Throwback Post: I Vow to Learn

**THROWBACK POST**

I’m not sure when I originally wrote this. Perhaps in 2016 or 2017.

Our Children, Our Awakeners

In my illusion I thought I was going to raise you
To be whole, complete, and worthy,
To be educated, kind, and wise,
To be a leader, empowered, and free.

I was deluded to think I knew it all,
fooled by my age and might.
I thought I had it all together,
Ready to teach, inspire, and change you.

Only now, after so many moments
With you
Do I realize how foolish these ideas were,
How baseless and grandiose.

I now understand …
That it is you who is here to teach me,
To guide, lead, shift, and elevate,
To transform, awaken, and inspire
Me.

I now realize how I had it wrong,
Upside down and outside in,
It is you who are this perfectly designed clarion
To wake me up to my true self. -Excerpt from the book, “The Awakened Family – A Revolution in Parenting” by Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D.


(Thomas and Lillian at 2 years old and 6 years old)

I have made many facebook posts with the comment, “They are my greatest teachers”, referring to Thomas and Lillian. I have written several blog posts that connect with this concept also.

Yet, only recently did I know I was simply scratching the surface of just how much and how deep Thomas and Lillian teach me … if I am open and conscious to receiving it. Little did I know that I was only skimming the top layers of conscious parenting.

And on the flip side laying the foundation for some of the same erroneous lessons, stories, and blocks that were unconsciously taught to me as a child.

In my heart I knew that these two, in fact all children, can be our greatest teachers if we are ready to live consciously in the present moments of life, release blocks, and create our future from the here and now and not in reaction to our past. I simply was not ready to know the depth of what Thomas and Lillian had to teach me.

These teachings are by no means fun and full of glitter scattered joyful moments. They are tough. They hurt, physically and emotionally. They suck big time. Yet, these moments are the doorway to our own freedom. This doorway serves two purposes.

One is the freedom to live our lives in the present moment; not being held back by our past. The other is freedom for our children of not being led down a similar path with similar thorns and blocks.

This doorway can be difficult to enter. We try and try to enter it, yet it seems stuck. There is no handle and we push with all our might to open the door to freedom. At last, we can take the looping patterns of our past no longer. During this darkness we awaken to the idea that the doorway opens within. All we need do is allow it to open by being in the darkness, feeling it, and release it.

Again, NOT an easy thing to do. It is extremely uncomfortable as memories surface and we allow ourselves to feel what we dared not feel as a child.

Further thoughts, on a different day, still in 2016 or 2017 …

What if? What if all of the suffering of this world, all the fighting, all of the destruction to our Mother Earth; comes down to this one global wound? This wound that was inflicted so long ago no one even remembers where or how it happened. What if we let this wound heal? What if we nursed this wound? What if we sat with the wound, drained the poison from it, and nurtured it? What if we learn to unconditionally love our self?

I raise my hand now and say, “I’m in.” I consider our kids to be mirrors to reflect back to us our own thorns and darkness. I’m blessed to have two such mirrors in my life. And sometimes blessings are not comfortable or fun. Over the past six months these beautiful and amazing mirrors have shown me in a hugely uncomfortable way that I have never loved myself unconditionally and so therefore, I have never loved another unconditionally. And, yes, that includes my own two kids.


(Thomas and Lillian at 14 years old and 18 years old)

This has been a perfectly timed mirror message as I needed to get to a place where I would not let myself be overcome with guilt and sorrow with this knowing. Had I been shown this earlier, I would have sank down deeper into the black hole pit of despair, judging and becoming the victim.

What if all the times of disrespect, disregard, arguing, back talk, “laziness”, unkindness, excessive use of digital devices was not about that at all? What if it’s about our relationship with our kids? What if it’s about how we only conditionally loved them when they were wee little ones and on into their young life? What if all they are truly saying is “Love me. All of me. Love me as I am; not as you wish me to be. Don’t shame me. Don’t manipulate me.” What if excessive use of anything is only an attempt to escape from the pain of not feeling loved for who one truly is?

What if we took this same scenario out onto the streets and into the world? What if that person having a meltdown in the grocery store is truly saying, “I am so unloved. I don’t love myself. I’m horrible. No one has ever loved me.” What if people committing crimes are simply saying the same thing? What if people in power are saying the same thing with decisions or comments they make? What if “natural disasters” and any negative seeming environmental issues are Mother Earth saying, “I need your unconditional love. Love me when you perceive beauty and love me when you don’t perceive beauty.”

