Embracing Unconditional Love

Daniella Cressman

Shawn Mendes — A tattooed heartthrob who undoubtedly leads to countless fantasies for droves of women with his honey-smooth voice and rebellious spirit — is suffering from a devastating heartbreak it seems.

He has allegedly just parted ways with his lover Camilla.

Perhaps he penned this song in response to the goings on in their relationship. Perhaps it was about something else.

Either way, the lyrics pulled at my heartstrings.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized that love can be unconditional, and at least one man exists in this world who adores a woman regardless of her feelings towards him.

He is a beautiful human, and the words calmed me down.

There was no pressure, no anger.

No shaming, manipulation, or mind games.

Only a massive black hole of disappointment, empathy, and all-consuming sorrow.

Instead of accusing whoever the song was addressed to of doing him wrong, he was singing a soothing ballad to her.

I’ve never seen love captured so beautifully from a visual perspective.

The video is awe-inspiring, yet simple: It portrays a heartbroken man walking the streets of a city, looking at the ground, then looking up, telling himself and his lover who are struggling that it would be okay, that he’d let her go, and that he’d make the split as easy as possible if that’s what it came to, yet there’s still a small ray of hope in him, inviting her to stay if she chooses, saying she’s still welcome in his arms, but only if she wants to be there.


Jackson Simmer

The amount of maturity in these lyrics is astonishing.

So is the guy’s outfit 😍…but that’s beside the point.


This song made me realize how complicated and powerful love can be, and how, too often, controlling dynamics in a relationship are confused with complete, total, absolute, and unconditional adoration for another human being.

The heartbroken are the bravest among us.

The pain of holding a million pieces of a shattered heart in your hands, the yearning that too often comes with regret, and the sleepless nights spent remembering summers of love only happen when a person has allowed themselves to dive in headfirst without checking to see what might be at the bottom of a metaphorical pool of two hearts bonding with one another until they feel as though they are one, and to stop guarding themselves from the potential pain which might ensue from such an experience.

They’ve risked everything, and they’ve lost it all.

“ ’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
— Alfred Lord Tennyson

If you never dare to love, you’ll never lose anyone, but you’ll also never feel the touch of someone’s fingers caressing your skin, the twinkle in their eyes that flickers as you walk into a room, or the way your heart shines when you’re dancing together underneath the moonlight.

If you never allow yourself to feel visceral joy, you won’t ever completely understand the depths of the sorrow that comes from loss, yet wouldn’t you rather live your live to the fullest, risking everything in the process, instead of laying low and never daring to embrace happiness, love, and friendship, along with all of the risks it entails?

You can only control yourself.

It doesn’t matter how much you wish you could read your lover’s mind.

At the end of the day, you can only control one person: Yourself.

This man embodies a captain who steers the ship of his own life — he is unswayable, even during the worst of times, because he knows that everything will be okay.

He knows that he’ll hurt but life will go on.

He understands that he has to simply put one foot in front of the other.

He has given up on trying to control the circumstances like a puppet master without giving up on love.

Controlling yourself shows confidence and security.

They lyrics stating that he will be okay show confidence and a sense of security in himself, even though the song is anything but indifferent.

This sends the message to his lover that he doesn’t need her, even if he may want her desperately.

It’s probably the most attractive song a person could write about a breakup: If anything will bring a former lover back, it would be the mindset of sending love their way while mentioning that you’ll be okay without them.

I’ve always found the guy extremely attractive, but — this time around — I found myself immersed in the musings of his soul, getting lost in them, and falling in love with his poetic mastery of the English language.

You are allowed to love someone, even if they might be falling out of love with you.

It can be heartbreaking to love someone who doesn’t love you back, but only if you are plagued with numerous expectations and an inordinate amount of disappointments as a result.

Unfortunately, most people experience a one-sided love affair that plays out in their own mind at least once during their lives.

I know I have.

It’s comforting to know that you’re allowed to experience a myriad of emotions for someone who has rejected you — or is thinking about rejecting you — the same way it makes things easier to embrace emotions of anger, resentment, sorrow, fear, and joy.

You’re allowed to love someone regardless of their feelings towards you, as long as you can manage to rid yourself of expectations.

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is undoubtedly the most painful form of heartbreak.

I know Camilla loves Shawn as a human being, and has loved him as a boyfriend for a long time.

She might still love him: There are rumors the two of them might be back together, but it seems that they have separated, at least for a moment.

There was undoubtedly a great deal of shared adoration between the two of them for many years.

In the bigger picture though, loving someone who doesn’t love you is the most visceral form of disappointment one can feel in romantic relationships played out in their dreams that never come to be: It’s hard to let go of someone who loved you, it’s harder still to let go of someone whom you wish had loved you.

It’s deeply painful to heal from a relationship that lasted for years — one in which you truly believed you had found your soulmate.

Camilla and Shawn were deeply in love, so much so that they want to remain in each other’s lives as friends even after the (alleged) breakup.

You can move on without hating another person.

The hatred between ex-lovers is one of the most palpable forms of cunning disregard, manipulation, violence, and overall misery that is present within the human race.

Fortunately, you can love someone while leaving them.

Breakups can mean you just want different things: You don’t have to resent the person whom you once spent your nights adoring, tangled in the sheets with during moonlit midnights.

Your heart might break, and you might feel like you want to die, but the sun will rise the next morning, and you can still greet each day with gratitude.

“It’s making me sick, but we’ll heal and the sun will rise.”
— Shawn Mendes

This is quite a mature statement: It captures the upset stomach, endless hours spent in bed sobbing, and deep mourning that accompanies lost love, yet its deeply pragmatic in its melancholy: We’ll live, and life will go on no matter how painful things are right now.

It shows resilience and strength: The man might be mourning, but he will not sacrifice cherishing each day, healing, and living his life to its fullest, no matter how devastated he is currently feeling.

We could all learn from this honestly: It’s too easy for so many to fall into the never-ending rabbit-hole of self-loathing when they lose someone they love, cursing themselves, chiding themselves, and wondering what they could have done differently.

Sometimes, things just don’t work out because they’re not supposed to: It’s not anyone’s fault.

“It’ll Be Okay,” helped me forgive myself, forgive other people, and embrace the notion of love again.

It warmed my heart, filling it with hope for the future.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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