I usually don’t read up on celebrity stories, but after seeing the President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s most tweeted picture in the history of Twitter on Yahoo Shine for the 100th time this week, I decided it was time to learn the story behind it. This picture was taken by Scout Tufankjian back in August 2012, after the President and the First Lady reunited during the campaign trail. Scout recounts that it had been the first time since the two had reunited after a couple of days of being away. She chose to focus in and snap the picture of only the two of them saying, “I think I'm not alone in finding their relationship to be totally aspirational."

It got me thinking about the subject of love and relationships. In the past, pictures of presidents with their first ladies portrayed a different image of America. The man represented the power while the woman represented support; not that she didn’t make a difference, for many have, but she wasn’t seen as powerful as the president himself. Perhaps the mind conjures up the image of Hillary Clinton as a strong first lady; however, she and President Clinton did not display their affection publicly like Barack and Michelle. Mr. Obama and Michelle have been dismantling this image, showing that, although Obama is the president and is very powerful, Michelle does not stay behind and instead shines just as much as he. They are creating an image that gives men and women alike permission to show their affection, love, and support in a way that the American people can actually relate.

So what is the ingredient of success here? Although I do not know the president and the first lady personally, it’s easy to see that there is much respect between the couple, as well as equality, while knowing how their roles interweave, and most importantly, there’s a sense of self-respect on both sides.

So do you need to be Mr. and Mrs. Obama to have a great relationship? Not really. In my own life I have had many experiences where I lacked self-respect and gave away my power completely to the person with whom I was. Why? Because I didn’t have the self-respect and self-confidence that would have enabled me to know that it was better to be alone than to be with someone who had very little respect for me.

It wasn’t until I got married at the age of 22 and had a child at 24 that I realized that my happiness was no longer based on having a relationship – no matter the price. I had to endure extreme bouts of low-self esteem and depression, and mental and physical abuse to see that it was time for me to have a healthy relationship with the most important person in my life – ME. It was time to become an empowered woman so I could empower my daughter. So a month after her first birthday, I had the courage to ask for a divorce and begin the journey to self-love and self-respect.

It’s now been almost 14 years since I began that journey and now I can say that I have become the woman I wanted my daughter to have as an example. I have also created the most incredible relationship with that one special person – ME – which allowed me to actualize a loving, supportive, and respectful relationship with my husband of now 10 years. One in which I feel empowered to be the woman I had aspired to become one day.

Do I still encounter challenges in my relationship with myself and my hubby? Of course, but while in the past those challenges served to keep me in the world of victimhood, the challenges I now face are ones that help me expand even more and grow as woman while empowering myself and my three daughters and the women with whom I work.

So can I say that my relationship is White House material? If Michelle Obama is being the image of strong, confident woman who is showing women that they too can be leaders, then I can say, ABSOLUTELY! How about you? Ready to climb the mountain of self-empowerment together? Let’s do it!

Author's Bio: 

Jacqueline VanCampen is the author of Letters to My Daughter: A Mother’s Journey of Healing and Transformation. She is the founder of Wise Heart Within, a channel and medium, and she helps women create Goddess-like relationships with themselves and develop a divine and spiritual partnership with their Wise Hearts. Jacqueline calls herself the Inner Relationship Goddess and Angel Messenger.