Mother Nurture

You are conceived

The mother and child bond is the first you make and is the most special of all ties. Already you begin a relationship based on familiarity, warmth, sound and smell. You get to know her before she gets to know you. The time you dwell within this safe house that is the womb is the time you first know love and feel loved.

This is when you learn to trust someone for the first time and instinctively know she will not let you down. You feel a gentle hand touch you for the first time as she strokes her skin occasionally reassuring you, you are wanted. Emotions are felt by her that transcend to you; excitement, happiness, surprise and fear.

You are born

The umbilical cord has been cut but the attachment you have formed with the woman carrying and protecting you for months has remained and is strong. You hear her gentle voice, no longer a muffled sound, clear and sweet you are comforted. She kisses you, this is your first kiss, tender and without conditions.

Your button nose is aroused by her scent. You follow with your eyes as the scent moves from room to room but will never leave you. She holds you close to her chest where you nestle and curl up like a contented kitten. You hear beats per minute that pleasantly soothe you; this is the first time you hear the echo of a heart bursting with love.

You grow

She helps you to become the person you choose to be. You will hear but not always listen, she will look at you in a way that only you will understand. She is a mother and a woman. There may be times when the two are in conflict with each other, a tug of emotions and a battle to do the right thing for both. She will wound herself and you will be the casualty but still the bond never breaks. The scent is still strong.

You say goodbye

She didn’t explain how to do this, how you feel this, how you cope with this and how you live without the bond now severed. You reach out but you can’t feel her, you longingly search every corner for the sweet familiar scent that reminded you she was present. There is a hole in your heart that in that moment seems impossible to fill. But she gave you hope; the first person to give you hope.

Mistakes and heartache are inevitable when the one that guides you has left. She can no longer show you the way in her physical form which is confusing and can leave you feeling alone in this world. You are not alone. She is there in every mirror you look into, in every step you take and in every decision you make. A mother will nurture and protect you but she will also have taught you some valuable lessons too; all you have to do is remember them. She was your teacher, your first teacher.

Breathe the life she breathed into you, it isn’t easy and you will gasp for air more than once but she believed in you then and she believes in you now; she believed in you first.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2014

Super Hero Or Super Human? The Role We Play

For as long as I can remember, I have been mesmerized by the silver screen. For me, films are not just a way to fill a couple of hours before I go to bed or watch because Sunday is a rain filled wash out; I’m not complaining, a good film somehow shuts out the dark and gloomy weather better than any double glazed window. Film genres are endless and the smallest idea transformed on the big screen will live forever.

The Super Hero knows all about living forever and uses his or her special powers to fight their adversary saving a world that could have been doomed! Great if you have an imagination as wonderful as the writers of these fantastical scripts and makers of these blockbusters. However, there is something misleading about Super Hero’s, sorry to disappoint but it’s highly likely that the powers they own have been made up for your enjoyment only, they don’t really exist but Super Human’s do.

Indiana Jones played by Harrison Ford, in my opinion, epitomizes the Super Human. He doesn’t wear a cape flying from one damsel  in distress to another, no extra sensory perceptions to hear the cries of people trapped in a burning building and he doesn’t turn green or quadruple in size when he is enraged. The one thing Indie does have is strength, I’m not speaking of the strength that can lift a car with one hand but an inner strength that all believers have.

This strength comes from will alone and the knowledge that some things are worth fighting for. No one really wants to fight as this implies struggle and inevitable confrontation with forces that hold you back or stand in the way of your dreams and visions; but what about the good fight? For the greater good. My interpretation of the greater good is doing what’s right for everyone including yourself; or at least something that won’t cause damage or trauma.

This notion and action is not about power but empowering yourself and those around you. No twisting of arms or tactical games, no mind altering substances to give you that momentary edge or hide-away and no guilty conscience to bare. If what you wish for isn’t hurtful to anyone there is no reason why you shouldn’t, at your own pace, try to achieve it. This strength is the most respected, adored, admired and commended by anyone watching your biographical story…an epic in the making.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2014

“But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you” – The Grail Knight

Indiana Jones – The Last Crusade

Valuable Life Lessons – What Are Your Choices?

