updated 09/02/2014 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/02/2014 AT 3:45 PM ET
But the multifaceted entertainer, 45, says she’s self-aware enough to learn from her blunders, and is trying her best to not repeat them.
“Everybody has seen that I make mistakes,” she tells Elle U.K. for its October cover story.
“Each time it goes wrong it’s hard. I get really hurt but I have to let myself go: ‘What did I do? What can I learn?’ And as hard and as hurtful as things get, I want to believe I will be able to go one step higher. I’ve got to hope that if I keep going I will eventually get it right.”
In the meantime, Lopez, who released her latest album, A.K.A., in June, is busy raising her 6-year-old twins, Max and Emme, and does her best to keep things stable for them despite her split from their dad, Marc Anthony.
“It’s tough because I know they feel the void of that male presence,” she says. “When Marc and I first broke up, I did think: ‘I wish I could have held this together.’ But when you realize it’s not the right thing for anybody, you think: ‘OK, well how do we make this work, how do we make this better, how do we make this great for the children anyway?’ ”
One way she attempts to make it great for the kids? Allowing them to spend quality time with her extended family, which she infers helps keep them humble.
“My kids go and stay in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx all the time, or a studio with their aunts, uncles and cousins and their grandmother. They get it,” says Lopez, who returns to her American Idol judging gig next year.
“I still believe in love,” she says. “The nirvana man, he’s out there somewhere. But you just have to work at it. You have to work at everything.”