Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Book Review: “The Light We Carry” is a Lesson in Realness.

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(ThySistas.com) “Becoming” was an amazing book that so many were able to connect to. As Former First Lady Michelle Obama shared her life with us, the readers, we gained wisdom and strength from her. One thing I appreciated about “Becoming” was Michelle Obama was real with us. I wasn’t sure what to expect from “The Light We Carry’, but I anticipated a deeper realness and I feel that was delivered. This book reads like a good big sister conversation whereby you are learning while laughing and questioning ones position about life and living.

“When you start to rewrite the story of not mattering, you start to find a new center. You remove yourself from other people’s mirrors and begin speaking more fully from your own experience, your own knowing place.”

The reader is confronted with how we should navigated self-love as Michelle Obama gives us a window into her journey. She is unapologetic, yet accountable and gives the reader permission to do the same. She is honest about the work involved in coming to terms with self, and doesn’t sugar coat the uncomfortable spaces one can expect to encounter. With that in mind, there is a constant theme, over various topics, of charting one’s own path…and allowing others to do the same. One can gain quite a bit about a healthy reciprocity in relationships and life that is rooted in fairness.

The Light We Carry - Michelle Obama

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“It’s also helpful to acknowledge what makes this work so difficult. We are tasked with trying to write our own script over layers and layers of already written ones.”

One of the things I love about Michelle Obama is her transparent commitment to fairness. In this book that theme is on repeat. There is a fairness we our the world and out community that is rooted in principle and integrity. However, there is a fairness we owe self…which is also a reflection of said principle. When she introduces the reader to her mother, and her challenges as a parent we really see great examples of working through parental anxiety, giving oneself grace, and having important people in life that ground us…reminding us of the grace we deserve.

“If you choose to try to make a life with another person, you will live by that choice. You’ll find yourself having to choose again and again to remain rather than run.”

There was some stir on social media that pointed at Michelle Obama giving an image of marriage and relationships as something that must be tolerated. Some felt marriage isn’t worth having to “tolerate” someone. It was as if several people felt her position further explained why some just don’t want to deal with marriage.  I admit I was on edge as I approached Chapter 6, “Partnering Well”. We live in a time whereby it seems we want the dream, yet we chose to trash it as soon as it shows itself to be more than just a fantasy. Michelle Obama was real about marriage, and she doesn’t want her marriage to be seen as a glamorous expectation. She went to great lengths not only to humanize her husband, but herself. She shows how were expectations of Hawaii during her first visit were torn down, but something stronger was left standing. Marriage is work, and it is a constant choice. No one is perfect, and there will be days you may not like your partner much…and they may feel the same. However, in love there is growth. She shared a reality of what commitment looks like, while encouraging the reader that they can have it all…it just may come in seasons. Marriage isn’t the snapshots we see on social media, and its more than just the wedding. Chapter 6 is one of my favorite parts of the book, because it encouraged me as a wife. I will revisit it often. I highly recommend a reader to embrace it with an open mind, because life can throw some serious challenges at us and if we are in a relationship, we need it to be more than glamour.

“The notion of going high shouldn’t raise any questions about whether we are obligated to fight for more fairness, decency, and justice in this world; rather, it’s about how we fight, how we go about trying to solve the problems we encounter, and how we maintain ourselves long enough to be effective rather than burn out.”

This book was an amazing read. I walked away learning more about how I would like to shape life for myself. I appreciate Michelle Obama breaking down: “When they go low, we go high”. I never saw it as a passive position, though in our current climate I understand how others could perceive such. This is a great book for everyone to read, and I think it has such a special meaning for Black Woman as we endure so much in many areas of our life. As we continue to press toward our purpose as women, partners, mothers, and active members of our community “The Light We Carry” is another light we can look to help us chart our path as individuals and as a collective.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christian.pierre.9809 and also Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MrzZeta.

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