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Actress Naturi Naughton is on a personal and professional high. The 35-year-old just stunned on the red carpet for the series finale premiere of her hit show, Power at Madison Square Garden. Also, Naughton, who is a 3LW alum, is currently writing and working on new music for her fans. On top of that, she became a mama two years ago, welcoming her baby girl Zuri into the world.

While Naturi’s star continues to rise in the public eye, the single mom has been struggling behind the scenes. In a recent open letter to Black women on Essence, Naughton gets candid and raw about her split from longtime boyfriend, Ben, just three months after their daughter was born. “I was devastated,” she wrote. I didn’t tell anybody about our breakup for two years, because I was embarrassed and ashamed. ”

The actress continued, “You know in your heart when you’re not happy and when you’re feeling undervalued. As soon as you realize that you are settling or conceding your worth, you have to make a move. Check in with yourself and say, “Wait a minute. Is this what I want? Is this who I really am?”

She revealed her relationship was shaky when she got pregnant, and part of her healing process involved letting go of the expectation she had for her love life.

“The truth is, I was afraid to become a mother, and I honestly did not feel ready. I was uncertain about my relationship and unsure if I was going to get married. I wanted to have this perfect life because I had seen it in movies and my parents have been married for 48 years. Then it hit me: The perfect life that I envisioned may not be God’s plan for me right now, and it’s okay to be on my own journey as long as my daughter is healthy and happy.”

“As women, sometimes we say, ‘Well, I don’t want to be with him because he’s not this or he’s not that.’ But sometimes it’s not about what he is or isn’t. It’s about what you need, sis. That’s another valuable lesson I’ve learned. I made a difficult choice to end a relationship because I had to put my own needs first.”

Now, Naturi is completely focused on expanding her career and being the best co-parent she can be for her daughter.

“Right now co-parenting is what’s important to my ex and me. We may no longer be together, but we’d like to make sure that the respect is still there. Zuri needs to have a strong and healthy relationship with her father.”

She also sends a heartwarming message to single moms, letting them know that the life you want truly is on the other side of fantasy.

“Being a single mother doesn’t have to mean you’re unhappy: I bought my first home a few years ago, I star on Power and I’m dating again. I didn’t get married, and I don’t have a fairy-tale love story (yet), but I’m stronger than ever and having fun too.”

The final season of Power returns on August 25th.

PHOTO: Courtesy