Book Review - What Did I Learn Today? Lessons on the Journey to Unconditional Self Love
The book speaks to a journey, and a journey as we know, gives the idea of moving from one place to the next, and although there is physical movement – as the story moves through her life here in Trinidad and Tobago, in England and in Uganda – the real movement/the real journey is to a place of self-love. This journey to self-love is a painful one, one that is full of growth. A beautiful journey, one which a lot of us might choose not to do, but one which Akosua embarked on bravely and courageously. The book details this journey by identifying and speaking to different values or as I term them, guiding lights - Authenticity; Gratitude; Intuition; Balance; Letting Go; Self Confidence; Courage; Forgiveness, to name a few.
Even though it is a painful story, it is not a painful read as it is written without bitterness and with a lot of humour, love and compassion. There is no beating up on self for decisions made and actions taken. There is no regret, no wishing to change the past and in this lies the beauty. So although we may be pained by the story we are still encouraged to laugh with Akosua as her sense of humour comes through in so many ways.
It is a very generous book, as it shares not only the values and the lessons gained but also some of the tools that were used on the journey. And this sharing is done in a very gentle, non threatening way as if the author were saying to us, “this is what I used, it may help you on your journey”. It is here if you choose to use it. It is a self help book without being a self help book.
This is Akosua’s story. She has opened herself to us, she has freed herself from her past. She has chosen to be authentic – to show up as she is. It is also your story and my story, not in the details of Akosua’s life but in the situations and places from which we choose to live. Am I living an authentic life? Am I being true to myself? In what ways have I not honoured myself, not respected my needs, not loved myself, not accepted myself, not set boundaries with the persons in my life, not believed in myself? Am I living for me or am I living to please others? What is holding me back from being my best self? These and other questions came to the fore while reading the book, encouraging me to stop and to assess, to bravely attempt to sit with the discomfort as the answers came forth. Not an easy thing to do.
And so, it is through Akosua’s gentle, honest and compassionate writing that we are given the space to identify our own story, to come to terms with what has happened in our lives, probably share our own story. Acknowledging that we are on a journey, that we can change course anytime we choose to, that we can change companions on that journey if it means loving ourselves freely and unconditionally, being who we are and showing up as we are. This is what the book affords us – Courage to love ourselves unconditionally.
And I will share a quote from the book:
“I have learnt that transformation is the result of discovering that you are already whole. It is the realisation of the true self. Being human means so much more than you have ever imagined. It is a divine and wonderful experience to realise that you already have everything you need inside. It is a relief to discover that you are not flawed”.