None of this to excuse unkind behavior or to give anyone a free pass to wreaking havoc. Yet, when we can not let ourselves be affected by unkindness directed towards us, we will know that we have learned how to unconditionally love our self … And, can now unconditionally love the one directing unkindness our way. No matter what they say or do; our love never waivers. We can look them in the eye and say, “I love you brother, or sister.” And, what if, when the other is unconditionally loved, the unkind behavior and the “escapism” simply melt away? What if?

My take: It’s not about the unkind behavior or the object used to escape. It’s about our relationships. It’s about unconditional love. It’s about unconditional love not received as a child. It’s about being raised with and taught conditional love.

It’s absolutely and definitely not about blaming our own parents as they could not love in a way they had not been loved or taught. It’s about how most of us learned to love one self only conditionally. It’s about sharing that conditional love with others and only conditionally loving Mother Earth. It’s about passing that conditional love to our kids and so the cycle repeats.

I don’t claim to know whether this is “correct” or to know the solution. I’m also not implying with these words that we simply let kids rule their own life, making their own decisions without our guidance. There is a drastic distinction between conscious and unconscious parenting.

I do feel that the more people who are unconditionally loved, the more peaceful and joyful world we will create. So I’m starting where I can. With me.

I vow to unconditionally love my self. I vow to clear my own cobwebs so that I can be a mirror for my kids without my past interfering. I vow to unconditionally love my kids. I will release all expectations and agendas I have for each of them. I will engage with them. I will not manipulate. I will not cause them to feel guilt or shame when they are sharing of their true self. I vow to try. I may fail at times. Yet, I vow to notice when I have failed and to let them know when I have failed. I vow.

**October 8 2020 Update** – What a powerful message to have written at the time, and to take in again. For the most part I agree with all I wrote and concluded back then. I do want to say that when I speak of unconditional love I am not suggesting we stay in harmful situations, or continue to communicate with abusive people. One can love another, and never be in their company. And, we do not have to unconditionally love every human we encounter.

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is 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 19 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.

 

Poetry: Sunset Walks of the Soul

August 11 2020

Sunset walk with Lillian.

Sometimes parenting is a bed of roses.
Sometimes parenting is a bed of thorns.
Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going.
Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
Yet, the walks I take, the scenes my eyes frame, the photos I take, being in nature, always brings peace and comfort.

PS:This parenting gig, especially single parenting, is not for the faint of heart.

Blessings,
Camilla

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is 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.

Throwback Post: What Will I Be When I Grow Up?

**THROWBACK – JANUARY 2018**

Lillian Shadow on Hill 2014 or 2015(Photo of Lillian taken by Camilla in 2014)

She asked, “What will I be when I grow up?”

Dear One,

You will Be what you already Are. That is constant and never changes. You do not have to be anything other than what is aligned with your heart. You do not have to strive for labels and titles … unless these are aligned with one’s heart.

You’ve been asked many times over the years by well meaning adults, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You have stayed true with your response to this even when the questioner did not understand your answer, even though the questioner thought that you didn’t understand their question, and pressed you for a different answer.

You Will BE what you already Are. Uniquely You. Sharing what only you can share in the unique way only you can share it. What is “it”, you may ask. It has many names. Love, kindness, compassion, unconditional love, divine love … Whatever it is called, matters not.

For when you share the gift of yourself with another, this gift will guide them in the knowing that they are loved and the knowing of their true gifts. When you share your gift with others, it in turn inspires others to tap into their unique gifts. This sharing arouses the courage in another to share their unique gifts with others.

This creates a ripple effect that can eventually travel the world over. Just your one act of sharing your true self has the power to create a shift in the world. A shift that would awaken many to the compassion, kindness, oneness, and unconditional love which is the core of each and every one of us.

You will BE what you already Are. Stay true to your heart. Follow the compass of the heart. The heart is one’s true compass.

Love,
The Fairy Princess Helper
xoxoxo

Update July 18 2020: I had completely forgotten about this! I remember being inspired to write this by the sheer volume of times that Lillian had been asked this throughout the years, probably reignited by something I had seen in social media. Her answer had always been that she wanted to be a fairy princess helper, she wanted to help people. Many did not understand her answer, or pressed her to make the answer fit into an “real” profession or career.

When Lillian was in kindergarten or first grade, she was working on a project about herself. One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I remember as if it was yesterday … We were in the car, Lillian in the backseat, I asked her what her answer to this question would be. She said she wanted to be a tooth fairy. The “old” Camilla was still a huge presence in me, and I almost told her that being a tooth fairy, or fairy, was not a real job.

However, the awakened me took over and told Lillian that there were many types of fairies. Book fairies, nature fairies, flower fairies, etc. I also told her she could call whatever she does, any name she likes. The name does not matter. At that time, she said she wanted to be a book fairy. Soon after, she shifted to a fairy princess helper and has stuck with that.

