Part self-help, part memoir, “The Light We Carry” features the former first lady’s musings on her post-White House life, strategies for navigating uncertain times, and advice on building meaningful relationships.
Michelle writes that the early days of her courtship with Barack were devoid of “the standard cat-and-mouse romantic gamesmanship.”
“He was uninterested in playing around. Instead, he took the guesswork right out of it,” she wrote. “He put his feelings on the table and left them there as if to say, Here’s my interest.
Here’s my respect. This is my starting point. We can only go forward from here. This mix of candor and certainty was, I have to admit, flattering and refreshing. It was also sexy as hell.”
Michelle also draws on her own experience to share pieces of relationship advice, such as the importance of compromise and adaptability in long-term partnerships.
“A partnership doesn’t actually change who you are, even as it challenges you to be accommodating of another person’s needs,” she wrote. “Just as Barack hasn’t changed much in the 33 years since we met, neither have I.”
She continued, “The change is in what’s between us, the million small adjustments, compromises, and sacrifices we’ve each made in order to accommodate the close presence of the other, this hybrid energy of him and me together — us two — now seasoned and battle-tested over decades.”
Michelle says that while she’s done her best to speak openly and honestly about the “unpolished” parts of her relationship with Barack, “some seem to prefer the facade.”
“My personal feeling about this remains unchanged, and I think it’s true of people in general: We only hurt ourselves when we hide our realness away,” she wrote.