Katherine Heigl Gets Emotional as She Rings in 40th Birthday

Katherine Heigl is marking her big 40th birthday with a heartfelt Instagram message.

The former Grey's Anatomy star uploaded a series of photos, where she posed in front of birthday balloons, looking happier than ever.

"Well...I am officially 40 years old," she wrote. "I know you're going to think I'm full of it but the truth is...I'm pretty damn thrilled to be 40. For one thing, as my mother always says 'Getting older is better than the alternative.' Too true mother, too true!"

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(Photo: Instagram / @katherin heigl)

"For another thing 40 feels to me like a certain kind of freedom," she added. "Freedom from all the self doubt, insecurities, self loathing, uncertainties and anxieties of my 20's and 30's. Not to say I don't still have those moments but I just feel like 40 makes me older and wiser. Steadier in my convictions. More certain of my strengths. More forgiving of my faults."

"I've spent the last five years of my 30's doing the work to evolve my mind and spirit. To move my heart towards a more profound and loving expression of my best self. I've read, studied, explored and practiced ways to expand my understanding of myself and the world around me. I've clarified my deepest desires and found that all I really crave is well being. For myself and those I love," Heigl continued.

"I know there's a certain stigma attached to 40. I've had plenty of well meaning acquaintances and even strangers tell me not to worry I still look great. Or soon you'll be 50 and then you'll really feel old. Or youth is so fleeting isn't it. I guess I kind of feel like it's all about your frame of mind. And I've made up my mind not to let a number determine how I feel about the way I look. Or what my value as a woman in society is. I've decided I will let the number and every one after it determine the strides I make, the enlightenment I seek, the compassion I show, the beauty I radiate from within that grows and expands with life experience," she shared.

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"I'm a stronger, better, more grounded and courageous woman today and I will do my best to continue to grow so I can say the same thing at 50, 60, 70 and beyond. It doesn't hurt that I am surrounded by so many inspiring people who love me and support me through this life. Without them...well I'd still be floundering around in uncertainty. Ok, I'm done pontificating now," she concluded her post.

Heigl can most recently be seen on the USA series, Suits, in a role she took on following Meghan Markle's exit.