Beyoncé is offering a rare insight into how she overcame some of the most trying times in her life.
The 38-year-old pop and R&B superstar graces the cover of Elle’s January issue -- and through social media direct messages and emails with fans, she opened up about one of the most difficult lessons she’s learned after suffering several miscarriages.
"I began to search for deeper meaning when life began to teach me lessons I didn’t know I needed. Success looks different to me now," she explained in the candid "Ask me anything" interview. "I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift. Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else."
While Beyoncé and her music, fashion and business mogul husband Jay-Z have traditionally remained private about their personal lives, the Roc Nation executive shed light on the couple’s miscarriage struggles on his 2012 record, “Glory,” and Beyoncé addressed the traumatic experience in a 2013 documentary, “Life Is But a Dream,” describing the moment as "the saddest thing I've ever been through."
"I had Blue, and the quest for my purpose became so much deeper. I died and was reborn in my relationship, and the quest for self became even stronger," explained the 23-time Grammy-winner. "It’s difficult for me to go backwards. Being 'number one' was no longer my priority. My true win is creating art and a legacy that will live far beyond me. That’s fulfilling."
One major change a woman goes through during and after pregnancy is the often swift and intense transformation of her body. For Beyoncé, coping with the different variations of her body she was seeing, was something that ultimately granted her a new sense of self-love that she hadn’t previously discovered.
"If someone told me 15 years ago that my body would go through so many changes and fluctuations, and that I would feel more womanly and secure with my curves, I would not have believed them," she said. "But children and maturity have taught me to value myself beyond my physical appearance and really understand that I am more than enough no matter what stage I’m at in life."
"Giving zero f**ks is the most liberating place to be," the “Carmen” actress continued. "Also knowing true beauty is something you cannot see. I wish more people focused on discovering the beauty within themselves rather than critiquing other folks’ grills."
In making herself available to her children, Beyoncé said she made valiant attempts to develop a healthy work-life balance after having children, which she admits has been “the most stressful thing” about her life thus far.
"Making sure I am present for my kids – dropping Blue off at school, taking Rumi and Sir to their activities, making time for date nights with my husband, and being home in time to have dinner with my family – all while running a company can be challenging," she said referencing her company, Parkwood Entertainment.
"Juggling all of those roles can be stressful, but I think that’s life for any working mom."