Michelle Obama’s Spiritual Journey Towards Finding Her Identity Shows She is Just Like Us
Barack Obama’s wife Michelle Obama etched her name among the greats even before her husband became the 44th president of the United States of America and, well, even before she got married.
Becoming the first lady was just a cherry on top of her list of accomplishments – in short, she was extraordinary.
She has, no doubt, set a good example not just among other political leaders but among the youth as well. She could easily be one of the most favorite persons in the world and undeniably one of the most influential.
It’s not hard to understand why people from all walks of life and different generations love her. During her husband’s eight-year tenure at the White House, Michelle stood by him like a pillar of elegance and dignity, mirroring Barack’s ideals and which had spoken of how they are as a family.
As much as the former first lady sounds unearthly and just plain extraordinary, psychologist Ruthellen Josselson, who has been studying life paths of women for more than four decades now, said that the lawyer is just like us in that she has gone through the same stages as every other woman must go through to become successful.
Unsurprisingly, Michelle’s memoir titled Becoming is a best-seller. It has three chapters that the expert said is very telling of the psychological patterns found most women.
The first one, Becoming Me, translates to identity. As most of us would know, the former First Lady came from a middle-class family but excelled immensely. However, the path to success was anything but smooth – we’ve all gone through the stage where we are unsure about our true identity and are trying to figure out what we want to become.
As much as we’d like to believe that Michelle almost immediately realized what she wanted to do with her life, that was not actually the case. She outdid herself and became a high-powered lawyer, only to find out that she didn’t love her profession as much as she hoped.
So she switched to a more fulfilling job, working with non-profit organizations and helping others. Ruthellen noted that this was actually common in her study as most women in their 30s realized that their first career choice didn’t suit them.
The second chapter about intimacy takes a similar approach. While you’re trying to find your identity, love knocks on your door. The intimate relationships we form, Ruthellen explained, oftentimes reorganize the identity we’ve established.
For Michelle, this happened when her idea of a tight-knit family had to evolve for Barack’s political dreams. The psychologist also saw this trajectory among the women in her study wherein love would take them in a different direction than they had intended.
The last stage is care, which isn’t really about motherhood for most women as much as other people expect it to be. Michelle initially hated residing at the White House which she regarded as a “prison,” but she turned this energy into something good by working on several initiatives.
This change in the former first lady’s life is also observed by Ruthellen, who said that women eventually aim to care for other people or impacting others’ lives.
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