Jada Pinkett Smith OPENS UP On Her Marriage & Struggling With Dark Thoughts | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Jada Pinkett Smith OPENS UP On Her Marriage & Struggling With Dark Thoughts".
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That was a really, really... That was a really painful time. I'm sorry. Please welcome Jada Pinkett Smith. You want out of the pain. Only way out is death. Chris comes to the end of the stage and he looks at me deeply, sincerely. And he says... I also have a letter from Will. Before we jump into this episode, I'd like to invite you to join this community to hear more interviews that will help you become happier, healthier, and more healed. All I want you to do is click on the Subscribe button. I love your support. It's incredible to see all your comments. And we're just getting started. I can't wait to go on this journey with you. Thank you so much for subscribing. It means the world to me. The best selling author and host. The number one health and wellness podcast. On Purpose with Jay Shetty.
Jada'S Personal Journey And Insights
Jada On How Writing Her New Book Was A Healing Process (01:04)
Now, Jay, before we start-- Go on. Can I tell a story? You can. OK. I have to let your audience know how this book even became-- OK? They have to know, Jay. OK. All right. So I visit you. I'm here visiting because Swami's here. Radha Nastwami's here. And you had often said, Jada, you should write a book. I'm like, Jay, I don't want to. So this day, once again, you're like, Jada, you should write a book. I'm like, Jay, I don't want to write a book. You're like, well, you should write a book, Jay. I don't want to write a book. We're going back and forth like siblings. Radha Nast comes into the kitchen because Radha's making a beautiful lunch for us to eat. He comes, he sits down, and he goes, Jay, if Jada doesn't want to write a book, she doesn't have to write a book. And you go, well, I think she should write a book. And I was like, oh, did he just talk back to Swami? Swami! But I'm going to tell you something. That was really a moment for me, right? Because I'd been pushing back for a long time and you talking to me about it. And that moment, I was like, OK, I need you to take that home. And I need you to think about it because Jay's your brother. There's something here that you might not be seeing. And it was really that moment that put me on pause. And a couple of days later, I was in meditation. And it came to me. And I said, oh my goodness. My journey from unlovable to lovable is a worthy story to tell. And I called you and I said, Jay, I got it. Thank you. You were so persistent about it, right? And I just want to thank you because honestly, and I'm not-- if it hadn't been for that moment, that book wouldn't be here right now, right? And you really were on my neck about it for a long time. So I just want to say thank you because you also made it clear. You were like-- you made it clear to me I would get a lot out of it. And I have. So I just want to say thank you. It's been such a deep healing process for me in ways that I could have never imagined. And what you said before, we even started. And the introduction, just that hope of it's so hard to find authentic happiness in this world. Even through my journey, my 52 years, and just trying to figure out how to be authentically happy has been such an excruciating process. And one of the purposes of this book is if I can help in any small amount of way, in any way possible, to help somebody have an easier or just leave little breadcrumbs, not a blueprint because everybody's process is different, but just little breadcrumbs of how to find that for yourself. Because it has been really difficult for me. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well, thank you for sharing that with me. I think I blocked that memory out because I don't think I've ever tried to stand up against Radhanaswami, my teacher before. I think that would-- so I've pretended that it-- Yeah, that did it. For me, growing up reading autobiographies is what changed my life. And I think one of the things that I feel we struggle with today is that people's narratives are being told from so many different angles apart from their own. And when I grew up and I was reading the words of Martin Luther King or I was reading Malcolm X, I found there to be so much power in reading the words directly from an individual. And so even if that wasn't their autobiography, if it was their work, their words, you felt so intimately connected with that person. And I feel that when people move on and we don't have them on the planet anymore, it's almost like you lose this treasure house of experience and memories. And I also think that if someone's listening or watching right now and you're thinking, well, Jay, I would never write a book. I'm not a public figure. I'm not a celebrity. I'm not a musician or an actor. I don't have a career path that means I should be an author. I still think that telling your story, whether it's to your family, your kids, your-- is so important. I could not agree with you more. I think it's actually imperative that looking at your life on the page-- you forget experiences. You forget, oh my goodness, I did that? Oh, I went through that? Oh my god, really? I came through that? It's almost like an homage to yourself, honestly, to really be able to look at your life and go, wow, what a life. I think everybody should take some time, even if it's just-- because even with "Worthy," I took one line, which was unlovable to lovable. So anything in regards to my life that was on that arc, I talked about. But there's so much more, so many other parts of my life. So even if somebody says, you know what, I just want to write down the happiest moments of my childhood. And I want to just look at that on paper. But whatever journey somebody decides to pick from their life and to examine thoroughly on the page, I would definitely suggest that because it is really powerful, and it's so healing, and it will teach you so much about yourself. Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I couldn't agree more. Let's dive in. OK. Because that journey of being unlovable to lovable as you're tracing there, I think is a journey that we all have to walk in our own ways. And I think when-- I met you, I think, five years ago now. We've just spent a lot of time together in the last five years, hence we have a deep connection. But when I first met you, I was looking at you from the outside. And over the last five years, I've got to know you through an inner journey and through family as well and through spending time with your family. And what I found was that we often lose context when you view someone's life from the outside. And when you get closer, the greatest thing you get is context. And so I wanted to start off-- and this book does that so well-- but I want to start off of what does it feel like growing up with a teenage mom who has an addiction?
