Knowing ourselves and our self-worth is probably the most powerful weapon to have in the world that we live in.
by Aisiri Amin
Self-exploration is one of the things that is often misunderstood. It doesn’t mean that one day you wake up and become someone new. It’s a gradual, intentional process of getting to know ourselves, learning to embrace who we are, the good and the bad, unlearning the things that no longer serve us, letting go, forgiving ourselves, and understanding our self-worth.
If you are on one such journey, here are three books you should check out:
Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel
An interactive journal with writing prompts that help you sit and take some time out to understand yourself a little better. Simple exercises such as writing, drawing, and list-making help you self-reflect on your behavior towards others and yourself, on the memories stacked off in a safe place, the emotions that come with it and many other things that need introspection but are masked behind the usual I-have-no-time escapes.
It helps you figure out where you actually feel like heading and what’s stopping you from it, acknowledge the barriers you have put up for yourself and the coping styles you have adopted, amongst other insights.
So, if you don’t know how and where to start this new journey, then start here.
All About Love by Bell Hooks
“There is no aspect of sexuality that is not studied, talked about, or demonstrated. How-to classes exist for every dimension of sexuality, even masturbation. Yet schools for love do not exist. Everyone assumes that we will know how to love instinctively.”
Often love spoken of as something that is idealised, something that can’t be defined yet is so powerful in its impact or there is strange silence around, almost as if even talking about it makes us a bit weaker. We usually talk about what love means to us, who we love but rarely do we think about how we love.
Bell Hooks makes us question how we love, how we look at relationships, romantic and otherwise, and shows us why we sometimes we need to first unlearn how to love to actually understand love. All About Love offers a deep insight into the most basic, instinctual emotion which also happens to be the most misconstrued one.
How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh
Recent YouTube star Lilly Singh made headlines after she announced her late show on NBC, making her the first woman to host one in over three decades. Singh started her career as a Youtuber back in 2010 with her channel Superwoman which today has 12 million subscribers. Through her skits and talks, she spoke about feminism, broke brown girl stereotypes and started the #GirlLove campaign.
In her book, How to be a Bawse, Lilly talks about conquering life, pushing through the many unexpected speed breakers and being the best version of yourself, while acknowledging and appreciating the little victories we often shrug off. She talks about mind over matter, why you need to get out of your comfort zone, about self-love, giving yourself due credit and redefines the over-used word: hustle.
Most of the chapters make you question your actions and thoughts either through the words or through the exercises such as listing out the three things you need to succeed but find terrifying.
The book is a tough trainer you need for self-improvement and growth, the kind which happens when you understand every bit of yourself.
Aisiri Amin is a journalist specialising in social justice, gender issues and culture. She has written for The Hindu and works as a freelance writer. Social wallflower and an idealist at the core, she lives on books, tea and hope (in that particular order).