Book Review: How to Be You by Jeffrey Marsh

How to Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life by Jeffrey Marsh

I have followed Jeffrey Marsh on Twitter for years. Before I found a therapist, before I got on medication for my anxiety and depression, their videos helped me to be able to take a breath and center myself so I could get through the day. I’m sure I’m not the only person whose life has been impacted by them in this way, but I will forever be grateful for their calm voice affirming my place in the world over and over again until I started to believe it for myself.

How to Be You is the self-love manifesto that everyone in the world needs to read, but it is especially essential for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community. We live in a world that is often hostile to us, a world that bullies, beats, threatens, harasses, disenfranchises, and belittles us to the point of fracture, to the point where our very existence is seen as a threat to the standing order. Jeffrey’s assertion throughout their book is that it is our choice whether or not we are going to capitulate to the people who would make us smaller. We can be expansive or we can shrink. We can grow and learn and change and accept ourselves in all of our glorious complexity or we can draw lines of demarcation around ourselves and always exist as less than our true selves.

We can be expansive or we can shrink. We can grow and learn and change and accept ourselves in all of our glorious complexity or we can draw lines of demarcation around ourselves and always exist as less than our true selves.

I’m not going to lie, a lot of the self-help material circulating in the world today is worthless pablum at best and an avaricious money-grabbing scheme at worst, but Jeffrey Marsh is the real deal. Their work comes from a deep place of understanding what it feels like to be marginalized and maligned for being queer, and I am so grateful for their existence. I am grateful for this book’s existence. Thank you, Jeffrey. A thousand times, thank you.

Favorite Quotes from How to Be You

Confidence comes naturally if trust is present.

Aren’t you lucky that you get this life, this chance, to learn to set aside the yuck and muck of other people’s sometimes nasty words and do your best to live your life as fully as you know how?

Even if it seems like the whole world is against you, you’ve got to trust yourself. Even if no one else will honor you, you must honor what your truth is in any given moment.

Beginning to see yourself as worthy and trustworthy is the start of something beautiful. Why? Because you can finally let go. You don’t need to spend all your time trying not to be too much. You can relax. You can feel safe. You deserve that. Everyone deserves that.

Trusting yourself is the way to claim the life you’ve always been waiting for.

Trust your own self-examination more than you automatically believe someone else’s pronouncement.

Worry and hate are habits, and so are love and forgiveness.

Whatever your imagined crimes were in the past, they are not worth ruining your today for. You deserve to feel free. You deserve to be let off the hook.

The above quotes are © 2016 Jeffrey Marsh. All rights reserved.

Bonus: Jeffrey Marsh’s TedTalk

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

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