On Growing Up With Young Parents Who Struggled With Addiction (08:04)
I think that that is so formative in so many ways, and it's so easy to forget that that's where you started because of your career. Growing up with my mother, a teenage mom, it's like we grew up together. It's almost like having a big sister. I mean, even to this day, it's like I get to have two roles in my mom. Sometimes she's still my big sister, and then sometimes she really comes in as my mother, you know what I mean? As you saw in the book, it's like I had all this freedom running crazy in the streets or what have you, but there was such pivotal moments where Adrienne came to the rescue as my mother, and she still does that to this day. But I did a lot of having to raise myself. And there are parts of that, there's pros and cons to that. There's a lot of pros. It's like that is the part that made it possible for me to come to LA at the age of 18 on my own and figure this Hollywood game out, right? Just with no fear, completely fearless. But then also kind of growing up with certain ideas of what I thought love was or certain survival mechanisms that as I got older didn't quite serve me. But I think that we all have that no matter what our family background is. You know what I'm saying? We all kind of pick up things that along the way that don't serve us for the entirety of our journey. I tell you, I learned a lot having a young mom at an early age. I really do think that even with our trials and our challenges that the great supreme gave me, the mom I was supposed to have and the most perfect mother and the journey that I was supposed to have to prepare me for other parts of my journey. But it was challenging and beautiful at the same time. Yeah, and I love gammy. I just want to put that-- Yeah, we all love gammy. We all love gammy. But it's really interesting. There was one line in your book that really kind of cemented that feeling of unlovable to me from that time. And you said there was a time when you felt like you were not being a priority to the two people who gave you life. Yeah. That was hard. That really hit me because I was like-- Yeah. That was probably really difficult. And you had two parents who drugs were their focus and the lifestyle that came with it. I also talk about in the book when my father told me at seven years old, I can't be your father. And it's just like, wow. OK. What do I do with this? What does a seven-year-old do with that? You just kind of internalize it. And you kind of go, OK, what's wrong with me? What is it about me that I'm not enough for these two people to look at me as a priority? Because I see everybody else's parents, and it looks like their kids are their priority. So what's wrong with me? So I internalize this idea of not being enough, not being lovable. And it's strange because it's not that I didn't feel like my mother didn't love me. It's just that am I lovable enough to be the priority? Am I lovable enough for you to show up for me as the mom that I see other moms be? So I definitely internalize that. And I think that I took that into the world of, I'm just going to prove, constantly having to prove myself. And I'm lovable. I'm lovable enough. I'm lovable enough. And I think that was some of the messaging that I took from my childhood into my adulthood. And I appreciate you going back to that seven-year-old self because, in hindsight and now looking back, you can make sense of it. And you can connect the dots. But it's like, when you're actually in that position, it's very natural, as you said, to just internalize it. And I think that what's really interesting with your journey is we all have to develop the emotional skills our parents didn't have. And the earlier we do that, the easier and simpler life becomes. But often, most of our energy goes in thinking, well, I wish they had them or they should have had them. And when I'm listening to you, what I'm hearing is that it's not even the belief that they don't love me or love me enough. It's the belief that somewhere inside, I am not lovable.
