When I watched the royal wedding of Princess Di and Prince Charles, I was 16 and in the throes of my own first love.
I watched it through those rosy colored glasses as if it was a real life fairy tale though a part of me stepped back, arms crossed and thought it seemed too good to be true.
Of course, it was.
She was only three years older than me at the time. At sixteen, being in love meant it was all about me. How it made me feel. How often I thought of him. How many times could I fit our initials on the cover of my notebook so everyone would know I had a boyfriend?Everyone would know I was in love.
More importantly, everyone would know that I was lovable.
Now that I am almost 53 and will be married (not to my high school sweetheart) 30 years this summer, I know love is not about me. It is about us.
How can we lift each other up? And thus lift up those around us?
How can we be there for each other?
What do we need from each other?
How can we be that safe place to land at the end of each day for each other?
I watched the royal wedding this morning and it felt different. Not only because I was older with thirty years of marriage under my belt but because Meghan Markle is different. She is 36, divorced, biracial, a feminist. She has a voice, a point of view and is not afraid to use both. And it seems that these are just two of the many things that Prince Harry loves about her.
It was a joy to watch the wedding this morning because it didn’t reinforce stereotypes of a woman being saved by her prince and it felt reassuring to see two people standing side by side ready to face the world together.
As Bishop Michael Curry said:
“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way. There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalise it. There’s power, power in love.
Today’s royal wedding reminded me of the power of real, strong, mature love, the kind of love I grew into from the weak, selfish, rosy-colored love of my teens.
As I watched, it felt like a balm to the wounded soul of the world.
It felt like a reminder that we are in dire need of these days.
A reminder to believe in the redemptive power of love.