so young and so talented!” Rebecca could see how happy she was making them and this made her feel very special indeed.
As she grew older she knew she had a special talent, her voice, but secretly she knew she had an even greater power; the power to get love and attention by singing and Performing. Her secret powers worked like a charm when her voice felt free and shined in all its glory, but when her voice was less than perfect she didn’t get the same reactions from them, she could tell they were not as happy, and so she worked harder and harder to make them happy.
If there is and was a loving audience of parents, family and community who could hold the child in this natural capacity of joy and exuberance without labeling them as being ‘talented‘, but just being who they naturally are, then the child will grow up with the Performer integrated within them in a healthy, balanced manner. The adult will be able to belong and be held in a community without Performing or needing to stand out to belong. They will be equally as comfortable standing out as standing back.
A joyous child exhibiting natural gifts that grew up within a healthy environment with supportive parents is able to separate their special talents and gifts from their self worth, knowing they are special just as they are. In contrast, a child like Rebecca had to develop a Performer personality to work for her to get the love she needed to survive and thrive in her life. This Performer personality protected Rebecca’s vulnerability and innocence which was not protected or respected by her parents, and this is all too common.
The Performer might have developed at an early stage in our lives through dance classes, singing, painting etc, or even just by doing talent shows in front of our parents. At this young developmental stage the Performer personality was not yet present as a separate self needing anything, but present as a healthy natural need to be seen and heard in having vitality, joy and love for life.
Being seen and heard can be wonderful if when the talent show ends the child’s talents don’t get taken up as a ‘cause or a mission‘ by the parents to get them out there to be seen by others through competitions etc. Respecting the child’s wishes, not talents, first and foremost. At a certain time in the development of the child the parents and the child can talk about this step of ‘exposure‘ to perform outside the home and if the child wishes to have this experience at all. And this is also taking into consideration that there is a maturity level within the child that can even assess the situation at all, which is somewhat doubtful. When appropriate protection of the child is not respected then it can develop a life long injury of Performing for Love and validation that might never be undone.
We all need to be seen and heard and to know that we can exist just as we are and not by performing to get love. As a voice teacher and facilitator I witness this childhood injury playing over and over in so many people. From young to old, from men and women this Performer injury exhibits itself as needing to prove something to the audience (aka the parents) and community. To prove once and for all that they, the child, is loveable and special. The Performers job is to get this love through whatever talents were applauded back then in their early years. Only now, the Natural expression of the innocent child is enmeshed and entangled together with the Performer and seems forever undoable.
Rebecca’s healing as an adult will be to unwind this enmeshment of Performer and the Natural Child and to replace the Performer with the Protector energy bringing the Performer back into a healthy balance.
This is the work I have been doing for myself and for others in my classes and workshops for many many moons. Helping to heal the relationship between the Performer and the audience. To bring Protection to where there might have been an over-exposure from the over-worked Performer who is just trying to do his or her job. And to return again and again to the Natural Child who is innocent, vulnerable and Protected from harm.
“This holy ground in me, innocent, wild and free.”