I wasn’t a priority… I felt unloveable” (12:47)
Yes. Yes. It's so inside you. It's not even about them. Absolutely. It's like, I'm not valuable. I'm not-- Yeah. Because that's your mirror at first. But it's so complicated and nuanced. Do I believe my father loved me? Of course. In the way that he could, I think that he felt the most loving thing he could do was tell me, I can't be your father. And I respected that, even at seven, because I was like, at least somebody's telling me the truth. I've always respected hardcore truths. That is one thing about me. I respect hardcore truths. Doesn't mean I always like them. But I freaking respect them. At seven. At seven. Like that lesson started there. That's a gangster, hardcore truth to tell a child. But then at the same time, that seed within me that is like, well, are all men like that? If my dad doesn't love me, how is any man going to love me? I didn't realize that at seven. That's when I started getting into like 16, 17, when I start having those kind of intimate relationships with men and realizing, oh, wow, this area is quite unhealthy. You know what I mean? Of just like how I viewed myself. I was either giving too much or not enough. I'm either hot or super cold. Emotionally. And so trying to regulate and understand, because my understanding is that a young girl's first relationship and understanding of love is with her father. I didn't have that at all. So I'm still learning. I'm still really immature in that area of just emotional development around intimacy with masculinity. I know that now, whereas before I didn't know that. Yeah, you're not aware. I'm not aware. This is just what it is. And then growing up in an environment with so much violence and so much aggression and oh, man, it was like, what do you do with all that? And trying to just like unpack all of it to just figure out, like, oh, life is about love. It's not about power and ego and winning and losing. I mean, it's taken me-- I'm 52 just now understanding that. It's been a wild ride. But you know what? Every day I thank the great Supreme for the journey and just for giving me the awakenings, the little awakenings that I get about love and just my willingness to have it, really wanting to understand what love is all about. But I do have to give my grandmother a lot of credit. Yeah, I was going to talk about it. Yeah. Marion really-- I had all these different seeds that were planted in me. And Marion's seed, that goes to show you how the legacy of love will overpower everything. It is the legacy of love that my grandmother instilled in me and also the desire to search. She always had me understand that the world is full of treasures. Get out there and find them. She instilled that in me at a very young age. And she also instilled in me that I was special. But I was her first grandchild. I was her first grandchild. There you go making excuses. Right, what you said? I was her first grandchild. And so she really made me think that I could be and do anything, being the child of two addicts on one side. And then my grandmother instilling in me, like, no. I'm telling you, you got something, kid. You know what I mean? And so just being able to hold on to those seeds that she put within me. And then, of course, my mother encouraging me along the way, too. My mother saw some really beautiful stuff in me as well. And she's been one of my biggest cheerleaders and champions throughout my life. Absolutely. If your grandmother saw you today, what would she say? Oh, my goodness. My grandmother would be so proud of me through it all. Like, with the good and the challenges. She had a very challenging life, extremely. And what she was able to make out of her life as a immigrant, you know, child of two immigrants from Jamaica, she became pregnant at 13. To this day, we don't know how that happened. We do believe that it was a mistake. And it wasn't that she was raped or molested or-- you know, I never got that from her. I always got that it was her lack of knowledge about sex that created that circumstance. And she had that baby on her own. She was pretty much abandoned. And she was taken in by a family through a foster, a white family who she worked for as a maid. And got herself to Howard University. And was able to go to India as an ambassador. Yeah, she went to India and came back. And my grandfather, who was studying to be a doctor, asked her to get married. So I think she would be and is very proud of me with it all. I love that. That's special to feel that if someone is to look back. So Jada, at the start of this book, you talk about how you were-- and this broke my heart. You were talking about how you were planning taking your life, but then how it could look like an accident.
Trigger warning* Jada On Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts (18:56)
Yeah, that was 2011. That was my 40th birthday. My 40th year, actually. When I was reading that, I was just thinking to myself, I was like, what were you hoping that would achieve? Like, what were you hoping that would solve? Talk us through that. Yeah. It's funny because when you're in those states, you're not clear. It's not like it's going to make rational sense, right? You want out of the pain. And you cannot imagine your only way out is death. You think in your mind you've tried everything. And you're like, it's all I got. I can't do this. I can't keep doing this. And so that's your only solution. And I tell people all the time, we've had a lot of different spotlighted people who have taken their life. People go, I cannot believe it. And I'm like, you just never know what somebody is going through. And there are certain people that have a high tolerance for being able to put on a good face in order to not burden people. But what is really interesting is that when you have a plan, sometimes that gives you enough energy to just keep going. Because you're like, OK, I got a good plan. So if this gets really bad, I know where to go. And you're like, OK, I'm just going to keep trying to figure this out. I'm going to keep trying to figure this out. But I got this plan. And it's really tough because you don't want to-- for personalities like myself, you don't want to burden anybody. And you're like, look, if I can't figure out how to get out of this, nobody else is going to be able to figure this out either. That was a really, really painful-- it's a really painful time. I'm sorry. Don't be afraid, Yada. I'm really grateful that I found a way out. But I think about people who don't find it. And I wish-- I wish there was one thing I could say, one piece of advice. What would you tell somebody in a situation like that? And all I can ever say is, please, just keep going, keep trying, keep walking. Trust. Because if you trust-- and I know how difficult it is for people who are in it. That's easy for you to say. But if you keep trusting, the