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Rise Above

Rise Above

By Maria Shriver
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Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Sunday!

Just writing those words makes me smile. I'm also smiling this morning because I am greeting you from a place of joy, from a place of stillness, from a place of faith, and from a place of happiness. I’ve chosen to imagine myself in this way today.

In the Catholic faith, this day is about Jesus rising from the dead. It’s about having faith in that story and having faith in the promise that we can all rise—be it from the deadness or numbness we may feel in our lives right now, or from other events that have happened in one’s life.

To me, Easter is about beginning again. It’s about a new dawning, a new outlook, and another chance to get this experiment called life right. How blessed we are to be alive on this day. How blessed we are to be able to choose to rise above things in our lives that we need to leave in the past.

All of us have a thing or two that’s dragged us down. Things that have perpetuated hurt or confusion or built resentment. We also have things that continue to hurt us, make us angry, or make us less than we can be. And none of us are here to be less than we can be.

I was struck this week by many things, but the words Elon Musk used to explain why he wanted to buy Twitter stayed with me. He said, “Twitter has extraordinary potential. I'll unlock it.” I immediately thought, wait a minute. It’s not just Twitter that has extraordinary potential. We all have extraordinary potential. And thankfully, it’s not up to Elon Musk to unlock ours. It’s up to ourselves.

So today on this new dawning, think about your own extraordinary potential. What do you need to do or believe to unlock all that exists within you? I myself choose to believe that I’m here for a divine purpose, as I believe you are as well. Today I choose to believe that my thoughts, words, and deeds can positively impact another person's life. Today I choose to see my work as meaningful, inspiring, and fulfilling. I choose to see that, like me, you are simply trying to put one foot in front of the other. Like me, you are trying to find your way. Like me, you will stumble or fall. You will feel pain and hurt along the way.

I understand. But also like me, you can choose to set the intention to rise up on this day. You can commit to rising above your daily frustrations and irritations with others and, perhaps most importantly, with yourself.

Making peace with yourself—allowing yourself to simply be enough—is a gift you can bestow on yourself starting today. Sit with me for just a moment as you digest what I wrote. Your personal transformation and potential is within your ability. They are within your reach. Just listen to the inspiring Yung Pueblo. I’m a huge admirer of his words and thoughts. His life path is worth observing if you want to be a more authentic version of yourself and if you want to change how you show up in the world. Take a message from each person we're featuring in today's edition of The Sunday Paper. Each of them speak to living out your life's mission and allowing that mission to permeate your entire life.

So today, commit to resting as well as rising. Commit to knowing you actually can do both. Resting allows you to be still and better understand why you are here, and why you do what you do. Rising allows you to clear the clutter and the cobwebs and set your intention to begin anew.

I say all this knowing that life is challenging on this very day for millions of people. I say this understanding that so many of our neighbors are feeling the weight of inflation, the challenge of out-of-control weather, the fear of random violence, and the frustration and exhaustion of trying to make ends meet. I know so many of you are dealing with overflowing plates. And still, our neighbors in Ukraine are dealing with a senseless war and its damaging effects.

All of these struggles remind me of why being in community together is so powerful and so helpful. It makes me hopeful. Especially those in Ukraine that are rising up together and rising above all that is happening and continuing on.

I want to leave you with this today. I received a note earlier this week from a Sunday Paper reader who I’ve never met. She wrote to tell me how much she appreciates this publication and how grateful she is to be a part of its community. She also wrote to tell me about the abrupt end of a fairy-tale marriage and the pain and heartbreak that followed. She told me that in the midst of her anguish, she had made the decision to rise above, imagine a new version of herself, and see her life in a new light. She said she was able to do that because of the people who write here every Sunday, the individuals who report from the frontlines of their own lives and share their life lessons with the hope that they will help others.

This one reader's strength reminded me that each of us is capable of doing exactly what she has done, in our own time and in our own way. Today, believe that you can also rise above anything and everything that life throws your way. Trust me, I know life throws a lot on our plates, but I believe deep in my soul that we must have faith. Otherwise there is no hope.

So today, put on your Easter best, even if you have nowhere to go. Set your intention to rise. It is Sunday, after all. It is Easter. This is the start of a new week. See it as a new beginning.

Love, Maria


Dear God, may I embrace this new week with possibility. May I see it as a new beginning and a chance to rise again. Amen.