The Light We Carry
Overcoming in Uncertain Times
#1 NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • ONE OF TIME’S 100 MUST-READ BOOKS OF 2022 • 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 humor, candor, 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 recognize 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Even Michelle Obama feels low sometimes. In this inviting book, the former First Lady shares her methods for overcoming difficult moments. There’s been a lot of turmoil in the years since she left the White House. To get through, Obama has leaned on some old coping mechanisms, like her close-knit circle of family and friends, and she’s also picked up some new skills—including going all in on knitting. It’s heartening to hear someone as accomplished as Obama normalize feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt, and we loved the way she builds on her famous “When they go low, we go high” quote with tangible tips on just how to do that. The Light We Carry is a great read for anyone looking to boost their mental and emotional health.
Gems & Best Practices
I had no intention of reading this book because I already knew the message, you have light, don’t dim it, blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, I love my forever First Lady, but self help ain’t my jam. However this book has been mildly interesting and Mrs. Obama has definitely dropped or referenced some gems. The first gem that struck me in particular, was a personal story from the amazing Toni Morrison, who provided an example of starting with kindness. In a world that will tear you down at all cost, we need to be kinder to ourselves, because who is else is going to do it. Morrison’s story discussed her being a “critical mother”which in her mind (and most mothers) is equated caring. Morrison explains our children can rarely interpret that criticism as care. Which makes total sense, all they see is the arched eyebrow and pursed lips. I related to this story immediately. I have middle schoolers and if you remember middle school is literally one of the most critical times in your life, you are judged for everything! And with that understanding this book and Morrison’s story reminded me to address my kiddos first with kindness and not add to their judgement filled day by greeting them with criticism, rather show them I am glad to see them. Especially now, that I am no longer greeted by those elementary school smiles and hugs. I share this to say Mrs. Obama’s book is more than self help, but really a sharing of best practices as we move through all facets of life in an ever changing world, and I appreciated the book more than I thought I would. In her last chapter, which she focuses on the phrase “when they go low, we go high,” she leaves us with this final gem, “you need to choose your fights, be careful with your feelings, and think about your long term goals,” which I think is great logic that can be applied to all aspects of life work, kids, marriage, and you. If that is what “going high” means I will stay in the clouds with you Mrs. Obama!
Always on Point
Loved Becoming and loved the Light We Carry just as much. Her wisdom, her dedication and her light truly shines on each page. We were blessed in so many ways to have the Obamas in the White House for 8 years 🙏🏾
The book is eye opening.