The Exercise That Could Help You Transcend Resentment | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

The Exercise That Could Help You Transcend Resentment | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network


There’s this
exercise that you say when you look at other people. And you say, I
think it’s– is it– Just like me. Just like me.
Yeah. I’ve taken it to
“that could be me.” You know, we’ve all
used the phrase “there but for the grace of God.”
– That’s right. It’s another [INAUDIBLE] But I love this idea of when
you see something going on with another person, and even
if you’re just stuck in traffic and you’re getting upset with
them, you do the “just like me” exercise.
PEMA CHODRON: And that’s right. Can you share that? I like that. Well, it is really helpful. You can do it anytime,
like, for instance, sitting and waiting for anything. You can just look
around at people. And whether they seem stressed,
or happy, or whatever, you can say, just like me. We are alike. Just like me, that person
really wants to be loved. That person doesn’t
want to suffer. That person doesn’t
want physical pain. That person doesn’t want
hatred coming towards them. Right.
Just like me. That person, just like me. Just like me. And so it’s very, very useful
if you’re in these irritating situations like a traffic jam. It’s so– Or at the
airports– people are so frustrated at the airport. Oh, I know. So you sit there. And you– if you just start,
instead of fuming, which gets you nowhere except, you know– More fuming. –only get more fuming. You start looking at the
people in the other cars or other people sitting
in the airport and think, and just like me, these
people had someplace to go, and they’re being delayed. And just like me, they’re
fretting about it. And just like me, they’re
just human beings who– Want to be where they
are trying to get to. And just like
me, it would really be helpful if there
was some other way they could deal with it.
You know? Yeah. So here’s some advice. The advice would be
just start seeing the humanity of all the
people in the cars around you. I would have to say
that one of the things, the great lessons
of having a talk show every day for 25 years and
interviewing over 37,000 people one on one, I got that
“just like me” thing. I understood–
– Oh, I bet you did. –that this human– that there’s this human common
denominator of our experience. Oh, absolutely. OPRAH WINFREY: And just like
me, everybody wants to be heard. And just like me, everybody
wants to know that they matter. PEMA CHODRON: That’s right.
– Yeah. You know, I often say
to people who are having trouble with their parents– and often their parents
are like my my age. Right?
OPRAH WINFREY: Yes, yes. PEMA CHODRON: And but
they are going to go home, and they’re dreading it. And then I always said,
well, I got advice once. Enter into their lives
instead of struggling against and being
resentful that they’re not interested in your life. Just for that– keep
the visit short. And for a couple
of days there, just sit and enter into their life. Do whatever they’re doing, like
watching television all day long when you’d rather be out
playing tennis or something. And the other thing is, ask
them about their childhood. OPRAH WINFREY: Yes. Ask them about their life. And I said, really, it’s
worth taking a tape recorder because for you to start
hearing about your mother or father’s childhood
is [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, I did that with
my mother toward the end. I actually, when my mother– we
knew that my mother was dying, and wouldn’t be on
earth much longer, and was making her transition,
I went back to Milwaukee. And I sat in the room. She was in this
little room where she watches television
where the temperature was like 87 degrees. And she’s watching “The
Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and
the Restless” all day long, and watching
the game show. And I just sat in the room– Yeah, that’s right. OPRAH WINFREY: –just
sat in the room. That’s right. And sometimes it’s
enough just to be there. – That’s right.
– Yeah. And I had an interesting
experience once with my mother. Because she retired– she and
my father retired to Mexico. But then he died, oh, maybe six
years before she left Mexico. And so I would go down there. I’d be just dying
to get out and walk in the markets and everything. She would stay in her
room, all the shades drawn, and again just watching
television like she wasn’t in Mexico.
– Right. You know? Could have been anywhere. And so my feeling was–
so I got this advice. Just enter her world. So I went. And as you say, it was so hot
in there, and it was so dark. So I’m sitting there. And basically, I
am just so restless and just almost
have to tie myself down to just kind of be present
because I want to get out. And after awhile, I
just started to relax. And after a while, it got
kind of interesting actually. Every once in a while,
the door would open, and someone would come in. And it’d be like a
little vignette of life. Someone would interact
with her, or bring her something, or something. And I’d see her reaction
and that person’s reaction. Then they’d leave. And we’d be back to this sort
of status quo of boredom. But after a while,
it became like being in a theater show or something. You know? OPRAH WINFREY: Mhm. Being on stage and almost
like a theater piece. I don’t know what to say except
that it changed from being dreadful and something I
wanted to avoid to something I actually got into with her. That’s right. You became present
enough to actually– – Transcend my mind–
– Yes, absolutely. –with my resistance.