Greetings lovely reader,
I am Sofia, and I’m relearning my loveliness because, like you probably know, years of recklessness and believing lies have made it easy for me to forget. Apparently, just like our times tables, we have to practice loveliness in order for it to stick.
The way I got back on the path to rediscovering what makes me lovely is by taking baby steps.
I begin with the story of how I got my name. My name is especially lovely, not just because it’s spelled with an “f” – unlike the traditional “p-h” – but because it was given to me by something real and unseen. By that, I am referring to whatever you believe exists, beyond anything tangible. People call it different things, e.i. the Universe, G-d, Aliens, Magic Lizards, etc.
Like it or not, at some point in our lives, we ALL believe in something real and unseen. If we pay attention to detail – like to the story of what goes into a name – we can find the presence of something real and unseen anywhere.
My mother was pregnant with me at the beginning of the Reconstruction Era in Russia (right after the fall of the Soviet Union) and although she couldn’t afford the medical care to know for sure, she felt something was wrong with her baby. Upon delivery, it turned out she was right – umbilical chord was wrapped tightly around my neck.
If she were in America, doctors would have identified the problem and performed some sort of prenatal medical procedure to detangle me, but Russia was poor at the time and did not offer such luxurious medical attention. People could not afford a snickers bar, let alone fancy ultra sound technology.
Everyday, my mom visited a nearby church where she lit a candle and taught herself how to pray. This was unfamiliar because her mother was a non practicing Jew, her father was an Athiest, and Russia was religioness. The only religion accepted, Communism, had just fallen along with the entire Soviet Union – but she found something lovely about the church – something peaceful.
Just for the record, THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS BLOG. I do not follow any organized religion. I do, however, find bits and pieces of EVERY religion to learn from and admire.
My mother found an icon hanging on the wall that she connected to and began speaking to it. She picked the Martyr Saint Sofia and her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Love.
Every day, she would ask something real and unseen and the icon to help her baby survive.
After a difficult and slow delivery, I was born alive and kicking, but with serious respiratory complications from the umbilical chord being wound so tight around my neck. They said it was lucky I was such a big baby because it let me stay in one place. Had I been smaller, I could have shifted around in the womb, which could have been fatal.
I also just so happened to be born on the day of the Martyr Saint Sofia.
I’m NOT even joking.
Naturally, my mom named me Sofia, in honor of this miracle.
My point is that those who do not know the details of how I got my name would most likely feel sympathy for my mother and me because I had many serious birth complications and happened to arrive at a time when my country was in political turmoil. True, I made it, but the condition of my health and my country were less than perfect.
But only after you take the time to understand the loveliness behind seemly unfortunate circumstances, you come to see the presence of something real and unseen. Once the details emerge, it all becomes so incredible.
I’m not trying to deny that terrible situations happen, it’s just that too often the footage of unfortunate events is portrayed as hopeless. Just take one peak at the newspapers and you’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately, when nothing positive is printed or televised, people start incorporating hopelessness into their day-to-day thinking. This can be fatal.
Ever since the “2012-end-of-the-world craze” and my upcoming graduation from College, I have been trying to figure out my future, feeling pessimistic in the midst of the Recession. For quite some time now, I have been binge drinking, binge eating, binge dating, cheating, expecting the worst in people, and recklessly texting while driving.
Consumed by the ugliness of media and the news, I thought that if the world is this cruel, where women are getting raped and set on fire, and protesters are dying while standing up to their horrible governments, then maybe it’s a good thing that it’s all going to end. And, why not go out with a bang before it does?
It took some reminding of the story of when I was born to snap me out of my confusion. Inspired, I revisited my beliefs and fears. I researched, rescoured, resquinted, and restarred until I found loveliness all around me.
It’s all in the details.
The truth is, you don’t have to look far. Loveliness comes to you when you become grateful for what you have and aware of what you are doing. Even in the worst tragedies, it is possible to find loveliness.
I am fortunate to have redirected myself back on the path to relearning loveliness with the memory of my birth story, but some people have no help when they fall off the path. If loveliness is forgotten, it’s hard to remember it. For this reason, it has to be retaught and relearned.
I want to start a new movement encouraging people to see the loveliness of our world and in themselves. The loveliness, that is ALWAYS been there, but has just been left hidden behind the scenes, collecting dust.
With the help of my camera, my family, my friends and that something real and unseen, I embark on a journey to seek loveliness through enlightened awareness, sillyness, and sarcasm. Join me and you will open your eyes to all the loveliness that surrounds you.
Just like you, I have a purpose. It has to be so, or else my name would not be Sofia. So let’s relearn loveliness and discover our purposes together.