What Does it Mean to Love

I’ve had a huge, important realization in the past two weeks. One that’s taking quite a bit of courage to put out there … Yet, I feel the need to ask my fellow humans, or at least the three or four of you who read this, for assistance.

What does healthy love, in a relationship with a partner, look like for you?

Do you have an example from your life you’d be willing to share? Whether it’s a few words, a story, a poem, whatever you’ve got that defines a healthy, unconditional love. Let me add that I believe that Love is Love. Period. So, if you have something to share from your partnership that helps to define healthy, unconditional love; please share.

When I say unconditional, that in no way means, staying in a situation with another who is abusive. That is absolutely not unconditional love, going either way. That is an unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship.

The reason I ask …

I recently had a situation arise with someone I love dearly. I suddenly and clearly realized that, of all the behaviors and values I have modeled throughout the past 18 years, there has been one key area missing. I’ve been divorced since 2007, and have not had a relationship with another since then. I am quite clear on what an unhealthy relationship is and can share from experience regarding that.

Prior to my divorce, I had 20 years of experience with unhealthy relationships, so, I’ve got that area covered. Although I received care and affection in my childhood, I grew up in a terribly dysfunctional family, which carried over into partners. That’s why I decided no more for me until I learned to love myself and to love my children unconditionally. 

The one I am asking this for, is on the verge of exploring relationships, that aren’t familial or friends … And, I find myself struggling to help that one understand what true love is … (as opposed to what one sees in movies and reads in many books). In this age of role playing games, with avatars and made up worlds, I am experiencing first hand how one can be lead down a path that is anything but true love, when they’ve nothing to compare it with.

I can also share what I’ve read about true, unconditional love, and what I’ve witnessed amongst other couples. Yet, I do not have first hand experience of what it means to have a partner who unconditionally loves you, and whom you unconditionally love. Therefore, I turn to all of you, those amongst you who have and do experience this … What does that look and feel like?

(“Love is Magical” Renga Poem written by me and my two kids)

The time is now, the time is ripe for me to help this one whom I love to know about this. Both of us are avid readers, so I have given this one three books that I have read that do a very good job of giving real life examples, defining a true and unconditional love. Those books are, “all about love” by bell hooks (which, synchronistically, I happened to be reading when this realization smashed into my consciousness), “The Path to Love” by Deepak Chopra, and “Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson.

“To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients – care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.” … from “all about love” by bell hooks

I am in tune with this way of defining it, and have experienced dimensions of this, care and affection, being two of those.

All those years ago, I suppose I had hoped that I would have experienced a true and unconditional love with a partner. Yet, that was not to be the path I traveled. I reckon I was not ready to love and to be loved. I had been laser focused on healing and learning how to unconditionally love myself and my children. The beginning of 2020 marked a tipping point for the healing journey. Now begins the journey of heart opening. Hallelujah!

I invite you to share this with those you know who would be willing to share their thoughts. In this case, I do not feel there could be too much information. If you would like to reply privately, you can email to Camilla Downs @ gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to share. A couple of photos of me and my loves, Thomas and Lillian.

PS: I do not welcome responses that are homophobic, patriarchic, or that support sexist-defined gender roles. 

See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Photography and Poetry: Love Arrives

Love Arrives

Love gives,
Love receives,
Love is wet,
Love is dry,
Love is within,
Love is without,
Love is above,
Love is below,
Love is warm,
Love is cold,
Love is stardust,
Love is sand,
Love is water,
Love is ice,
Love is dark,
Love is light,
Love is all there is.

All which appears
Not to be love,
Is simply love going in
The opposite direction.

-©2017 Camilla Downs

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See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Mindful Living: A Love Letter

My 8 year old son, Thomas, just aches to receive his very own mail. I remember being young and the thrill of receiving a letter or card from a friend. It’s one of the best feelings in the world!

He asked me the other day if he could mail a letter to himself. I told him that sounds like a GREAT idea. So, he wrote himself a letter and included a Hal sticker from Live Gracefully.

He didn’t just write himself a letter. He sent love to himself. I’ve mirrored to him and taught him that self love is the most important aspect to loving others. Once we truly know that we are self love, life becomes what it is meant to be. And that will be different for each person.

We must “know” this in our heart, not just our mind. Speaking as a recovering “living from the mind” person, I can with authority say that there is a difference. Ever since my childhood I have been an analytical thinker, solving almost all life issues with my mind. Now, in my 40’s I have awakened to a different way.

Thomas received his love letter this weekend! He opened it as if he’d never seen it before. He quickly tore a piece of the paper and wrote a note back to himself. He’d like to mail that too!

What an amazing inspiration this young man is to myself and others?!

Just think, what if I had told him he couldn’t mail a letter to himself? He wouldn’t have received a love letter in the mail, I wouldn’t have gotten joy sharing the love with others on facebook, and you would not be reading this “love letter” from me.

How about you? Would you like to receive a smile, a hug, or even a “how do you do” in the mail? I’ll be the first to raise my hand!! I would!

Latest “Mindful Living” Articles:
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H♥rtfuly Inspired™,
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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Inspired Living: Laughter and Joy

(Thomas and Lillian on the first day of school 2013)

The laughter and joy of these two AWEsome souls sends a warm wave of love, comfort and peace throughout my entire body and soul .. right down to my toes!

May you feel it too when you observe the joy and laughter of your loved ones or anyone else for that matter …

Inspired Living: Two Blessings

It got really quiet while I was cooking dinner tonight (8.19.13). I went outside looking for Thomas and Lillian and found them under this beautiful sky, sitting and reading together …. I’m so HappY and blessed I get to be their Mom!

Love Is … An Act of Kindness

Y’all don’t forget that the customers can hear inside the bank when you are outside using the drive through!! No worries … this is a FEEL GOOD post.

I was in the bank a while ago and overheard a customer being grumpy about having to show her driver’s license to cash a check as the teller was new and didn’t know her yet. I smiled at the young lady helping me and said “That customer just needs some love and kindness.” The bank employee helping Ms. Grumpy continued to be kind and apologize for the inconvenience. Ms. Grumpy sent over her DL and the teller cashed her check. When the teller sent the money out, Ms. Grumpy apologized for being grumpy. The two chatted happily about what each of them were cooking for the holidays and off Ms. Grumpy went .. EXCEPT, she had left behind Ms. Grumpy and drove away Ms. HappY.

I looked at the teller helping me and said, “See, she just needed some love.” I left HappY and both tellers were happy and smiling too!

My wish for YOU is that you actively search for opportunities to perform an act of kindness by holding this thought, “Love is …. “. Have FUN!

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