Dearest Friends,



People need people to talk to; they need people they can open their hearts to;people need people to hold hands and feel strong; they need people who can hold them and let them cry.



I am not talking about a romanticized partner or a bollywoodised friend. I am not even talking about families or counselors. I am just talking about people. Just anyone.



We really do not realize how badly people need a release. I work with people and I work on myself. And I know how important conversations are.



We, as a society, really have no idea how suffocated people are in their emotions. Most people have nobody to express themselves entirely to. Everyone is holding back their vulnerabilities to maintain the social image of a confident and happy person.



Heart-to-heart conversations have become rare, artificial and shallow. And most hearts are filled with empty defenses.



Most people can’t even talk to their life-partners openly for the fear of being judged or rejected. Emotions await just a release. Social images make sure weakness is not glorified.



Children have bottled up stress. Young people suffer anxiety and depression.



It is just lack of social support. It is lack of non-judgmental friendships. It is result of fast and busy lives where nobody has time to just sit and watch someone cry. It is result of instant and impatient lifestyle practices, that emotions have started feeling like waste of time.



We have whatsapp and face time and social media – and we have stress and anxiety and depression.



Our forefathers had neither. Because they talked to each other. Because talking helps.



The face-to-face type talking,



the just-listen-to-me type talking,



the hold-my-hand-and-let-me-cry type talking,



the sit-next-to-me-and-listen-to-my-silence type talking…



the talking where the person can be themselves and say anything they feel without the fear of any judgement or loss or rejection.



Today we don’t like that type of talking. Those conversations when someone begins to undress one’s mind, feel awkward. We don’t ever want them. In fact we avoid them. And so, mental illness is epidemic. Naturally.



There is not much we can do. But we can offer a listening. We can be the people someone can just come over and talk to. We can be the people someone can just cry in front of. We can help people free themselves from the prison of their own minds.



Let’s be the go-to person for someone. Let’s learn to be friends with the friendless. Let’s let people talk without any fear. Let’s create conversations.



Come on, let’s start talking again.



Loads of Love,



Valentine Shipley



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