Mary J. Blige is showing what self-love really means.

The iconic artist is on the new cover of People magazine, and in the issue, Blige looks back on her career and how she got to where she is now.

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“I’ve been doing this for a minute,” she says. “I’m no rookie.”

Talking about being in her prime at age 52, Blige says, “I can accept it all with humility and with confidence because I’ve been working so hard all my life — really, really hard. But I wasn’t able to see the good things until I really got my head together and my life together.”

In fact, part of her morning routine includes looking into a mirror and saying to herself, “Good morning, gorgeous.”

“Sometimes my eyes are all closed up,” she adds. “But I strain to see myself. It’s not about the vanity of it, it’s about how we’re strengthened. no one can love me like me. Nobody can.”

Likening the routing to meditation, Blige says, “I do it in my prayer time. There’s no makeup, no nominations for an award. It’s just me and God. And the beauty of being able to say, ‘I appreciate my life.’ To look in the mirror, my eyes are half closed, and say something to myself that I never even believed.”

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Blige has long been considered music royalty, with 38 Grammy nominations under her belt, including six this year alone.

“Being the trailblazer ahead of that whole movement,” she says, “I honestly can say back then I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just making music. I feel like I’m getting the credit that I deserve now, but for a while, people were just passing by me. I don’t blame anyone. I was passing by myself.”

After being through so much in her life, including substance abuse and heartbreak, the musician said, “Mary J. Blige is happy. Happy with herself and happy with her life,” adding that she’s found a new focus: “me.”

“I didn’t care about myself,” she explains. “I didn’t love myself. You get what you’re giving yourself. So now that I’m giving to myself, I’m getting it all.”

On Wednesday, it was announced that along with her nominations, Blige will also be taking the stage to perform at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 5.