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Michelle Obama opens up about iconic phrase and how husband Barack inspired it

The former First Lady has become an inspirational figure

michelle barack obama saying dynamic
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariSenior WriterNew York
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Michelle Obama has definitely been able to inspire her many followers in more ways than one during her tenure as First Lady.

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The renowned author opened up on social media about one of her most recognizable sayings, "when they go low, we go high," and how her dynamic with husband Barack Obama inspired it.

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Alongside pictures of herself from the 2016 Democratic National Convention, she wrote: "I never could have imagined that the phrase 'when they go low, we go high' would become synonymous with my name. 

She added that she'd "had a lot of time to reflect about the concept more broadly" while working on and promoting her new book, The Light We Carry.

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"For a long time, 'going high' was a simple mantra that Barack and I used to encourage each other. 

"It was a simplification of our ideals, everything we'd gleaned from our upbringings that had been simmered into us over time: Tell the truth, do your best by others, keep perspective, and find a way to stay tough through it all."

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Michelle reflected on one of her most iconic sayings

Michelle cleared the air on what it could imply, explaining: "And let's be clear: Going high doesn't mean doing nothing. It's not disengagement or simply turning the other cheek. 

"It's about making sure your commitment to dignity and decency lights the way in everything you do—how you treat others, how you show up in the world, how you respond when your back's against a wall."

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She ended with a message of hope, writing: "Some folks are always going to try to bring us down. But the moment we stoop down to their level? That's the moment we surrender our power to them. 

michelle and barack obama at the democratic national convention© Photo: Getty Images

The former First Lady explained that her relationship with Barack inspired the phrase

"So for me, even when it's hard, even when we don’t feel like we want to, going high will always be the answer. #TheLightWeCarry."

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