Always lead with grace.
Jenna Dewan has had a life-changing couple of years to say the least. After the sudden separation from her husband of 9-years, Channing Tatum, a new relationship with actor Steve Kazee and a brand new pregnancy to boast, it's safe to say this woman knows great pain and great joy, and with those two things comes great responsibility. Thankfully, Jenna has chosen to take on those responsibilities with amazing grace.
In her new book, Gracefully You: Finding Beauty and Balance in the Everyday, Jenna speaks out for the first time in depth about her split from Channing and coming to terms with a life she never envisioned for herself.
"[Divorce] was never on my docket of dreams, but alas, here I am, learning and growing through one," she wrote. "In the beginning I turned to the typical remedies. I drank a whole lot of wine with friends. I had many moments of deep, painful, big cries. And both were very necessary in getting me to the next hour, through the day, on to another week."
While the road wasn't always easy, Jenna found herself more focused than ever on work. In fact, she revealed that she and Channing split the night before she started filming the second season of World of Dance. She had to go through press while answering questions about her husband whom she was no longer with. Something she explained was brutal, but necessary for her career.
"In the beginning of my separation, it felt as though I were in a dark closet, desperately trying to find the light or the way out," she revealed. "I was in a state of shock. One week I'd be doing really well and the next I was slammed with a whole new slew of emotions. The rumor mill was churning out story after story. There were many times I hid under the covers, wondering what was next. The pain hit me like a tumbling avalanche. I was completely overcome with fear and sadness. It took many moments of sitting alone with my grief to force me into surrendering to my roller coaster of a situation."
But every setback comes with it's fair share of lessons for growth. "The separation tested me in ways I hadn't thought possible," she shared "I started to wonder if everything I believed in and always talked about was real. Could anyone or anything ever be trusted?"
The most painful part of the divorce may have come when Jenna revealed that she found out about her exes relationship with music sensation Jessie J alongside the rest of the world.
"I was learning things about my ex most people wouldn't have to face–and over the internet, as it was happening," she revealed. "There I was, on a plane, alone, finding out about his new relationship. I felt blindsided. Choosing grace as I learned everything about my personal situation along with the rest of the world was really difficult."
However, like the name of her book implies, it was an opportunity for the actress to practice what she preached. "It was quite a challenge to remain graceful; to say the least. That's when your real character comes out," she explained. "Instead of reacting the way I wanted to...I asked myself this: How do I choose grace in this moment? Had I not been practicing this way of life beforehand, I definitely wouldn't have handled this news very gracefully."
Although it wasn't an easy situation to navigate, Jenna had already found someone new during this time. "When I was ready, I started dating someone amazing," she wrote of her relationship with Steve. "It was this cosmically great thing where we circled back around each other after a moment of instant recognition years ago."
She may be a fierce beacon of empowerment, but she's also still human. So, of course, there were a few unsent tweets that had to be deleted before bad things happened.
"Do you know how many times I've wanted to go online and write exactly what's on my mind? Thousands," she shared in the book. "My instinct is to fight back, set the record straight. What stops me every time is: ‘Choose to say what you would want yourself to live with a week from today.' Or ‘Choose what you would want Everly to read when she's older.'"
Gracefully You: Finding Beauty and Balance in the Everyday hits stands Oct 22.
—Reporting by Beth Sobol