universe will open a door. And I know how hard it is to just wake up and keep it going. Because for me, it was hard just waking up in the morning. If I could get to 4 o'clock, I was like, OK, you made it another day. Being able to have enough strength to just get up, get out of bed, put clothes on, get through your day, and let no one know that you're struggling, it is so hard. I feel really blessed. When plant medicine came my way, it saved my life. And I know that there's still a lot of whatever around plant medicine. But I'm going to tell you like this. And I'm not saying that that's for everybody. Because my way out was a rugged four nights. And it was just my thoughts, thoughts about myself. It was just my self-hatred. The level of self-hatred you have that I have had to want to take my own life. And I had to walk four nights to clear up, look at, be with that level of self-hatred. I was like, you want to talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death. But I'm really grateful for that experience. Because after that one night, I never thought about suicide again. Yeah, after the ceremony. After the ceremony. And it was really my last resort. I was like, OK, this has been brought my way. I'm going to try this. And it worked. Praise God. Thank you. That's a really painful place for me still. And just thinking about how many people are sitting in that place, it really breaks my heart. Trusting God. That's those moments where I just have to just be like, God, these are your children. You will take care. And I pray that, God, you will provide the door you have provided for me. Thank you for being so vulnerable with us. I want to give you a big hug. Can I come and give you a big hug? You can give me a hug, Jay. I can't give you a hug. Oh, I love you. Thank you. You've been such a wonderful friend. You really have. You've been by my side through some really tough stuff. Only for more-- only for more challenges to come along the way. I'm so glad. I wouldn't have had the fortune of getting to meet you. And I'm really glad that you were so vulnerable with us just now because I really feel like there's more people than we think that have those thoughts. Trust and believe it. Trust and believe it. There's people-- there's people that you see every day that you would never believe. It's so funny to have that level of strength and that level of vulnerability and just despair and at the same time that level of helplessness that could drive you to do something like that. But a lot of times we just don't know how to communicate it. I didn't know how. And no one knew like the will, kids. The will, oh no. They knew I was very unhappy. That wasn't a secret. And people didn't understand why either. So let's talk about that for a minute. The shame that comes with those feelings. And specifically, everybody feels that level of shame. I don't care what station of life you're existing in. And I would say I'm unhappy. And people would look at me like I'm crazy. What are you unhappy about? And so then I just went in even more. Because I was like, they're right. Look what you've accomplished. You've got this great family. You've got a great life. Yeah, you've got the house. You've got the house, the car, this and that. What's your problem? So then that's a hot cup of shame. So then I just shut down. That's such a great note to put out there. Because I think so many times we think like that about maybe our friends. Yes. It's like you have so much. Yeah. You have so much. You have so much. Yeah. That language can be so-- Yeah, and I would suggest to anybody, don't say that. Don't say that to somebody who's saying, I'm having a tough time. I'm struggling. You have this. You have that. I don't know. What's going on? Tell me. Help me understand. Yeah, as ridiculous as it may sound to you-- Right. --to that person, that thought has been repeated so many times that it's become their reality, even if it seems ridiculous to you. Yeah, it can be so foreign. I get it. But that is somebody trying to step out and talk. So we have to be receptive not to look at it. And that's tricky, too, because really being able to meet somebody where they are versus trying to meet somebody where you're at. And that in itself is a skill set, just being able to go, OK, hold it. What am I missing here? Let me just take a minute. Let me blend with you. Let me join you. I didn't have that, and it's nobody's fault. You know, I'm hoping that anyone who thinks anyone in their life is struggling will share what you just shared with us with them to start a conversation, to open up that dialogue. Because I think you just said it now, and it brought a thought to my mind that real love or real compassion is when you help someone get to the next step in their journey, not in your journey. Yeah. And that means being able to be present with them wherever they are, even if it seems like a foreign alien land to you. I really feel like if anyone has anyone in their life who's struggling, please send that to them. Please share that with them, because they need to hear it from someone else who's been there sometimes also. Because if you've not been there, you may not know how to say-- and I think that's the other thing, right? The other side is-- one side is we say, oh, you should be happy. You're fine. The other side is we try and fix it. Yeah. You can't, right? Yeah, you can't. You can't solve it. There is no perfect thing. There is no-- right. You can't solve it. The best that we can do is like you can try to meet them where they are, and let's get help. We can do it together and hold hands and get them to someone professional. I will say it's really healing when someone can join you. It's also having that boundary of understanding, too, that you can only do but so much as well. A person has to really want help. And that's why I would tell the person that might be struggling to just stay open to try everything. You know what I mean? Like, I tried everything until I found the thing. And just keep walking until you find the thing. That obviously happens a lot later on, even though you start the book with that. But there was a time when you believed that Hollywood and having it all-- Would do it. --would do it. Yes. Even before you get to this point. And also what I find fascinating is you grew up where drug dealing was normal. You were in that scene. You were meeting people. Everyone around you was in that scene. You weren't-- as from what I gathered from the book and the time we've spent together, there weren't a lot of people who were breaking that mold. Yeah, no. What was it that made you, A, believe that you could move to LA when you were 18 and break that mold and that you didn't have to fall into the pattern of everyone around you? And at the same time, secondly, what was it that made you believe that that would solve it, that that was what was missing?
