Although it's been "many, many moons" since she had it displayed in her room, Meghan Markle revealed a certain quote from Georgia O'Keeffe that she used to look at every day and how it still resonates with her today.
While virtually speaking during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, the Duchess of Sussex opened up to Fortune's senior editor Ellen McGirt about how she handles people who misinterpret or make assumptions about what she has said. To get through it, she said she relies on an old quote that is still relevant to her life. "There are always going to be naysayers," she told McGirt.
"But at the end of the day, you know, I used to have a quote in my room many, many moons ago, and it resonates now perhaps more than ever when you see the vitriol and noise that can be out in the world and it's by Georgia O'Keeffe," Markle said. "It's: 'I've already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free."
The late American artist, who was known for her elaborate, life-like nature paintings reportedly wrote this statement in a letter to a friend, according to Daniel Bullen's The Love Lives of Artists: Five Stories of Creative Intimacy. O'Keeffe had started to assert her independence about her artwork after her it began receiving critical attention, according to Bullen. "I make up my own mind about it — how good or bad or indifferent it is," O'Keeffe wrote about her art. "After that the critics can write what they please."
Bottom line: Once you are secure with yourself and your actions, critics won't have much of an impact on how you live your life.
The Duchess of Sussex, of course, has been a target of critics since before she married Prince Harry and entered the royal family. People have been quick to call her out for "breaking royal protocol," have shamed her for the way she held her son Archie, and have ripped her apart for the smallest of things. Even President Trump has taken a swipe at her. "I'm not a fan of hers," he told a reporter recently after Markle encouraged people to vote in the upcoming election.
But as Markle pointed out while speaking with McGirt, "If you listen to what I actually say, it's not controversial," adding that she ignores the "noise" and focuses on living a "purpose-driven life" with her husband and their 1-year-old son.
"The moment that you're able to be liberated from all these other opinions of what you know to be true," Markle went on to say, "then I think it's very easy to live with truth and live with authenticity, and that is how I choose to move through the world."