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Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: The Power of Love to Move Us Forward

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  — Victor Hugo

I have to say, there were more than a few times last week when I thought, “What is happening in our world?”

The way Jeff Bezos took on the National Enquirer made me gasp for all sorts of reasons. But I love what he said: if someone in his position can’t fight back against blackmail and extortion, then who can?

I also found myself shaking my head during the State of the Union. I was upset by the visible division in our country and how it was on full display in the room. You could have turned off the sound and still fully seen and understood how one half of the room felt about the other. (I must say, though, I was inspired by the guests in attendance. Their inspiring life stories give me hope.)

Then, don’t even get me started on Virginia. While the news coming out of that state is jaw-dropping and hurtful, I believe that it shows us just how much work we still have to do. It’s hard work. It’s work of reconciliation and understanding. It shows us that we must have a deeper conversation about race and not ignore what is sitting right below the surface for so many people.

This is the type of conversation that I don’t think many of us know how to have as a culture. I actually think we could take a page from Alcoholics Anonymous, which asks its participants to take an honest account of their lives, dig in, and then do the hard work of taking responsibility for their actions and making amends.

Healing always starts with individual inventory. Taking responsibility and asking for forgiveness (with the hope of salvation) is a deeply-rooted human desire. Over the course of my life, I’ve seen so many people’s lives transformed and saved through love and acceptance.

I know that’s hard, but I believe it is our only way forward. It is our only way forward not just when it comes to repairing Virginia, but when it comes to repairing our politics, our communities, our schools, and our own families as well.

This Thursday is Valentine’s Day, and on this day so many couples will proclaim their love for one another with cards, candies and over-priced dinners. Meanwhile, the families impacted by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, will wrestle with very different emotions as they remember the one-year anniversary of that horrific tragedy.

They’ll be grappling with feelings of grief, loss, pain, anger and disbelief. I’m sure those feelings have been strong and present ever since the day when they lost those they loved. The lack of action since then only makes it worse.

But, at the end of the day, those who are hurting will find that if they can dig in and find love for themselves and others, then it will be love that enables them to go on.

Only love, or the promise of it, makes it possible to move forward. Only love and compassion for oneself allows one to give love and compassion to another.

I would venture to say that many of us have spent a lot of our lives angry. We’ve been angry at certain people who have hurt us.  We’ve been angry at different leaders who we’re sure don’t have a clue about what’s best for us. We’ve also been angry at the press, angry at our parents and angry at the world for the way it seems to be these days. The list goes on.

Look, I get it. I’ve felt all of those feelings myself at one point or another. And while I do believe that anger can be fueled into positive action and change, ultimately it is love that brings about true understanding and unity.

All great leaders have urged us to find love within us and lead from that place. That is why, today, I want to challenge myself to find love within. I want to challenge myself to have conversations that are hard to have. I want to challenge myself to take the time to listen to someone I didn’t care to hear from before. I want to challenge myself to take an inventory of my life and see if there are any reasons to make amends.

That is what it means to love. Love isn’t as easy as “roses are red and violets are blue.” True love is hard. It takes work. But by building it within ourselves and giving it to others, we just might start to heal our divisions.


Dear God, please let love shine through for me this week. Please help me to feel loved and also help me give that feeling of compassion to others. Amen.

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This Week’s “Meaningful Conversations” Podcast Features Best-Selling Spiritual Author Don Miguel Ruiz

I’m a student of love. That’s why I really enjoyed my podcast conversation with Don Miguel Ruiz, bestselling author “The Four Agreements” and “The Three Questions.” Don has a profound and beautiful perspective on love and I can’t wait for you to hear what he has to say.  and 

DeVon Franklin’s New Book Takes a Revealing Look at the Male Point of View

I had an opportunity to sit down with my friend and Architect of Change DeVon Franklin this past week on the TODAY Show to talk about his new book “The Truth About Men: What Men and Women Need to Know.” In it, DeVon offers eye-opening information about relationships, why some men stray, and what both men and women can do to get on the same page.

Sharon Salzberg Reveals How to Move Beyond the Myths of Love to Make a True Connection

Renowned Buddhist meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg helps us work through our suffering and learn how to find “real love” in our lives.

Want more from Sharon? Our friends at 1440 Multiversity are hosting Sharon from April 12-14, 2019, for Real Love: Know Yourself, a weekend workshop. Participants will explore a gentle, but thorough, method to know yourself, connect with others, and stop your mind from getting in the way of the connection you yearn for.

On the Eve of Parkland Shooting Anniversary, Mom Lori Alhadeff Shares Her Story with The Sunday Paper

Valentine’s Day 2019 represents heartbreak and loss for the Parkland, FL community, as it marks the first anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. In this exclusive Q & A for The Sunday Paper, Lori Alhadeff, who lost her daughter Alyssa in the tragedy, tells us how she turned her grief and anger into action and activism.

Young Men Get Candid About Growing Up in the Age of #MeToo

While #MeToo is putting sexual misconduct in the spotlight, some young men confess they are confused about the ways that it is changing how the genders interact. For the TODAY show, I sat down with a group who says they want to be part of the change, but also face anxiety about their roles as young men.


1. Time Magazine Highlights the ‘Art of Optimism’: I love that Time is releasing its second special issue devoted to optimism. The issue’s guest editor, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, writes, “we celebrate and suggest ways that one can find inspiration in our present moment through the work of artists who carve a path for us all.” 

2. The Government Shutdown Was a Lesson in Applied Civics and the Grade is Not Good: In this interesting op-ed piece for The Hill, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Adm. Thad Allen (Ret.) stress that the last month’s government shutdown was a “disaster politically inflicted by a failure of governance and leadership.”

3. Thank God for Canada!: This is a powerful read by New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, who reasons that our neighbor to the north is “the moral leader of the free world.”

4. Mindfulness Is a New Subject Being Introduced at Schools in England: This is awesome and forward thinking. The British government announced last week that students in up to 370 English schools will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health. 

5. This Group of Moms Is Building a Forever Home for Their Adult Autistic Children: This is an inspiring story of true Architects of Change. These Wisconsin parents of autistic children are looking towards the future by creating a housing complex that would integrate residents with special needs into the larger community.

6. Yippee Moment of the Week! When 2-year-old Isabella broke down in tears during a ballet dress rehearsal, her dad, Marc, ran up on stage to help her finish the dance. Yippee! Dad to the rescue! 


The Stress of Being an Alzheimer’s Caregiver: How to Get Support

There are over 16 million Americans providing unpaid care for their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. On The Today Show, I shed light on the many challenges caregivers face and ways to get support. 

THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT is a global movement of game changers, groundbreakers, and cultivators of hope. We’re working to wipe out Alzheimer’s and change the future for all minds


This recipe for Cauliflower Mac N’ Cheese ai Quattro Formaggi was created by Elana Horwich, author of Meal and a Spiel: How to Be a Badass in the Kitchen It’s yummy and healthy and would make for the perfect lunch, brunch or dinner. 
We hope you’ll keep sending along photos of your family dinners inspired by The Sunday Paper. E-mail us here and we’ll share them in upcoming editions of The Sunday Paper.


SHOP, SHOP SHOP! AThe Maria Shriver Collection: Good for You, Your Mind, & the World 

Visit the shop on to get Maria’s book “I’ve Been Thinking,” her coloring book for Alzheimer’s “Color Your Mind,” the Maria candle, Rivet Revolution bracelets benefiting The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, her new Maria BrainHQ program, and more!


Do you have feedback on how we can improve The Sunday Paper? Do you have ideas for content or changemakers that we should include? If so…