Music icon Janet Jackson wrote a “Letter From My Heart” for Essence’s “Happiness” issue, which outlines her life thus far and her journey to find true happiness in the world.
The star opens up in great detail about significant points in her life, outlining the ups and downs of growing up in a famous family. Jackson faced episodes of depression, and low self-esteem that is something that so many women face and struggle with everyday.
In the piece,Janet explains how in her child, she was mainly happy. Seeing her brothers perform and going on tour made her proud. However, she explains she wasn’t happy with the way she looked. And when she became a teenager and began performing on her own, Jackson was happy when people would ask her to perform. However, Jackson stated, “I was happiest when I was pleasing others and not myself,” which can be problematic in her eyes.
It wasn’t until Jackson reached her thirties when she truly hit her low point. In her piece she wrote, “The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition.”
The darkness didn’t last forever for Jackson, however. She found a new light in her baby son. She realized life little moments are where true happiness can be found, and that “happiness is in gratitude to God.”
You can read the full story in “Essence’s” June/July issue hitting newsstands on June 22. Jackson will also be performing at the upcoming Essence Festival July 8th.