Selena Gomez Shares How She Found Greater Purpose in Her Painful Lupus Battle and Justin Bieber Heartbreak

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Selena Gomez is such an inspiration. 🥹 The singer, actress, producer, philanthropist, and businesswoman (đź’…) sat down for an interview for the Twilio SIGNAL 2023 conference yesterday, where she spoke about the trials she’s faced in her life, including her lupus diagnosis, mental health struggles, and her breakup with Justin Bieber.

Selena talked how difficult her lupus journey has been but also how she’s changed her mindset to understand that all things—even the negative—have a greater purpose. (Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues and organs. As of now, there is no cure for the disease, only treatments.)

“I don’t know where I adopted the attitude,” Selena started. “But it’s helped me feel better in life. And the following is not a pity party. This is just how I think.”

“So, when I got diagnosed with lupus, I was around 16 or 17. It was a very brutal process, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. But cut to a few years later, I was able to visit a child in the hospital, and they would not look at me until I said I have lupus too. And that’s when I knew that that happened to me because I could do that moment,” she shared.

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“And then there was the kidney transplant I walked through, and all these things that may seem like they could bring someone down, I try my hardest to say at least they’re not alone, and if I keep going, hopefully that means someone else can keep going because I don’t want to always do it, but I want to for them more so than for myself at times, but I’m a work in progress, and it’s just one day a time,” she continued.

Selena also spoke about her breakup with Justin Bieber and how that heartache led to many hit songs, including her first number one on the Billboard Hot 100, “Lose You to Love Me.”

“So then when I was going through a heartbreak, I immediately, you know, wrote my best music and wanted to be there for every woman or man or whoever, you know, going through that journey,” she said, explaining that she wanted to use her pain to help others feel less alone.

Selena and Justin had a very public, on-and-off relationship over the course of 8 years, with Selena admitting she was “victim to certain abuse” in their relationship during an interview with NPR in 2020. “I’ve found the strength in it. It’s dangerous to stay in a victim mentality. And I’m not being disrespectful, I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse,” she said, clarifying the abuse was emotional.

She also shared that she wrote “Lose You to Love Me” as a form of closure for herself.

“I felt I didn’t get a respectful closure, and I had accepted that, but I know I needed some way to just say a few things I wish I had said. It’s not a hateful song; it’s a song that is saying—I had something beautiful and I would never deny that it wasn’t that. It was very difficult and I’m happy it’s over. And I felt like this was a great way to just say, you know, it’s done, and I understand that, and I respect that, and now here I am stepping into a whole other chapter.”

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Briannah Rivera

Editorial Assistant

Bri is the editorial assistant at Seventeen covering pop culture, celebrity news, fashion, and beauty. You can probably find her sipping an oatmilk iced chai while searching for the best new makeup products or thrifting her entire wardrobe.

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