Jada On Her Journey To Hollywood & Facing Disappointment (30:27)
Thank goodness along the way I had great mentors like Donald Hicken at Baltimore School for the Arts that was like, Jada, you've got more talent in the pinky of-- your little pinky that most people have in their whole bodies. That he forced me to go into that audition for North Carolina School for the Arts. And that's what got me out of Baltimore so that I could just get away from that lifestyle and break that mentality, right? And then once I got immersed again into my arts, I was like, wow, I really love this. And once I click into something, my mind goes, pew, you know what I mean? And then Pac came to LA. Well, he wasn't in LA. He was in Northern California. And Pac kept saying, you got to get out here. It's popping. You know what I mean? And now he's like, you got to come out here and visit. And so I was like, all right, I'm going to get out there. Pac was another one too that was just like, you got it. Jada, you got it. And I'm like, all right, I'm coming. So I told my mom. I was like, you got two choices. Because I still wasn't quite sure yet. You know, I was like, I could go to LA and see if I can do this Hollywood thing. Or I could become a lawyer. And take all my dramatics to the court, right? To the courthouse. And she said, we're going to LA. Once I got to LA, I was like, you're here. Make it happen. And part of what made me think that I could do it wasn't just about talent, but was just my perseverance and just my goal. I'm a pit bull when it comes to when I want something. Especially in my youth. I'm not so much a pit bull anymore. But in my youth, once I put my mind to something, I was like, go get it. And I really felt like how everybody else feels. Yo, once I make it, once I'm rich and famous, all my problems are going to be solved. You know what I mean? All my problems are going to be solved. My mom's problems are going to be solved. Everybody's problems are going to be solved. I got this. You know what I'm saying? And that was a trip because that wasn't the case. And I think that that's still prevalent. People feel like once you get to a certain level of success, you are exempt from the human experience. You are exempt from the human condition. And the truth is that is not the case. And let me tell you, I had an existential drop in realizing, hold it. Wait a minute. Hold it. Like, my career is popping. I got money. I'm hot. People are pursuing you. I got every dude everywhere wanting-- you know what I mean? I can have anybody I want. Why am I not happy? God, now this wasn't the plan. I couldn't believe it because that was the whole idea. You make it. You pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. You make it, and life's great. And thank goodness at that particular point of time, I had Pac that I could go-- we could share that together because he was going through the same existential disappointment. He thought the same thing. That was the beginning of just like, wait a minute. Then if it's not this, then what is it? It's incredible that you had a supportive friend in Tupac. You had this amazing friend who was saying, you've got this. You're talented. And that can really help. And at the same time, there's a whole other inner journey that has to happen with it. So that was externally-- it was empowering. It was inspiring. It was great to have someone believe in you. And we all need that. And at the same time, it was like this other reminder of-- The inner world was not together at all and being completely ignored. And it would take me years to realize that, that, oh, no, it's not just about what's happening on the outside, Jada. But if your inner world is not your foundation, it's all sandcastles. I had a nervous breakdown. Then I moved to Baltimore. I get a farmhouse there. And I'm like, OK, I'm just going to get out of LA. So I'm making a geographical move. I'm like, I just got to get back to my roots. I got to get back to my roots. And then Will comes along. And I'm like, maybe that's it. I need a man. And then it's like, latch onto that. It's like, OK, that's my new Prozac, Will. Now it's his job to make my life better. That doesn't work either. So the ego is just attached to all these different exterior things until eventually I had to crash into really having to look at the shambles of my inner world and rebuild it. And I say rebuild it because I feel like when we're born, that inner world is intact. But I had to really strip it all down, J, to the bare bones, the bolts, and just start inwardly from the bottom and just build. And it's been a wild ride. It's been a wild ride of what that means and what that looks like. When it comes to your friendship with Tupac, which you speak about so beautifully in the book-- and it's so wonderful because we get an insight into him in a way that you don't as just a fan of the music. So as someone who grew up listening to him myself, it's like you get a certain perception of someone who's intelligent but then also has this gangster lifestyle and persona, et cetera. But then again, when you get context and you get to know about someone through someone who actually knows them. And what I really appreciated, which I found fascinating, was just how you had the wisdom at that time to know that someone would be a special friend without being romantic with them. Talk to us about it because I feel like a lot of people struggle. He was obviously into you when you first met, et cetera, the way you describe it. But it's like-- and there's even one point where you dare him to-- I dare, exactly. Yeah, which is brilliant. And I wanted you to tell that. But what I find fascinating and what I want to help people with here is how were you able to create and build a relationship with someone knowing initially that it was based on some attraction but actually you knew there was so much more to it? How were you able to allow that to unfold?
