Singing Affirmations for Self-Awareness

Monday, July 24, 2023

Johnny Cash 'Hurt' and Our Affirmation About Expressing Emotions in a Healthy Way

 (trigger warning, this post discusses suicidal ideation and potentially triggering topics)

Fractal Flowers Art by Charisse Van Horn

On July 24, 2023, I posted the daily affirmation for self-awareness. The affirmation is number 7 in our series and it is as follows: 'I Am Able To Express My Emotions In A Healthy Way.' I shared the affirmation video on the Fractal Flowers YouTube channel as a short and chose the song "Hurt" by Johnny Cash to accompany the video.

If you've never seen the video "Hurt" by Johnny Cash, I urge you to take a break from what you are doing, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and just take a moment to drink in the heartbreaking sincerity of Cash's cover of this Nine Inch Nails' song Trent Reznor penned.

Whether you listen to Nine Inch Nails' original (which focuses more on depression, suicidal ideation, and heroin addiction) or Johnny Cash's cover that brings you through a journey of Johnny Cash's life as he prepares for his death,  the feeling is still the same: How do I deal with my emotions? How do I deal with the pain of my life? When this journey comes to an end, what will I leave behind that is real?

It is these questions the listener often mulls over after hearing "Hurt's" lyrics or watching the video that gives the audience a heavy emotional punch.

Here are the lyrics to "Hurt" written by Trent Reznor.

Hurt Lyrics

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I'm still right here

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

When Trent Reznor sang the line: 'You could have it all; My empire of dirt" I interpreted it to mean that dirt was his life, his human existence. When Johnny Cash sings the same line, I interpreted it to mean his wealth and riches accumulated throughout his life are meaningless... an empire of dirt.

Regardless of the singer's intenr or the hearer's interpretation, the meaning of this song is the same. Whether you interpret this song as an escapism of pain through unhealthy means or looking back at your life with pain and regret, this song lets us know that to live a life without regret, we must learn how to deal with pain in a healthy way.

One of the greatest pains we encounter in life is the passing of our loved ones. It is a beautiful testament to the love that Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash shared that they passed away within three months of each other. As a psychic medium, I believe that they continue to live on and communicate with their descendants, but that is another topic, as there is so much to be said about Johnny Cash's final album and the nearly prophetic look at things to come for both June and Johnny through the video "Hurt"  (there is synchronicity with the number 3 here...) For instance, June Carter Cash passed away three months after making an appearance in the "Hurt" video, but I digress.

Johnny Cash spoke about feeling June Cash's spirit after her passing and again, as a psychic medium, I believe he and his family have been visited multiple times, not just by June but Johnny as well. Here is a statement Johnny Cash made on July 5, 2003, according to Music Minnesota.

“The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven.

She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.”
Fractal Flowers Art by Charisse Van Horn

 It is imperative in life that we learn how to process our emotions in a healthy way. Life is unfair and people can be cruel. Sometimes people can be downright evil and heap the greatest abuses, atrocities, and torment on other living beings. No matter what injustices, abuses, or even torment you have faced in life, learning how to process those emotions in a healthy way can mean the difference between life and death.

First, you must NEVER internalize the abuses others have heaped on you as your fault. You must ALWAYS put the blame for injustice where it belongs: On the perpetrator.  Shame is not yours, the abuse is not yours, the injustice is not yours. 

Some people have gone too far with the "victim narration" that there is a whole generation of people who actually gaslight real victims by telling them to "get over it, or stop playing the victim." Victimhood (if that's a real word, because I disagree with the modern interpretation of it) isn't a game. There are real victims in life.

If someone murders someone, there is a real victim.

If someone rapes another person, there is a real victim.

If someone physically assaults someone, there is a real victim.

It is never a weakness to acknowledge that you are a victim or were victimized. It is never a weakness to seek healing from the impact that injustice has had on you.

When someone abuses you, commits an act of violence against you, or treats you unfairly, you are a victim. But what you do with those emotions and how you process them is what will determine the course of your life.

There are healthy ways to deal with emotional pain and there are ways to deal with emotional pain that will only bring negative consequences. In order to process emotional pain, whether it is from abuse, injustice, or both, you must first acknowledge that you are a victim. Then, you must forge a forward momentum on your healing journey's path.

When someone is victimized, emotional pain and anger are created. "Hurt" is a powerful song that demonstrates that something happened in someone's past that caused a great deal of pain. 

The character in this song has reached out for help but instead, is only hurting themself with the methods of escape they've chosen. It then comes to a boiling point where they realize they have lost everything and everyone that ever mattered and feel utterly rejected and alone.

In life, we don't have to end up in this dismal place. As a psychic medium, I am here to tell you that you are never truly left abandoned and alone. The people in your life who have crossed over, whom you feel are gone, are not truly gone and are still able to communicate with you (and most likely are though you may be unaware of it).

Life is a journey, it is a process that our spirit is undergoing in its development. When we leave the shackles and restraints of this flesh and bone body, our spirit continues on its journey and there is a reunion with our loved ones. The journey, however; continues in many different ways, shapes, and forms. But the journey does not end. 

The love between Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash transcends life and death. Though one may have the feeling that it is extremely sad that Johnny and June made this video together, and then she passed three months later, and three months later Johnny passed, the situation is more nuanced than that. These were two spirits that couldn't be separated in life and couldn't be separated by death. If there was ever a twin flame relationship in this generational era, Johnny and June fit the bill!

My point is that as Johnny Cash looked over his life and the pain he felt, there was one thing that stood out the 

All that matters in life truly is love. But if we do not love ourselves first, we cannot truly love others.

In Trent Reznor's version of "Hurt," we see how the pain that the character experienced was so great, the result was becoming numb and turning to the needle to escape and feel "real."

However, addiction and ultimately suicidal ideation is never the answer to trauma and emotional pain. There is real healing that is available to all through Spirit.

If you are feeling that you've lost the will to live or are dealing with suicidal thoughts, please seek help from a licensed professional. You may contact the national suicide hotline in the United States by calling "988."

Those in other countries may find resources here: International Suicide Hotlines

Here is Johnny Cash's official video for "Hurt."

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