Sending LOVE via Your Vocal Inbox
A blessing soon to bestow us?
It's almost here. I can feel it.
Now that we have our much anticipated and valued subscription button, I am absolutely certain that the next upgrade from our benevolent caregivers at Vocal Media will be an Inbox. A shiny, sparkly messaging medium that allows us to send short messaged of love, appreciation and encouragement to fellow writers. And I cannot wait!
I already have a list in mind of the messages I wish to write to the wonderful creators whose works I have read with tears, joy, admiration and with empathy.
Like Jessica Melton who wrote a raw and honest account entitled "To The Guy Who Saw Me As A One Night Stand". Sadly, so many of us women can relate to this article. As I read her words and understood the depth of her pain, I could feel a little of my own release. That is the true power of emotional writing. It allows us to feel less alone in the world, to share pain (or joy) and feel connected to those who understand a very hurt part of ourselves.
Connection is the first and most fundamental need for human survival. This was proven true in a (horrendous) study from the 1970's where they took 20 babies and put them into isolation. Nurses were instructed to give them the very best physical care possible. The one stipulation, however, was that the babies were not to be interacted with other than for necessity in meeting their physical needs (feeding, changing, cleaning). The study was stopped early because half of the babies died. The other half were placed with foster families and, in spite of being given attention and round the clock care from then on, they all still became sick and died.
It explains why we lack the ability to meet self care needs when we suffer the loss of a loved one, or when a connection is severred (breakups, divorce etc). The Holmes and Rahe stress scale, used in Menatl Health Care, lists the following as the Top 5 most stressful life events.
1. Death of a spouse
3. Marital separation
5. Death of a close family member
Do you see the commonality between these events? Every single one involves the loss of human connection. Take the case of divoce - clearly the connection was no longer positive for the divorce to be taking place; yet it is still number 2 on the list. So, even when we lose connection to those who are unhealthy for us in many ways, we still suffer the loss. This is how important the human need for connection is.
Sorry, I'm on somewhat of a tangent!
My point is, that isn't this why we love reading and writing? Writing (and reading) is one of the safest ways to connect with another. Music is another wonderful medium. However, other than Bob Dylan, very few people could tell a story of such depth in such a short song. Writing gives those who feel voiceless a platform in a world that is loud, overpowering and often closed to connection. We can tell our stories and leave them there for whoever chooses to read them.
We leave them to (hopefully) be picked up by someone who wants to hear our voice. Someone who resonates with our topic of conversation. Someone who is interested to learn our perspective, whether they share it or not. And we dont have to yell, or shout, or struggle to express ourselves quickly before the window of opportunity is gone, which so often happens in day to day interactions. We can take our time. We can ensure we use the correct words, in the correct way in order to attempt to convey what is deep within us. We dont have to fear the reaction of of another when we open our heart and soul and outpour our deepest feelings or most painful memories. We dont have to fear rejection. For if someone abandons our story two lines in, we will never know.
What would be incredible, is for us to know who was truly touched by our writing. Those who took their precious and valuable time to give energy to connecting with our writing. How would Jessica feel to receive a message of love? Of congratulations for her bravery and wishes for her being lighter because of her courage to share? Would Jessica feel more love in her heart receiving such a message? Would she feel more encouraged to continue to share her pains and heal them? Feeling respected, valued and cared for? Would she feel better knowing that what she went through is so very normal when our self esteem has been pushed into the dirt and buried by abusers throughout our lives?
Or how about 'raised by wolves' Owen Schaefer or the kind Lori Melton? I would love to offer them my sincere grattitude for sending me my two and only tips on Vocal. Both brought great joy to my heart on days when it was truly needed and valued. In my grattitude I was able to read their writing contributions. Owen has insightful and interesting articles that I really enjoyed reading. He made me laugh with his witty and accurate "How NOT to Title a Short Story". I wanted to write to him to tell him he was spot on, and that I was one of the people he wrote it for. I am utterly terrible at naming my short stories. It's as if my creativity just vanishes the second I look at the Title box. I hope he follows up with a How To Title a Short Story - as I fully agreed with his advice, but still couldn't avoid the mentioned pitfalls!
Lori wrote a heart moving piece on the loss of her dad entitled "Words Are The Most Priceless Gift We Can Give". I wanted so badly to send her a warm message of sincere appreciation for her tip and her stories. I wanted to help warm her heart with a message of love. But I could not. There is no connection button.
There are too many to mention, but another whom I had wished to connect with was Robert Webb; Winner of the Hometown Feature back in February. My hometown is indeed St Andrews and I had been working on a piece. Once I saw Roberts submission, with the time and effort he had put in and how wonderful the piece and photography was; I decided against submitting mine. (I also noted the never ending rains outside and the childhood walk through my town that I envisioned did not look likely to come to reality!). I wanted to send him a message to congratulate him for such wonderful work but, again, could not.
It is my belief that all would have loved to receive a message of appreciation. Because love breeds love. It is clear to me that this is one media platform that would be devoid of the "haters" and abusive ways that have poisoned every other medium online. I do not belive that any fellow writers would be so devoid of compassion that they would take their time to compose hate mail to send via Vocal!
Vocal is such a wonderful platform for a woman who no longer uses social media sites often. Seeing the latest filter masking my friends' real faces fills me with sadness, not joy. I would much prefer to connect with fellow writers. To be making meaningful or fleeting connections through a soul medium, rather than sites that value superficial aesthetics only.
Don't you see, Vocal? Don't you see that you could turn this platform into something even more magical than it already is? You likely do. You probably have a room full of technical persons planning such a thing as I type. In fact, it's probably so imminent that this article will be entirely pointless when I awaken tomorrow to a button saYing "Send Message". I have so much love to send out to the world and it pains me when I cannot freely release it.
Will you help us, Vocal?
Can we have a button to send love to each other?
Pretty please with cherries on top?