On Her Friendship with Tupac Shakur (37:48)
Because I think so many of us get so scared if we're not into someone, we go, oh, god, I'm just going to push them away. Or that person eventually tries to make a move anyway. But here it was like this beautiful respect. You both created that. Yeah, we both did. We both had the intelligence. We were both really young. So I thank the great Supreme for this, too, that there was no physical chemistry between us. I mean, literally. It was like-- and I try to explain this to people. It was the same for Pac. It was just like when I dared him to kiss me, he was-- I mean, it was like, ew, for us both, right? And we looked, it's like, how can that be? How can you feel so connected to someone of the opposite sex? There was just this beautiful understanding. You know when you can just sit with somebody in a room and you don't have to say a word. And there's just this level of comfort. We just knew each other. The moment Pac saw me in our eyes and I saw his peanut head across the room at Baltimore School of the Arts, it was like I knew him already. We just got each other. I just understood him in that understanding. And he understood me. So we could pull each other's coattails, but we could also join each other. When I talk about that joining, when you can sit with somebody and really feel like they see you, they understand you, they care about you, and they're going to be there by you no matter what, that was Tupac. He was going to ride with me no matter what. He was so authentic. And it's rare that level of authenticity. And he was so-- he wore his heart on his sleeve. And there was just this amount of loyalty between us. And I think also the fact that we both struggled with mothers who were addicts. And we tried to compensate for one another of not having that peace. And we didn't boo-hoo about it. We understood how to fill in the voids without getting all hallmark-y about it. You know what I mean? You know what I mean? And so we just kind of knew how to flow with each other in a way that was very comfortable. It's always hard to kind of explain, because it was like-- it's almost like he was really a kindred. That's the only way I could really explain it. And I feel so lucky and so blessed that I got to know a being like himself in that way, because he was such a dynamic person. But you can feel it, because his music is still lasting for generations now. Absolutely. You know? So he was just a treasure. Teach us what's the difference between sexual chemistry and energetic connection or authentic connection. Because I think we often think that to get close to someone, you need that. And here, it's not just about the fact that there wasn't attraction or-- there's more to it in that I feel like there's a subtle difference in how you were able to accept that there is a authentic connection. But it doesn't have to include-- It doesn't.
The Difference Between Sexual Chemistry & Energetic Connection (41:15)
--a physical chemistry in order to have a deep energetic connection. If that makes sense, Huzzah? I actually think, in my experience, some of the deepest connections that I've had with men have not included sex whatsoever. And I think that sex sometimes can cloud things. A lot of things come in that a lot of people don't understand. So whether it's certain levels of emotional trauma, all these kinds of things. Energetically, the heart-to-heart spirit space has a level of purity to it, where even if things get difficult, like when things would get challenging with Pac and I, we could get to it fast. And there's just a level of purity. And it's not attached to, I want to make things right with you so I can sleep with you. That's it. Yeah, there's not an agenda. It's not that agenda. The agendas are pure. They're more pure. And it has more space. It's like, I love you, but you've got to live your life. I love you. I can actually be truthful. I can be truthful. I can be honest. I think that with us, I could be more of myself. Because one thing I knew about Pac, I never had to worry about when we had big blow ups, which we did all the time. He's coming back. I never worried about that. I never worried about-- oh my god. Too pretty. And I went, no. Listen, whether it's a year, whether it's a year, a week, three days, I had to love all that Pac was. He loved all that I was, the good and the bad. And he was going to be right there with that, and vice versa. That was one of the most beautiful aspects of our relationship. We didn't have to fake it. We didn't have to pretend to be other things. And we could be honest. He could pull my coattails. I could pull his coattails. I could give him all the praise and love on him all I wanted to and not have to worry about, oh, now we're going to have to have sex. None of that, because that wasn't happening. We just didn't have that kind of strength. We just didn't have it. I think if Pac had survived Vegas, he and Will would have ended up being really good friends. They would have had a lot to offer one another. And funny enough, Will was the only person when I started dating him. Pac never said anything. If I dated anybody else, Pac had something to say. He didn't think anybody was good enough, which I understand. But when I started dating Will, he didn't say anything, which meant to me in his own way, he approved. Yeah, when he didn't say anything. He didn't say anything, which was like, OK, not a word, which made me believe he approved. No, I think it's so beautiful to reflect on that friendship because I think it's so hope giving to so many people who sometimes lose out on those kind of relationships because we don't see where else it can go. Oh, it could go so many-- But there's so much value. There's so much value to that. And there's the part in the book where you talk about how you never got to be there when Vegas happened. You weren't there. You hadn't talked for a year, I think, at the time, is what you said. Yeah, we had a big blow up. What would you have said to him, or what would you say to him, or what did you want him to know? Or what were you so sure that he already knew and you're thinking to yourself, I just wanted to remind him of this. What would that be? I didn't have to remind him of anything. He knew it. Pac knew. I adored him. I have no doubt in my mind that he left this world knowing that. What a great feeling. Yeah. That's never been the issue for me. We did that dance a lot. Sometimes have blow ups, and we were both very stubborn. And I'll let people read the book to that blow up and what led to that. But I think sometimes what sometimes still hurts is that me feeling like maybe I couldn't do enough once he left. I'm thinking to myself, oh my god, what would Pac have done? If