I feel this question should be rephrased. I think it has the tendency to cause children to feel “less than” if they don’t have an answer, or an answer the adult does not understand. I feel they aren’t given enough messages that they are worthy and loved for simply being themselves. (A message partly coming to you from the child within me, who always felt less than and grew up to feel she was not worthy.) xoxo

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping.)

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is 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.

Happy 10th Birthday Thomas A. Darnell

What do I say that I haven’t already said to celebrate this wonderful, kind-hearted, shining young man? It really matters less what I say about and to him as opposed to how much it matters how I live my own life, what I mirror and how I react to life’s situations in his presence.

That’s the amazing thing about having kids. It’s like having an accountability partner 24 hours a day, a walking vision board, a mirror even; to remind you of how you truly want to live your life. This is also why I, and others, claim that our kids are one of our greatest teachers. They mirror for us qualities about ourselves that we want to shift and remind us of our own philosophies and words of wisdom when we most need to hear or see it.

My birthday wish for Thomas is that he never forget the qualities of his soul. That he is an empathetic, kind-hearted being of love, that he never misses out on an opportunity to spread loving-kindness when he is urged by his inner light to do so. That he never lets me or another adult tell him his thoughts and ideas for spreading loving-kindness won’t work or are silly. That he discovers the treasure that he holds in his heart and share that treasure with all other beings. That this bring him all that he desires – success, prosperity, affluence – all wrapped in the love shared by others. And, that he always remembers to have fun and laugh while living this life.

Thomas,

In moments of confusion remember to BE quiet, BE still, breathe, think peaceful thoughts (especially the peace mantra we learned – Om Shanti Om). When you connect with the stillness, you open the portal to your own creativity and your heart will use that to give you answers and solutions. It’s magical, miraculous, and it works every time.

May you never let your light be dulled by outside influences, may you remain true to your heart, and may you always strive to BE mindful. There are no words to describe the depth of love I feel for you. YOU are a true gift.

I thought it would be fun to include a collection of the birthday wishes I’ve posted for Thomas’ birthday over the years.

2014:

For 8 years now I’ve had the pleasure of this person’s beautiful light in my life. It ain’t been all roses and butterflies, yet it’s been perfect and just as it should have been and is. I am thankful for all that he teaches me and will continue to teach me. I painted a rock for him and made a card filled with love and (hopefully) words of wisdom … along with an apology for not having more for him. This morning he gave me a huge hug, told me he loved me and that it’s okay and that it doesn’t matter. So blessed, I am. “Fill your heart with love … Love is always the answer. Listen to your heart. That’s where love lives.” – My message to Thomas in his card .. Happy Happy Happy Birthday Beautiful Shining Thomas!!!!!!!! xoxo

2013:

Some people say, “I can’t believe (s)he is already 8 years old.” I think to myself, “I cannot believe he is only 8 years old!” …. I wrote a post dedicated to this young man. Link is in the comments if you want to read more! “Today, on HIS special day he came and got me, told me to close my eyes and led me to his room. He said he had a gift for me. When I got to his room I removed my hand from my eyes and he had beautifully made his bed! Take my breath away … HE had a gift for ME on HIS special day! This was more of a gift than … ”

2012:

HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY THOMAS!!!!! You came right into this world without any hesitation the night of November 13, 2005 and you haven’t stopped since! I am grateful and blessed in a way I cannot even describe that you came into my life and keep me learning and growing. I’m enjoying every minute of observing you on this journey of discovering your gifts and talents and am so excited to see how you use them to serve others. You have taught me patience, not taking actions and comments of others personally, and have furthered my true understanding of releasing judgements of others. You inspire me to be the best teacher and guide to you and your sister that I can be. It’s been a wild and crazy (and fun) adventure and I’m thankful to you for inspiring me to go deeper. within myself to be the best that I can be.

2011:

Happy 6th Birthday to the handsome superhero Thomas! One who, at times helps me understand why some people don’t want kids, and at other times melts my heart, makes me laugh so hard my face hurts and one whom has added to and enhanced my journey for the better. He teaches me how to be a better parent and gives me tremendous incentive to learn how to teach him respect and how to make good choices. Thanks for the wild and crazy ride young man . . . always an adventure with you in our lives . . . Love YOU to pieces!

2010:

Happy Birthday today to the one whom makes my heart happy dance and melt with every hug, every kiss and every “I Love You”. Happy 5th Birthday to my son Thomas. You crack me up with your imagination and add to my JoY in an indescribable way!!

2009:

Happy 4th Birthday today to a little dude who makes sure that my everday is anything but dull & boring! Happy Birthday Thomas ~ I Love You!!!

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

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