The world has endured some difficult times over the last two years, and things don’t seem to be letting up. From polarizing politics, the economy, and the ongoing pandemic, we face unprecedented events that will impact us for generations. With all the negatively charged information bombarding us daily, many have struggled mentally and emotionally and neglected to take adequate care of themselves. Rolling out recently spoke with acclaimed author and journalist Sophia A. Nelson, who aims to provide the tools to help us address this growing problem in her new book, Be the One You Need: 21 Life Lessons I Learned While Taking Care of Everyone but Me.
What can readers expect from Be The One You Need?
There are three core questions that the book is centered around that we don’t ever ask ourselves, particularly as not as women, Black women, or women of color. Even our men understand that something is amiss and not right, and we’re just not connecting the right way as people. The three questions are, what do I want, what do I need, and how am I feeling? The more you think about those questions, they will disturb you and make you uncomfortable at first because you’re not used to asking yourself what you want or need.
Did you find that you had challenges being vulnerable when writing this book?
Being vulnerable as a Black woman is something that we are not allowed to be. We are socialized to be hard, to be tough, to be strong, and take care of everybody else but ourselves. I think sometimes, on the surface; we succeed really well. On the surface, we have great jobs, great careers, and great degrees, but I don’t know that we live lives of deep fulfillment, happiness, and joy because we spend a lot of our lives taking care of other people. Being vulnerable was something that I needed to work on and do, and I was very intentional that I have a big platform, and I wanted to rip the bandaid off and tell you this is who I really am, and this is my journey.
While writing this book, did you discover new things you need to work on for yourself?
I discovered that I am not my family, and I don’t have to be part of a generational curse. The big revelation for me was understanding that just because people are in your family doesn’t mean they get to abuse you, mistreat you, mislabel you, or gaslight you. We do have a responsibility as human beings to tell people when they’ve hurt us and to tell them when the things they’re doing aren’t working for us. I think everybody deserves the opportunity to course correct if they choose to; if they don’t, that’s not on me.
Nelson’s book is available on blackbookstore.com and is featured on the homepage under Peace & Purpose https://blackbookstore.com/.