it had been me in a car in Vegas and got-- he would have wreaked havoc. So that ego sometimes comes into play, just feeling so helpless that he was taken in that way and there was nothing I could do to this day that gnaws at me. For what it's worth, I really believe that the way you write-- and by the way, everyone who's listening and watching, there is so much more to unpack in the book, which I highly recommend you read as you're going through it and you'll come to this part. But I really believe that the way you honor and appreciate and respect your dear friend in the book is really beautiful and special. And it's hard to describe as well, but it's a really wonderful lens into a human that is so-- I love that. --larger than life in so many ways. And I wanted to also-- there's been so many misconceptions about our relationship because people have a difficult time understanding that he and I could actually be friends. But just wanted to give people such-- just an insight on the beauty of our friendship that I just cherish to this day so very much. And I wanted to give people a different outlook just of who he was and I'll say who he is because he still exists. Of course. You know, but-- so I really wanted that to come across. Yeah. Yeah, well, we got to understand him, I think, through you-- through the perspective of not a rapper, not an icon, not a-- but a human and a friend and what he was like as a friend. And I think that that's a very intimate way to know about someone. So I love that. I wanted to talk to you about-- you mentioned there, you were like, Will was the only person that 2Pac didn't have an issue with. Yeah, that I dated, yeah. And I love that. And you know how much-- I mean, I've always been open about it and we've talked about it. And I met Will through you. And it's like, I've always said that when I met you and the whole family and when I met him, you were everything and more. All of you are everything and more. And what I mean by that is everything I'd wanted you to be plus so much more. And he's that, too, in so many ways. And I think that it's really interesting because when you're talking about in the book of like-- I love the conversation you referred to when you're like-- your mom's like, get him off the phone. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's one of her moments with Adrian. Yes, exactly. But what I love about it the most is that it is true that from the outside, as you set it up, it looks like a fairy tale. And it felt like that. And what I find really fascinating about this again and again and again, and pretty much with everyone, is that there is no fairy tale love anywhere on planet Earth. No, on the planet. And in our own little way, I always talk about this with me and Radhi, too. We'll do an interview together where Radhi will tell me all the challenges she has with me. And she'll be crying and upset. And then everyone in the comments will still be like, you guys are so cute. And I'm like, no, no, no. We're not trying to say we're cute. This is real issues, real stuff that we've talked about. Obviously, you spend a ton of time with me and Radhi. And so I think for me, what's really interesting is that, yes, from the outside, when you see two incredible actors, performers, artists, talent, get together, you're like, wow, powerhouse couple. Everyone projects their expectations. You have beautiful, adorable kids. Jaden's acting, and he's the cutest thing in the world, and Willow Tulin. It's so interesting because we also we like to build up our dreams in people. And we like to project our dreams onto people because I think as viewers, it makes us believe that it's possible. And we live through people, and we aspire for it. Not that we aspire for the success and the fame, but that we aspire for the like, well, if they can get it right, then I can get it right. And it's an innocent belief that we all have. We all have that inside of us. So we all have this-- I know that I had that. I was searched the other day, and it's a term. It's Disney Princess Syndrome. And I was like, I've had Disney Princess Syndrome myself a ton of times. And it's so fascinating to me. For anyone who doesn't get the reference, the point is that every Disney princess is always looking for her prince. And I would say, regardless of gender, that's true. I feel that way, where I've been looking for my princess, or my win, or my award, or whatever it may be. And I wanted you to walk us through, like, what were the stages? And how would you define the stages as you do in this book? Your stages of your relationship with Will. Because I feel that that's the part that people get blurry, because they're looking at it through their lens.
A Realistic Approach To Love & Marriage (51:10)
But you both have been so clear about stages of your relationship internally, which I actually think is the hardest part. And so how would you define the stages of your partnership with Will that help people understand the conversations that you're having behind the scenes from being madly in love to-- Yeah. The stages of getting to the most authentic, and it's difficult. So I just want to honor that for a second. It's almost like talking about relationships, and the romanticism around the idea of relating is sometimes as detrimental as talking about politics and God. Because it's such a staple in how people look at marriage and relating culturally. And all of the romanticism around it. And Will and I have been what I would consider kind of the relationship goals. This romanticized version. I had to, in my own relationship with Will, dissolve my romanticism around what I thought marriage would be, should be. And honestly, we really never had what I would consider the ideal honeymoon stage, even though you do have the honeymoon stage. But our relationship started with some challenges, because he was divorcing. And then our life just took off like a rocket ship. We just took on this huge life in our early 20s, and where his focus was really about, hey, I want to be the biggest movie star in the world. And I knew that going into our relationship, and I knew there would be sacrifices with that. And then along the way, and I talk about this in the book, just having those different perspectives and really trying to figure out how to reconcile those different perspectives. And also deal with a lot of challenges. So I think one of the things that I address in the book in regards to people thinking that we've had an open marriage, and we haven't had an open marriage. I talk about starting off pretty much early on in our marriage of having the need for transparency. And that is a big difference between, hey, you can do whatever you want versus like, hey, here we are. Very