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Mary J. Blige shares lessons learned during lockdown

Mary J. Blige for “Health” magazine. (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Mary J. Blige says lockdown has allowed her to be “deeper in love” with herself.

The 49-year-old singer has been spending more time at home amid the coronavirus pandemic and says using that time in her “own company” to reflect on herself has allowed her to develop a stronger understanding of who she is.

When asked what isolation has taught her, she said: “I’m going to take away a real appreciation of this me time. I was already liking me, and now I have grown deeper in love with myself because I love my own company.

“I don’t think any of us realized how fast we had been moving. I really appreciate this rest and this silence, so that I can hear more clearly what’s going on.

“When you’re by yourself, you’re either going to be your own best friend and be honest and real with yourself, or you’re going to be your own worst enemy and deceive yourself. It’s been so clear to me that I am my best friend.”

The “Family Affair” hitmaker admits it has been “hard” for her to start loving herself but has now begun to unlearn all of the “lies” that she’s believed about herself for so long.

She added when asked what’s the hardest lesson she’s learned: “How to love ourselves. It’s still hard, but it’s getting better because I’m starting to understand where all the tricks come from. The tricks come from the things that were in the past — the lies that you believe about yourself that you do not have to believe if you love yourself.”

Blige says self-love is a “growing process” but believes other people cannot be “satisfied” with you until you are “satisfied with who you are.”

Speaking to Health magazine, she said: “Self-love is the hardest thing to feel because we live in a world where everybody is hurting. Until you get satisfied with who you are, other people won’t ever be satisfied. That’s the growing process. That’s learning how to love and hug yourself and say, ‘You know what? I love you, Mary. I love you, Beautiful. I love you, Gorgeous. I love you, Smart Woman. I love you, Talented Woman.’ That’s a practice I do every single day.”