Does love always win?
“There is love, of course. And then there's life, its enemy.” —Jean Anouilh
We are victims of our own simplicity. Sure, there’s wisdom in simplifying your life or decluttering your space. But oversimplification can lead to missed details. This I believe, often occurs with language, specifically the subtle nuance of inflection or when words are taken out of context, the meaning missed entirely.
This was the case when Prince Harry and his wife Meghan closed their debut podcast by saying, “Trust us when we say, ‘love always wins.’” The backlash was immediate. People scoffed at what they viewed as a trite and careless comment, especially considering the year we all just experienced.
For Meghan and Harry, the phrase had deeper meaning. The news media summed up the podcast by sharing only their closing words which turned their personal reflection into a segue for undeserved criticism.
Most will agree that 2020 was a year for the record books, some events we hope -- or God we pray -- never to repeat. Because of the seemingly never-ending chaos and fear, it was easy to forget that Harry and Meghan were also caught in a firestorm that was rocking their world.
To leave the life of royalty in pursuit of privacy, where you exist and function outside the watchful eye of Buckingham Palace, is not something to be taken lightly. It shows cracks in the structure of a hierarchical system that has found itself under intense scrutiny of late. But in his desire to shield his wife from the grotesquely racist criticism by the paparazzi, Harry did what he thought was right. And what was right for him and his family did not mean the Royals, or the millions of Royal watchers, would approve of a decision to abdicate his responsibilities.
But Harry has already experienced the horrifying reality of life in the public eye and was determined that his family would not become a victim of the same intense obsession and shameless pursuits as his mother, the late Princess Diana. He took radical action to protect Meghan from the critics that judged her on a different scale than their beloved Kate, wife of Prince William.
Sitting in that podcast studio together, united in their dreams and aspirations, Harry and Meghan interviewed guests who pondered 2020 and its impact. In summarizing those interviews and their own experiences, they concluded with…
“Trust us when we say, ‘love always wins.’”
For them, love did win. That statement made sense for them. It was a strong period at the end of a year that saw others trying to keep them entrenched in a system that no longer served their highest good. Harry and Meghan said, “No, we’re choosing another way. A way where love is leading us.”
Because love always wins.
Taken out of context, I do not believe this statement any more than the critics of Harry and Meghan when they spoke them.
Why? Because love doesn’t always win. If it did, we wouldn’t have starving babies, people living on the streets, or any other type of horrific acts of violence or abuse occurring in the world.
No. Love doesn’t always win, but it does sometimes.
On a personal level, I pray it wins for you often.
Circling back to our simplistic verbiage that muddies the definition of love may help us understand its nuances. We use it every day -- from the love of a salad to the intimate love we share with a partner or spouse. This broad use of “love” is normal in our vernacular but leads us to assume that our understanding or appreciation for it is the same as it is for others.
It is not, evidenced by a beautiful sentiment offered by a young couple still healing from what was inflicted upon them.
Harry and Meghan’s love won.
Love’s many layers aid in our healing and enrich our lives. They also confound us as we navigate a complex system of emotions. They can solidify a commitment to deep friendship or shift that friendship to something more intimate.
Love always wins when the context is clear.
Love always wins when we invest in reciprocal relationships that flourish and bloom.
Love always wins when we see beyond the now, knowing we can do better, individually and collectively.
Love always wins if we care enough.
Love always wins is not a dream.
It’s a mantra for how we live.