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Jennifer Lopez shares her advice for loving life

Updated February 16, 2024 - 9:49 am

“When I was a little girl, my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up,” Jennifer Lopez shares. “I would say, ‘I want to be in love.’ ”

The wife, mother and international superstar certainly seems to be living the dream. Holding court in her L.A. studio, she practically glows in a black turtleneck, black pants and large black hat with her side ponytail draped over one sculpted shoulder.

The look on the 54-year-old superstar’s face is one that no makeup line could create.

J. Lo has found her bliss.

Maybe it’s the afterglow of her and Ben Affleck’s 2022 Vegas wedding or what has appeared to be the seamless blending of their teenage brood: her 15-year-old twins, Max and Emme, and his three kids, Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 10.

Lopez doesn’t take any of it for granted. “We’re all in a very beautiful moment of life,” she says. “But we had to get here, which is a process with no mistakes. None of this ‘I messed up here’ or ‘I messed up there.’ It’s all just lessons.”

Those lessons have also brought her to an intensely creative period that includes the new album “This Is Me … Now,” out Friday. The accompanying concert tour will bring J. Lo to T-Mobile Arena on July 20.

A film called “This Is Me … Now: A Love Story” also drops Friday on Amazon. Lopez calls the 65-minute work “a narrative-driven cinematic odyssey” about finding love.

Loosely based on Lopez’s own struggles combined with storytelling, dance and lavish costumes, it’s a journey to find love in a life that’s not so easy on the heart. Lopez stars with appearances from friends Post Malone, Sofia Vergara, Jane Fonda, Neil deGrasse Tyson and a slew of other bold-faced names.

Her good life tips:

Don’t wait

Her new film was “something I thought I might do at some point in my life. But why not now? It was inspired by the music and this moment in my life. I wanted to capture what was magical,” Lopez says. “Why wait for someday? Do what you love now, if possible.”

Be an original

Lopez never fit any molds. “What makes you different makes you stronger,” says the artist, who was originally told to stick to dancing or acting. Even now, creative work can be a struggle. “I went into the studio and made this album knowing there was something more to the story. I didn’t just want to put out a video. It felt like there was a bigger message about love. What we have is not quite a film. It’s not quite a video. It’s an original.”

Own it

At one point, Lopez told Affleck about a few of her career challenges. “I said, ‘I don’t write. I don’t direct.’ ” He said, ‘But you actually do. You do all of those things. Start owning it,’ ” she shares. “Those were powerful words. I think most of us have all of this talent. We just need to step into who we are and believe in our dreams deeply.”

Out with the negative

Even after becoming successful, Lopez had self-esteem issues. “You hear or read negative things about yourself, and that becomes a mantra in your head,” she explains. “You feel like, ‘I’m not good enough. I’m not a good enough actress, performer or person.’ These things are not true, but that tape plays in your head. You have to reprogram the tape and say, ‘I am good enough. I am enough.’ ”

Grow smarter

She says that her initial love affair with Affleck hit the skids because they were too young to deal with the pressures of fame. Age has brought wisdom. “One of the great parts of getting older is that you’re smarter,” Lopez says. “Don’t discount having experience in life. With age, you know how time passes and you must be protective of the time you have together. We protect what we have and keep it safe. Age teaches you what to hold sacred.”

Rise to the challenge

“Don’t tell me I can’t do something!” Lopez cries. “It’s a very simple thing: I hear no and want to figure out how to get to the yes. … My impossible is just a possible that’s waiting out there.”

Find your inspiration

Growing up in the Bronx, Lopez says, she got a lot of her moxie from movie musicals. As a young girl, she watched Rita Moreno in “West Side Story.” “Watching this beautiful, strong Puerto Rican woman command the screen with her talent in a time when Latina women did not have doors open to them made me feel that it was even possible for a little girl watching from her living room in the Bronx,” she says. “Find what inspires you to dream. What touches you. Holds your attention. Makes you want to do something epic. Grab that spark.”

Fabulous 50s

Lopez’s advice for this chunk of life: “Be vulnerable. Be bolder now. You can also be stronger and more unapologetic,” she shares.

Look for the love

“I really do believe that love conquers all,” she says. “If you bring love to anything you do, from relationships to work to kids, it’s a really good place to be in life. I’m always looking for the love.”

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