Reflecting on life has become something of a necessity when working out where we go wrong or indeed completely right. From infancy, we learn to eat, drink and eventually ask why, questioning all the things we are yet to understand and are inquisitive about. This is the norm for anyone developing from a child to teenager and finally, adulthood. These are sustainable human requirements which are repeated day in and day out without hesitation or the risk of hurting yourself and others; more commonly known as survival.

So, what about the lessons learned that need never be repeated? The term valuable life lesson, to me, suggests that our lives would be richer in content if we have the mind to recognize and acknowledge something which has affected us both in a positive and negative way. The only way to truly understand what valuable lessons mean to people is to ask them. One of the lessons I have learned is to know who my true friends and loyal family are, and I do so I asked them.

Knowing how important it is for me to express my thoughts through the written word, they were more than willing to offer me their interpretations of what is valuable to them. They all have their reasons but somehow, the message is clear and united even though some have never met in person. Never take anything or anyone for granted, you don’t know what’s around the corner, love and cherish those who are worthy of your time and accept, without bitterness, that there will be those who are not.

You might say that these are all obvious points but sadly not everyone shares these altruistic views and have fallen foul to bad education, closed minds and fear of anything that might actually release them from familiar tendencies. The most poignant lesson, as expressed by a creative soul, is to appreciate your personal uniqueness; to celebrate it without shame or fear of doing so. Each of us has a talent or gift which can be suppressed due to unforeseen circumstances and even sabotage steering you off course and in no mans land.

There is no magic compass to direct you back and map reading isn’t everyone’s strong point; but why go back? Celebrate that you are able to move forward, the only mistake would be to stay where you are, blame the world and the people in it and persecute yourself for ignoring the only guide that is worth following; your instinct.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2014

“You can never make the same mistake twice because the second time you make it, it’s not a mistake, it’s a choice”.

Steven Denn

Lent: How Much More Do We Have To Give?

More than a billion Catholics and people from other Christian faiths such as my own Greek Orthodox will be observing Lent. 40 days of fasting, giving up a luxury or vice as Jesus did in the 40 days and nights spent in a desert, fighting temptation as the devil tries his evil best to force feed him culinary treats.

This is just one theory depending on your religion another is repentance for those who have sinned, breaking at least one of the 10 commandments perhaps. Some though, will have an overwhelming need to say thank you for all the blessings in their life and sacrifice is the only way to express their gratitude.

As a girl, I had no choice but to go to church, and if I am honest I hated it. Well I’m all grown up now and I have come to realize that it wasn’t church I had a problem with, it was the church parishioners; not all of them just the hypocrites who really had no clue about faith, love, reflection, repentance and had never read a page of the bible never mind a psalm.

Fear was the only reason they would go and drag their kids along giving them a completely inaccurate account of God, Jesus and the Saints. I have now discovered what religion means to me and what role God plays within my life through educating myself and soul searching which is what Jesus was likely to have done in the barren desert.

A few years ago, I decided to follow the Greek Orthodox tradition and fast. There are days where you can eat certain things and days when you can’t so for 40 days and under the guidance of my aunt I did it. I sacrificed all the things I like including meat! Not having a steak for 40 days was tough but I observed the tradition and felt at the time that I had never really sacrificed anything before so why not.

This year, I considered observing Lent but then I started thinking about what the word sacrifice means to me. In the last 3 years in particular, I have given up many things admittedly through my own mistakes and some unfortunate circumstances which I uncharacteristically found myself in. All this just so my friends call me boring because I don’t go out raving as much as before and my family complaining because they don’t see me as much as they used to.

I really can’t give anything else up and this sacrificial lamb won’t be going to the slaughter because its been there and has no plans on returning. I’m sure the God who I talk to daily knows just how much I have given up already and he knows why; I’ve bent his ear on numerous occasions. There has been much sacrifice for so many reasons on a global scale in recent years, perhaps, this year, Lent should be about spending time with the people who didn’t turn their back on you as they secretly travelled the hellish road by your side.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2014