Let’s face it, every big breakup feels public. Your family knows, your friends know and it seems like all of Facebook knows, too.
But for actress and producer Torrei Hart, the end of her marriage didn’t just feel public, it was.
Kevin Hart is one of the top movie stars of our era in any genre. Torrei and Kevin were married for almost eight years and are parents to Heaven and Hendrix. When their marriage came crashing to a halt, Torrei felt like everything was over for her.
As Torrei celebrates the exciting launch of her new natural hair care line for Black women, called Heavenly Hart by Nzuri, she reflects on the journey that brought her healing after heartbreak -- with love lessons for us as well.
This story is a part of a Torrei Takeover! Read about her new beauty line here
Torrei’s “Hart” Healing Secret #1: Acknowledge your love rock bottom.
Having marital problems kind of took me out of it for a little while. I went through a very public divorce. I was very withdrawn. I didn’t want to do that has anything to do with the arts at all. I kind of was just like, “I don’t want to be around these people.” Because I started seeing people who said they were my friends; when it came down to alliances and sides being taken, they went with the bigger the star, the person with more money. I kind of moved away. And just took solitude, did a lot of fasting, did a lot of praying and just getting my mind back right so I could be present for my children. That was my goal at that time, just to find my happy again and be a present mom for my kids.
Torrei’s "Hart" Healing Secret #2: Don’t do it alone. Get support.
It was very hard. Sometimes I wasn’t present. I'll be honest. Some days I was just—my mom came out to be with me. I also had my cousin living with me at the time, so she was there to help me. Then I had a few core group of girlfriends who were there for me. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed. There were days where I contemplated suicide. There were days where I just felt like my life was over and those were the days where I just called on help. I said, "Let me be vulnerable enough so that I can seek the help that I need." There were days where I didn’t have the help so I just pushed myself. I just said, "Okay. I got to do this for the children. That's it. I got to be strong for them." And there were times Heaven and Hendrix would be like, "Mom, are you okay?" They could sense it. I’d never cry in front of them. But children, they are very in tune. They knew when mommy was having a great day or when mommy wasn’t having a great day. I would say that between them and my upbringing of bringing of being raised in a very spiritual background and having that to stand on really helped me get through it.
Torrei’s "Hart" Healing Secret #3: Release the bitterness.
It hasn’t been easy. Let's just say that. I don’t know if you saw the reality show, “Atlanta Exes” that I was on. That was a few years ago and I was not in the best place. I was still hurting. I was still going through a lot of healing. A lot of things would come up, how I felt betrayed, how I felt like, "Wow, I gave him my all in my 20's.” I was going through a period of healing. At that time, I didn’t want to co-parent. I didn’t want to deal with him. I didn’t want to deal with the relationship. I didn’t want to deal with any of that. It took me really sitting down and really making a conscious decision that I wanted to get my happy back. Because I have always been a happy go lucky person. I knew I had to do some self-worth work to get there. It wasn’t going to be easy. I had a friend who was Muslim and he was like, "I'm going to fast for Ramadan. Why don’t you just fast with me? You'll have breakthroughs. You'll come put out of this a better person." Now, you're speaking to a person who was raised in a Christian household. And we felt like Christianity is the only way so I was very reluctant to do it. He encouraged me; he said, "Just try it." And I am so thankful that he did because I did the 40-day fast and it was the best thing I ever could have done. I came out of that fast a better person, a different person. It took me on a journey. I continued to pray every day. I dedicated an hour of my time every day to pray, to worshiping God.
Torrei’s "Hart" Healing Secret #4: Forgiveness is key.
I did a plan where I forgave everybody who I felt like hurt me. I wrote a list, put it on a piece of paper, went outside to my backyard, prayed over it, burned it and gave it to God. I said, "From this day forward, God, I'm giving it to you. You say lay all your burdens on me and you will take care of it." That's what I did, I said, "I'm not going to keep re-hashing in the past." I made an effort to get happy and build my future for a better for myself and for my children.
Torrei’s "Hart" Healing Secret #5: Self-love is the foundation.
You come to my house and you will see in my library all self-help books. It's like any self-care book that you need to read, you're going to find it in my library because that's what I did. I would read a different book every day. I would get into the Bible. TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) stayed on my TV. On my Pandora station there was nothing but positive, uplifting music, gospel. I went to a period where I didn’t listen to anything except inspirational music because I was just feeding my soul. That's what I thought I had to do to get to the place that I'm at today. Don’t get me wrong, it's still a struggle. You have those hiccups. But now it's just I know how to better handle it versus how I handled it in the past.
Torrei’s “Hart” Healing Secret #6: Find your confidence.
Kevin was in Australia filming a movie called Fool's Gold and I went with him. Kate Hudson was one of his co-stars. I admire her so I told her what my dreams and my goals were. I was like, "I've done this a long time. I've been training since I was kid. I always had the heart for this." I said, "But you know, now I have my daughter. I'm here supporting my husband. It's kind of hard because some obstacles are against me." Kate said, "Well, you know what? The only way you'll ever be able to do something is if you just do it." She said, "There’s going to be obstacles. There's obstacles in everything. You just have to do it. No ifs and buts about it, just get out there and do it." I took one of Bill Duke's acting classes. I actually did not last there. Then, I end up with Howard Fine, who is another big time Hollywood acting teacher. And there is where I started building a lot of confidence. So, he put me in a master class with Tisha Campbell. I started producing my own projects. I just figured, if I'm auditioning and I'm not booking the jobs then I'll just start creating jobs for myself. I did stand up and that was very hard and very scary. Because my husband was a standup comedian. I didn’t want people to say, “You're just doing it because he's doing it.” But I used to sit and write jokes with him. I knew the formula. I was around comedy since I was 20 years old. It helped me with a lot because I started booking other things through being seen out on the comedy circuit.
Torrei’s “Hart” Healing Secret #7: The children always come first.
I posted Kevin’s new wedding photo on my Instagram because I wanted to show my support. Life is short. He found happiness again and I know I will too. So I always just want to spread positive vibes. I would babysit Kevin’s new baby with his wife Eniko because he is my children’s sibling. We are all family and I want my babies to know I accept their new sibling. My new natural beauty haircare line Heavenly Hart by Nzuri just launched last week. It was named after and inspired by my daughter Heaven Leigh Hart. I told her, "This is a legacy for you. I'm creating this for you. This is inspired by you, honey.” God gave it to me when I named her. I knew she was going to be something special just because he put it on my heart to name her “Heaven” and our last name was Hart. It's just like this has all been in the making now since she was born! You can find my Heavenly Hart natural hair care products at: nzurihaircare.com and learn more on my Instagram page @torreihart.
Lifestyle guru Abiola Abrams (@abiolaTV) is the author of The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love and creator of the “African Goddess Affirmation Cards.” Download “Chakras on Fleek,” her latest meditation album, free, with the coupon code “LIFELOVESME” at ChakrasOnFleek.com.