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Misplaced Worth

Hello there – Terri Poppins poppin’ in…

Many of you may be familiar with the TV show “The Voice”. The judges look to find unsigned singing talent. They listen to the audition without physically looking at the person auditioning.

I recently watched a 8-year old boy audition for “The Voice Kids”. This boy came onto the stage and sang a song. He put his whole heart into his performance and it was felt by the audience, including myself. Was it “technically” perfect? No. You could see that the judges were emotionally moved by the performance, but not one of them “turned their chair around”, which would have indicated an interest in pursuing the singer further.

During the child’s performance, the child’s father played an instrument in the background. After the performance, the father walked to his son and embraced him and said a few words (unheard by the viewers). It was a beautiful interaction between father and son, and you could “feel” what the father was saying to the child, a beautiful, gentle encouragement of sorts.

However, immediately after the boy’s performance was over, there was a sense of disappointment that fell on the boy. You could feel his pain as the judges were speaking to him after the performance.

I thought I would share a few things that occurred to me in that event, because, I have witnessed the same kind of thing over the years in my nanny experience.

Children come, we come into this world with some borrowed idea that our value, our worth, is determined by whether or not others accept us or want what we have to offer. In carrying that “old” underlying belief with us in our life, we continually seek for that approval and acceptance in the world outside. We never really question where that belief came from to begin with.

What if we were to question the contradiction that came up in that boy from his performance that I just spoke of. Here’s the contradiction: How can doing something that I truly wish to do (audition for the Voice) and in doing the very best I am able to do in the moment (which he did), not be good enough? Now, I’m not speaking of the judges judging him. They have a certain caliber that they are seeking. I am speaking about the child judging himself. Because how can a child, or any of us accept ourselves as we are if that acceptance is always based on how others feel about us?

Could disappointment exist without an expectation for validation of oneself?

I can see for myself that when I have entered into certain experiences that I have wished to try (like writing this Blog), that there can be, and most often is, a certain expectation or outcome of that experience. But if we identify with that expectation or outcome, there will be either the “yay” or “nay”, (the happy or sad) that comes with it. We are “happy” if the outcome is what we want. We are “sad” if the outcome isn’t. So, what are we to do?

I wonder sometimes what a child’s life might be like if they were given the liberty to pursue what they wish to pursue, not for the outcome of something that validates them as “special”, “important” or gives them hope for a “financially luxurious life”, but instead to pursue what their heart wishes to pursue, NO MATTER what that is, nor the outcome of that pursuit, but to just persist with their wish. To just continually learn to watch the voices of the past come up in their minds that tell them “It’s no use”, “This is too hard”, “I don’t want to do this anymore”, “They don’t like me”, etc., to persist through that. That might seem a bit crazy to some of you, but how crazy is it to believe that our self-worth and value is dependent upon how others feel about us?

Perhaps in persisting through that endeavor, the wish to follow what it is in a child’s heart that they wish to learn about and explore, whatever that may be, that in persisting for the sake of the love of it, the child might find that the very worth, the value of themselves that they have been seeking outside of themselves, is actually found in the agreement to persist in following their heart no matter what. Because in that agreement to persist for the sake of Love, they become one with the flow of Love itself, and Love is its own value. Then there is no longer a need to seek for value and worth outside of oneself.

That boy that got up on that stage on The Voice and performed that song with his whole heart, touched me deeply. But that boy had no way of knowing how he touched me and most likely many others with that performance. We have no idea on how we touch others with the things we say and do. We just need to follow our hearts and let go each and every moment of any consideration of expectation and outcome.

We all have a voice and are meant to contribute to this world in our own way. Not as being better than others (“special”), but being equal to others in our own unique way. There is a distinct difference in that. We seem to forget that any so-called “talent” that we have, we didn’t give ourselves. Yes, we may have worked diligently to become a great swimmer, a great runner, etc. But that great swimmer, that great runner, if truly realized by us, always existed within us, just awaiting our realization of that very fact.

If we can remember that and instill that in our child, we can bring humility and true value into this world that so desperately needs it.

Exercise for the week: Make a special point to really observe your child(ren) to see where they tend to gravitate in their open play time. Do they do art? Do they read? Discuss with them what they love about what they are engaged in and wait for the magic moment to guide you from there.

Image courtesy of: Pezibear

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