"The part of us that is free, wild, open, curious can get shut down by life. By pain or by harm," she says. "My children know my true self, and they have helped me to find it again and to embrace it. They have been through a lot. I learn from their strength. As parents, we encourage our kids to embrace all that they are, and all that they know in their hearts to be right, and they look back at us and want the same for us."
Jolie's focus on teaching her children to be fully themselves also includes encouraging them to learn from others, both near and far.
"I am conscious every day that I have... the ability to encourage my children to explore the world, including the world of ideas and expression, without there being limits to what they are allowed to study or know or imagine themselves doing in the future," she says. "... I want the children to grow up in the world -- not just learning about it but living it and having friends around the world."
She's put that desire into action by building a home in the Cambodian jungle -- a country where she recently became a citizen -- and planning to break ground on another house in Africa next year. All of that, she says, is in a pursuit of her goal to live overseas once her children are grown.
"I would love to live abroad and will do so as soon as my children are 18. Right now I’m having to base where their father chooses to live," she says of Pitt.
The next year, in September 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt.
"My body has been through a lot over the past decade, particularly the past four years, and I have both the visible and invisible scars to show for it," she says. "The invisible ones are harder to wrestle with. Life takes many turns. Sometimes you get hurt, you see those you love in pain, and you can’t be as free and open as your spirit desires. It’s not new or old, but I do feel the blood returning to my body."
"... Knowing our true self is a very important question for all of us. Especially a child," she adds. "I think kids need to be able to say, 'Here’s who I am, and what I believe.' We can’t prevent them from experiencing pain, heartache, physical pain, and loss. But we can teach them to live better through it."