Titled “Letter From My Heart,” the 52-year-old iconic singer — who graces the publication’s July/August cover — lays out her journey to finding true happiness.
The long form essay penned by Jackson is a collection of lessons learned, detailing early struggles with depression, self-esteem and — ultimately — her embrace God’s love.
“I wasn’t happy with the way I looked,” Jackson revealed about her childhood and teen years. “I was happiest when I was pleasing others and not myself. An older and wiser Janet might have said, ‘True happiness is knowing you’re doing the best you can.”
It was documented during her 30’s while recording her Velvet Rope album that Jackson struggled from severe bouts of depression. “These were difficult years,” she says. “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.”
“Thankfully, I found my way through it,” she continues. “Now, the height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness.”
“Happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God,” she concludes.
The full letter will be released via Essence’s website and both traditional and digital newsstands come June 22. In recent years speaking about depression has become less taboo and hopefully such a iconic public figure like Janet Jackson, speaking her truth will inspire others to seek out help.