Reflections on a Whirlwind Week by Maria Shriver


Have you ever had one of those weeks where no matter how hard you try to stay upbeat, cheery and positive, you just can’t?

Of course you have. That’s what this past week felt like for me, too.

This was one of those weeks where the news unfolded so rapidly that it was hard to keep up. It was hard to stop shaking your head; hard to not complain; hard to actually believe what was happening. It was hard to know exactly what to do.

I spoke to folks who were glued to the news and social media. They were dissecting it in real time trying to figure out what it all meant. Meanwhile, others I spoke to said they just couldn’t bear any of it and turned away.

In the world we live in today, it can be hard sometimes to see a clear path ahead. Few things feel certain anymore. These are confusing times, for sure.

It’s hard to know what to think when everything seems to be changing more rapidly than it takes to form a new thought. That’s why during times like these, I try and spend time away from the noise so that I can properly formulate my own thoughts.

I reach out to those whom I respect — people who I feel can offer perspective and who can remind me that we’ve been here before. (Tom Brokaw is one example. You can read his thoughts below.) I also read and/or listen to others whose words and thoughts lift me up and focus my mind on the positive. That’s not being naive. It’s simply acknowledging that there are issues unfolding around us and that we can choose how we respond.

I’ve lived through tumultuous times before. Assassinations. The turbulent ‘60s. Vietnam. Watergate. A president’s resignation. Iran Contra. 9/11…the list goes on.

I’ve learned that the will of the people trumps the mightiest of power players. I’ve also learned that unraveling takes time. So does clarity.

Give yourself permission to step away. Breathe. Ask yourself: “What do I think?” Turn to those with wisdom who have seen it all and who have lived to tell it. Stay attuned to the news, but don’t allow yourself to become consumed by it, either.

Know that this will not be resolved today or tomorrow, but it will be resolved.

So, find your resolve. Focus on what good you can do in your own life, or for your country that so desperately needs it. Our nation needs what we have to offer. It needs for us to turn down the volume, calm the “he said, she said,” and look forward to a future that’s more united than divided. I think we can all agree that we deserve a future that’s brighter than darker, more compassionate than critical, and more honest than what we have today.

I’m focused on moving us forward and uniting us. Will you join me?


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