We are living in a time where what is okay to talk about seems to have its own set of ever-changing rules. We want the chance to speak our truth, but we are never supposed to be negative or angry.
The thing about that is that life deals us a hand sometimes that warrants more than simply our attention. Some news warrants our anger, our sadness, our fear and yes, maybe even our temporary negativity. I’m not saying we want to dwell in those places or linger there forever, but how can we rid ourselves of what we refuse to process? We can’t.
The feelings we consider negative are just as much a part of our emotional palette as the ones we deem positive. So maybe our health and well-being depend on our acceptance of all of it and not just what society considers pretty.
Enter singer/songwriter BethAnne Clayton and her new music video “Get Out Stay Out.” The single mom of a sixteen-year-old son is living with recurring ovarian cancer, and as with all artists, she expresses her feelings best in her work.
While “Get Out, Stay Out” may have started as a directive to her cancer, it is becoming an anthem for those needing to rid their lives of any type of toxicity, be it internal or external. It could be about an abusive relationship, bullying, anything that detracts from well-being.
The beauty of having a catharsis in the form of a song is that there’s no telling who it will touch or how, and the meaning people will ascribe to it.
The video, in which Clayton’s sixteen year old son, Paul Reinhold also appears, has already been embraced by Stand Up to Cancer as well as Ovarian.org. And Clayton says she has been contacted by many people for whom her song gives voice to their emotions.
“When you are facing a life-threatening situation, you’re scared,” says Clayton. “Anger, fear, and defiance come along with it. I want people to have a voice for what they’re experiencing inside.”
Other artists have written about various aspects of their own battles with cancer, (Benjamin Scheuer’s “The Lion” and Melissa Etheridge’s “I Run for Life” come to mind), but Clayton’s song speaks to the cancer itself, kicking it to the curb, or if that doesn’t work, pleading to live. It’s honest, raw, and inspired.
It takes a certain type of bravery to say the hard things. Most of us go to great lengths to avoid facing our vulnerability. But Clayton’s video shows there is strength and healing in owning all of it, and that it is more empowering to own our human frailty than to deny its existence.
True healing and wholeness can be found when we are willing to be honest with ourselves and with each other. In fact, I’d argue that that is the only way healing can be found.
We look to artists like BethAnne Clayton to speak to us and for us as we grapple with our own issues of mortality. Music can be the healing force for what we go through individually and collectively.
To watch the video “Get Out Stay Out:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm7TayAzV9w&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0dBs_CjVbbMfaBDlRYwdbSAWw8GDIGn2fmDZXIWgVsUFAXLlH2xw-BC5Y