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Maria’s Sunday Paper: It’s Time to Embrace Love

This past week got off to a love-filled start, with the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement.

Their news made me happy, as it did so many others. I felt happy for them as a couple. I felt happy for this story of joy, hope and acceptance by the world.

I was so excited about their love story, in fact, that I told our team here at The Sunday Paper that we should devote our entire edition this weekend to love—the power of it, the strength of it, how it keeps us going, in good times and in bad. In a world dominated by head-spinning headlines, I feel like the stories of love never get enough attention. I’m not just talking about love within relationships. I’m talking about love in action across all walks of life. I believe that these are the stories that the world needs more of because they give us hope for the path ahead.

We live in a time of upheaval, to be sure. We are inundated daily with stories about strife, about disagreements, about hatred, violence and lying. These are stories that should rock us all. They should stop us cold in our tracks. They should force us all to rethink what we know. But, they shouldn’t cause us to give up on what’s good in the world.

There are stories of love all around us. I was so inspired this week by the strength of love that Pope Francis showed as he stood up and spoke out for the people of Myanmar. I was also inspired by Franne Gold, our Architect of Change of the Week in today’s Sunday Paper. She demonstrates love in action every day as the caregiver to her husband with Alzheimer’s. Their love story will move you and inspire you to think about love in a whole new way.

A desire to receive love, and a desire to give love, exists within all of us. It is a common need. That’s important to remember when the world beats you down.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was sitting with my daughter and watching the old romantic comedy “Notting Hill.” I have no idea why we landed on this film, but there was a scene that really struck me in the heart. It’s the one when Julia Roberts says to Hugh Grant, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

That’s such a simple statement, but it’s so true. All of us are just people looking for another person to love us. I think of that every time someone pushes my buttons. Lack of love is always underneath someone’s pain, rage or anger. That’s why we need more examples of love in our world.

Love has the power to heal. It softens us. It reminds us that we’re all the same. It reaffirms our belief in the goodness of others. When people feel loved, seen and accepted, they can go out and bring that to the world. When our truths are believed and met with love, we gain strength. We gain the power to tell our stories.

You and I also have the power to demonstrate love every single day. We can use our words and our platforms to be forces of healing in the world. We can use this moment for deep reflection and for deep introspection. And then, we can use it for good. Yes, we can all use our own individual power for good. At the end of the day, that’s the only reason to have power at all.

So, if you are loved, take care of that feeling and honor it for the gift that it is. And, if you don’t feel loved, don’t despair. Meghan Markle didn’t give up on love, and look what happened to her.


Want to receive Maria’s perspective, as well as other inspirational content, in your inbox each week? Sign up to receive Maria’s Sunday Paper newsletter by clicking HERE.

P.S. For more of what “I’ve Been Thinking,” I hope you’ll check out my upcoming book, “I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.” It’s available for pre-order now. I was inspired to write it thanks to all of the positive feedback I receive from you, readers of The Sunday Paper, each week. So, thank you. I love being in community with you.



SHARING THE LOVE YOU FIND WITHIN YOURSELF: In the current environment of polarization, it isn’t always easy to show love to someone you disagree with. Architect of Change Sharon Salzberg, a New York Times bestselling author and teacher of Buddhist meditation, says that whatever you pray for in yourself, you are capable of giving to another.


INSTILLING LOVE AND EMOTIONAL STRENGTH IN TODAY’S YOUTH: My brother, Architect of Change Timothy Shriver, has taught me a lot about the importance of love in our daily lives. He and so many others are trying to strengthen the concept of emotional intelligence in our children by developing new ways to teach and practice social and emotional skills, values, and ideals. He shares his perspective with you today. 


BOYS, MEN FINDING LOVE WITHIN THEMSELVES: I thought it would be good this week to revisit the film that I executive produced back in 2015, The Mask You Live In. It explores how we can raise a healthier generation of men and help our boys and young men stay true to themselves while they negotiate our country’s narrow definition of masculinity. The documentary is currently available to watch on Netflix.  


EXPLORING THE ROOTS OF LOVE: We’ve all felt love in one form or another, but what does this intense emotion really mean? My friend, Architect of Change Angie Johnsey, a mind expert, explores how our capacity to love evolves. 


THE TRUE MEANING OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: This week, we’ve chosen famed singer/songwriter-turned-clothing designer Franne Golde as our Architect of Change of the Week. Franne’s devotion to her husband, Paul—who was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s—is proof of the power of love. She shares their love story with you today . Franne also recently spoke about her husband’s diagnosis in a video posted on The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement website.


1. POPE SAYS FINAL JUDGMENT BASED ON HOW MUCH WE LOVED: I found this to be especially appropriate for this week. Pope Francis said that when the Final Judgment comes, what will matter most is how much we loved God and others.

2. COMPREHENSIVE TAX BILL PASSES AMID OUTCRY FROM DEMOCRATS: I was disheartened to learn that the Senate voted on a rushed-through version of the tax bill early Saturday morning. Despite strong opposition from Democrats, it was approved 51-49.  

3. MILLENNIALS WANT NEW POLITICAL PARTY: I couldn’t agree more. I think adding a new independent movement will diminish partisan fighting and make us all focus more on the person and their idea, rather than on the party itself.

4. MICHAEL FLYNN ADMITS TO LYING TO FBI: This bombshell story that broke Friday was sobering and stunning. I’m sure we’ll learn more in the days to come, but I’m glad that we have a system that allows these kinds of revelations to come to light.

5. DAUGHTER RECEIVES ANNUAL FLOWERS, NOTES FROM DAD WHO DIED FOUR YEARS EARLIER: There’s nothing stronger than the love a parent has for his or her child. This touching story, which has gone viral, illustrates that sentiment beautifully.  

6. SENIORS RESPOND TO NY TIME’S POPULAR ’36 QUESTIONS THAT LEAD TO LOVE’: I love this story about elderly couples reaffirming their love for one another. The New York Times recently videotaped three couples–who know everything about each other–asking and answering 36 questions originally from the paper’s Modern Love column.  You can also watch their video below.



This poem by Derek Walcott, a Saint Lucian poet and the 1992 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, sits on my bathroom counter. A friend gave it to me on my 50th birthday, telling me that one day I would understand what it meant. Today, I do. I share it with you today and hope you will love it as much as I do. 



Get Empowered. Pass It Forward.

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve added a few new items to our shop! Check out our stylish apparel to fight Alzheimer’s, created in partnership with Art With a Purpose. You can also pre-order Maria’s new book “I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.” Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to learn more!