The Light We Carry – Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s authenticity and relatability make me want to just sit and listen to her talk about whatever she has on her mind.

There’s a purity that shines through in Michelle’s writing. It’s not naivety or toxic positivity. There’s a self assurance that doesn’t ignore self doubt. It’s a hope that’s infused with kindness, yet there’s an honest discussion about the darkness.

Michelle brings the wisdom she’s earned from different roles in her life to this book: daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, former First Lady, role model. I love her openness and her tenacity. I’m obsessed with the concept of cultivating a kitchen table of friends.

I want to meet Michelle’s mother and would definitely read a book written by her if she ever changes her mind.

I borrowed this book from the library so didn’t have the luxury of highlighting all of my favourite quotes like I do when I read ebooks. At this point, my ebook purchase is inevitable. Until then, I want to hold onto my current favourite quotes.

Small endeavours help to guard our happiness, to keep it from getting consumed by all that’s big. And when we feel good, it turns out we become less paralysed.

I’ve learned to recognise and appreciate balance when I feel it – to enjoy and make note of the moments when I feel the steadiest, most focused, most clear – and to think analytically about what’s helped me get to that place.

Our hurts become our fears. Our fears become our limits.

The unknown is where possibility glitters. If you don’t take the risk, if you don’t ride out a few jolts, you are taking away your opportunities to transform.

We only hurt ourselves when we hide our realness away.

There’s power in knowing where you don’t want to go.

And then there’s also power in discovering where you want to head next.

Going high is like drawing a line in the sand, a boundary we can make visible and then take a moment to consider. Which side of this do I want to be on? It’s a reminder to pause and be thoughtful, a call to respond with both your heart and your head. Going high is always a test, as I see it.

What I want to say, then, is stay vigorous and faithful, humble and empathetic. Tell the truth, do your best by others, keep perspective, understand history and context. Stay prudent, stay tough, and stay outraged.

But more than anything, don’t forget to do the work.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles – the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humour, candour, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.

“When we are able to recognise our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.