Catwoman actress Halle Berry has come a long way! The 53-year-old beauty  showed fans just how much she has overcome in her life when she shared a self portrait to Instagram with the most powerful caption.

“I’m proud of the woman I am today, because I went through a hell of a time becoming her,” Halle said. She put her caption in quotes and listed the owner as “anonymous.” Even though the Gothika star went through her fair share of ups and downs, she’s been feeling more at peace living away from the spotlight with her kids — Nahla, 11, and Maceo, 6.

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Soaking up the #FirstDayOfFall 🍁🌊

A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

“Sometimes the most important word you can learn is ‘No,'” Halle said via Instagram on Thursday, October 10. She also revealed why she traded in her luxurious life in Hollywood to live a more quiet life.

“I didn’t disappear. I traded: nights out for knowledge seeking, parties for intimate gatherings, chasing money for chasing purpose, meaningless work for my passion, being busy for protecting time, soul extortion for soul searching, living for others for living my life,” she further elaborated.

Now that she’s living for herself, Halle has been focusing more on her kids. “Being a mom is the best job, but my kids don’t care about who I am outside of this house,” the former model previously shared to InStyle. “My daughter got a sense of who I am from friends at school. And — this is funny — for the last year, my son has been saying my full name really loudly in public like, ‘Halle Berry, can you pass me the ketchup?’ It’s just so embarrassing! He knows it gets a reaction from people, but he can’t quite figure out why.”

Wait until someone tells him his mom is famous! But after everything is said and done, the only validation Halle seeks is from her kids. “The only thing I want at the end of the day is for my children to say, ‘You weren’t perfect, you didn’t do everything right, but you were a good mom,’” she said. “I want to keep challenging myself and proving that I can still follow my passions, take risks, and take on characters who make me feel alive. But I prove that to myself, not to anyone else.”