Lessons Learned: Loving Yourself as a Black Woman discusses many of the issues and concerns women in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties face in their personal and professional life from sexism, racism, hair, balancing family, relationships, and much more. The book highlights ten life lessons that are a top priority when it comes to a black woman’s emotions, personal perceptions, and life in general. The book is written to inspire women of all ages, and invite them to realize that real happiness begins from the inside out. Although written specifically with the black woman in mind, many of the concepts in the book would benefit any woman.
"Learning How to Use the Positive" by Tinisha Nicole Johnson
I was in my early twenties and a single mother. Life just wasn’t good at the time. I was very depressed, and I hid it from everyone, or at least I tried to. I was suicidal, and thinking back, it was scary, because I might not be here if it weren’t for one homeless woman.
I remember sitting on my bed on a hot day with a big bottle of pills by my side. It was daylight, and no one was home. My son was away at daycare. I’d arranged for my mom to pick him up later that day. I was staring out the window at a homeless woman digging through a dumpster. Everything became very quiet. I call this moment my epiphany. She looked so pitiful, and within seconds, I realized my life had the same meaning. It was so strange. My focus totally changed within an instant. All I could think about was getting out of the pain that I had allowed to consume my life for so long.
Over the next several weeks, I started reading and listening to every self-help, motivational, or inspirational book, CD, DVD, and cassette tape I could get my hands on. It’s amazing what an impact words on paper can have on your life.
Using the positive to overcome the negative is an analogy that I use in my book Lessons Learned: Loving Yourself as a Black Woman. The book addresses ten life lessons that touche on a woman’s most intimate and professional life. It’s about finding real happiness and why self-love is so important. Although, Lessons Learned is catered towards women of color, mostly any woman can take away powerful tips, suggestions, and messages that will inspire and uplift.
Read an Excerpt!
LESSON 1: Happiness Is Free and Is Found Within You It Is Not Something You Go Looking For
“Remember that happiness is a way of travel—not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
What Women Tend To Think the Definition of True Happiness Means • If I just had a man in my life, I’d finally be happy. • If I just had my own place or house, I’d finally be happy. • If I moved into a bigger place, I’d finally be happy. • If I just had a better job, I’d finally be happy. • If I were prettier, I’d finally be happy. • If I had a better-looking car, I’d finally be happy. • If I were slimmer or had a different body, I’d finally be happy. • If I moved out of this state, I’d finally be happy. • If I had longer hair, I’d finally be happy. • If I got married, I promise I’d finally be happy.
There are women in the world who have achieved many of these things and still are not happy. Some have the life that you would love to have, and yes, some of these very women are hurting deeply inside. Don’t misunderstand; possibly some of the things mentioned above would create more pleasure in your life than you have now. But, do these things alone really bring true happiness?
What is true happiness? All seem to be searching for it, if they haven’t already found its root source. I believe happiness consists of an ongoing journey through life. It’s the way you live your life, how you feel about yourself, and how you perceive the world. Happiness is an inner aspect and feeling rather than an outer showcase. That is a key element that you must grasp.
Happiness is more psychological than anything else. Put in its simplest form— happiness is a feeling.
Everything outside is an enhancement or an influence. If you are hurting inside, your view of the outside world is going to be much similar even if you do live in a big house, are married, or have a lot of money. The main thing to understand is, do not start thinking that happiness only consists of or is the definition of the above list of meanings. Always remember that happiness starts from within. That is Step 1. You cannot start with Step 2 (outside wants) unless you fully understand and complete Step 1. If you are unhappy inside and start looking outside for happiness, you will waste a lot of time and energy. Even if you obtain some of the things and wants, you may still wonder why you are not happy afterward. An inner void will indeed exist.
When you begin searching for happiness outside of you, without taking care of what is inside first, it is similar to competing in a race and having no idea where to start or finish. Put inner happiness first and outside happiness second, remembering this will save you from a lot of unnecessary unhappiness. Happiness consists of feelings that cannot be bought. Happiness lives inside your mind and heart. You should not go looking for happiness, if you are not happy within first.
Happiness consists of feelings that cannot be bought. Happiness lives inside your mind and heart.
Tinisha Nicole Johnson is an author, writer, and poet. She resides in Denver, Colorado with her two children. Besides writing, Tinisha also hosts political and sports teleconferences as a profession. To date, Tinisha has written five books. She is also co-founder of Authors Supporting Authors (ASA) a non-profit group that provides support to other authors and promotes literacy. You can visit Tinisha’s website at www.tinishanicolejohnson.com. Follow Tinisha's virtual book tour all month long by visiting http://virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/.