Here are takeaways from Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming:
No Matter How Great We Are; We Need the Right Relationships With Others to Help Bring it Out
Michelle knew what her passions were. She wanted to help people, but she did not want to do it in the traditional path of being an attorney despite having her law degree. It was through the relationships with the right people that favour came into her life and she was set on a course that would take her far. Through the relationship that her mother had with someone, she was introduced to an employer at a popular school in Chicago, who referred her to someone, who referred her to Valerie Jarrett. This set Michelle up to work for City Hall in Chicago and form a strong relationship with Valerie learning the ins and outs of politics. She became a mentor to Michelle and would later serve as a senior advisor to her husband as President Barack Obama. Let’s pray that the Lord would lead us to the right relationships in our lives.
The Obamas went through couples counselling.
A few moments after the birth of their two daughters, the Obamas sought out couples therapy. The reasons are similar to most married couples: They did not get to see each other enough. Mr Obama had a rising political career, and that required a lot of hard work and time.
At first, the Hawaiian-born politician was reluctant to speak about their issues in front of a stranger. But Ms Obama explained to him couples therapy was born out of necessity, to aid her in exploring her own “sense of happiness.”
The couples therapy sessions helped the former first lady explain to her husband that, whenever he was traveling or away, she felt “vulnerable all the time.”
“I feel vulnerable all the time,” Ms Obama wrote. “And I had to learn how to express that to my husband, to tap into those parts of me that missed him — and the sadness that came from that — so that he could understand. He didn’t understand distance in the same way. You know, he grew up without his mother in his life for most of his years, and he knew his mother loved him dearly, right? I always thought love was up close. Love is the dinner table, love is consistency, it is presence. So I had to share my vulnerability and also learn to love differently. It was an important part of my journey of becoming. Understanding how to become us.”
Learn to Take Opposition in Stride
Michelle talked about how Barack had to choose more than once between family and politics. He had to miss voting on an important bill within congress due to his daughter being sick. The media, as well as many leaders in the Black community, talked about him for days. They accused Barack of not being Black. They separated him from the struggle of African Americans because of his Harvard Degree. They spoke about him as if he did not care. Michelle mentioned that she was more upset about this than Barack. Barack seemed to take it in stride, she said. It was like he’d been built for it. He was determined and focused on helping the same community that rejected and separated him. Had they quit, many would not know of him today. Let’s learn to take it in stride like Barack when others misunderstand our good intentions. Let’s expect not to always be understood, but be at peace with who we are and our good intentions anyway.
Don’t be Focused on Too Many Things At Once
Barack had agreed to a book deal and was given an advance in the amount of approximately $40,000. However, by the time the deadline came for him to produce the book; he only had a couple of chapters done. He was given a demand to pay the advance back. He had been busy with several endeavors at one time, and that is what caused him not to finish the book on time. However, he came up with an awesome plan. He would rent a cabin for a specified amount of time where he would have no distractions from his normal life. He would be able to complete his book. He completed the book, released it, and therefore was able to pay back his first publisher. The lesson is to not focus on so many things at one time that we end up becoming less productive then intended. Sometimes, it’s better to focus on one or two things than 5 or 6 things.