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Be the One You Need

Life Lessons I Learned Taking Care of Everyone but Me

Published by Health Communications Inc EB
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

From acclaimed journalist Sophia A. Nelson, the bestselling author of The Woman Code, comes a poignant, powerful, and revealing memoir providing life lessons that emphasize the importance of self-care, self-love, and self-understanding that will lead to freedom, healing from the past, and a better future.

Sophia A. Nelson is a highly accomplished woman. Yet following a bout with Covid-19, caretaking for a sick parent during the pandemic, running a business, and being a mainstay on national television as a political pundit and legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, and Sirius XM, she realized that she was struggling internally even as she maintained her breakneck schedule.

Like so many others, as an adult child of an alcoholic Nelson struggled with self-love and knowing her value despite her successes. As she came to learn, it was when she stopped feeling guilty and neglecting herself emotionally and started understanding the importance of self-care and nurturance that she found the freedom to truly live and thrive. Her message, Be the One You Need, reveals lessons illuminating for readers that the answers we seek are always within us. Nelson’s call does not mean we do not need other people—quite to the contrary—but that our first love and our priority must be to self. Good emotional health. Good physical health. Good spiritual health. Good relational health. The earlier we can figure this out and take care of these basic needs—love, connection, faith, and success—the better chance we have of a balanced, fulfilled life.

In this thought-provoking book—at times sobering yet also uplifting and encouraging—Nelson speaks to readers from all walks of life: young people just starting out; those at mid-life trying to wrestle with what she calls “your second life”; and readers in their later years who still have time to forgive themselves and seek forgiveness where needed. Her purpose in this book is to encourage men and women alike to practice meaningful self-contemplation, self-care, and self-love.

This book is for anyone who is still fighting demons from their childhood. For anyone who has been hurt too many times to count. For anyone who desperately wants a roadmap to break free from toxic family ties. Or simply for those who need to be reminded that until you take care of yourself first, you will have little to nothing of yourself to give to others. As the old saying goes: It’s never too late to have a life, and it’s never too late to change one. 


Sophia A. Nelson is an award-winning American author and journalist. You can see her regularly on CNN’s Inside Politics and Newsroom as a legal and political analyst. Nelson is an adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. She is a former investigative counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, and senior counsel with the international law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP. She had the privilege of covering former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House from 2010–2012. She is the author of The Woman CodeBlack Woman Redefined, and E Pluribus ONE.

More books from this author: Sophia A. Nelson