young people in this place called Hollywood that has a lot of temptation. Let's have a partnership around this. Let's be very realistic of what this life is. If we're talking about we're going to be together forever and ever and ever, that means there's going to be some temptations that come up. Let's be in partnership and let's talk about that. I didn't go into my marriage like I am going to be. My husband is never, ever, ever going to look at anybody else. You know what I mean? I am just a realist in a lot of ways. I know what it's been like for me. Right? When I first came to Hollywood and I could go into the clubs and have anybody, just the level of just like that just like, you know what I mean? It's just like you just-- Intoxicating. It's so intoxicating. That's one. Now what I do believe that what people don't know that I talk about in the book a lot is that there have been several breakups between Will and I. Will talks about it, my 40th birthday, which was a big breakup for us. We were actually looking towards separating and divorcing. And we separated. The world just didn't know. Then we had a reconciliation. And then 2016 came and we had the ultimate break. But the world didn't know. And I think that that's where some of the misconception about having an open marriage came into play because we were living lives as single people and the world didn't know. Over the span of 12 years of just trying to figure out this thing called love and marriage between Will and I, it's been a trip. And I think that even with that entanglement piece, which I talk about extensively in the book, how I played a part in the misconception of that narrative of allowing myself to be portrayed as an adulteress, allowing myself to be portrayed as someone that had betrayed Will. And that wasn't the case. We broke up in 2016. He went on to live a life as a single man. I went on to live a life as a single woman. And then when we had the talk at the Red Table, I was going to go to the Red Table by myself to talk about the entanglement. But Will decided he wanted to come with me. And we were going to then tell the world, hey, we haven't been together. And this happened during that time. Well, when we got to the table, Will wasn't ready. He wasn't ready. He wasn't ready for the world to know that. I had to respect that. Well, I didn't have to, but I wanted to. But I was ready. I was ready to let go of the persona I had created around myself that had put me in a golden cage. I wanted to let that go. And so I had to stay on my journey. I had to stay on my path while also respecting that Will wasn't ready. So I said, you know what? This is my mess anyway. I'm going to take this heat because guess what? The heat is coming either way. Whether when we decide to get divorced, when we decide to separate, whatever, whatever. This is my practice run. Strip it down. Let it go, Jada. And then let's see what's left. I didn't have to put that particular show out, but I had already gotten myself so ready for that journey for myself. And to me, that was moving closer to my freedom. Then holding back and creating a narrative that I felt like was just going to entrap me more. And as difficult as it's been, because the irony is I spent so much of our relationship having this open communication between he and I. Creating this beautiful friendship of authenticity and honesty. And so to be labeled as someone who had cheated on him was devastating, but it also put me in a position where I had to learn how to let go of what anybody thought about me and really be 10 toes down on understanding who I am and being able to walk in that, no matter what anybody thought about me. But I needed that journey for myself. It's kind of like, that is the walk, when they talk about walking on hot coals, it's like creating that level of, when we talk about that inner world work and creating that strong foundation within yourself of knowing exactly who you are, no matter what other people think about you. I mean, I've gotten that to a certain degree. And so that was a very challenging moment. And I talk about it in the book because I feel like so many people are challenged in that way of like, how can I just walk in this world and be okay with myself, no matter what? And I talk about the journey really extensively in the book, but there've been so many misconceptions about my relationship with Will. But I think that everybody suffers misconceptions. Once again, whether you're head of the PTA and your husband's that doctor and you're the lawyer, you know what I mean? You're like the creme de la creme of your friend group or of your community. And so everybody's expecting you to have a certain kind of marriage. And marriage is a journey, you know? And it's a journey towards learning how to love yourself and learning how to love your partner. And there's not one way to do it. And everybody, I think we do that journey a real disservice of trying to make it this cookie cut thing. Like, no, no, no, you can only do it this way. And it's like each and every person in their relationship, they have to look at what their relationship is calling for in regards to what is needed to get your marriage to the love, to the strength, to the understanding, to the friendship, and to that unconditional place. And the unfortunate part is that we think once we get married, like somebody is ready-made, they know how to love you, even though they don't know how to love themselves. They don't know how to love themselves, but you better know how to love me. - I wanna highlight because I think it's often, it can be missed at least, is when you had that conversation on Red Table Talk, it would have been so easy to not have that conversation publicly because people would have their rumors, it would blow over and then it would be over. And I'm only raising this because I know how much for you it was part of the work you were doing.
The Complicated Timeline of Jada and Will Smith’s Marriage (01:02:09)
And that's why I'm raising this because I think what's really interesting is that when someone's trying to do deep inner healing work, actually more often than not, their external way will not make sense. - Oh yeah, for sure. - Because it literally looks like you're setting yourself up to fail. Because when you're really trying to dismantle the ego or you're really trying to deconstruct the false identities that we all build up, me included, all of us, when that is there and it's being deconstructed, someone would look at you and be like, "Why would you do that? Why do I need to know?" And really, I just wanna highlight and I want you to share about that, that the intention was healing. - Absolutely. - The intention wasn't to save face. And I know this 'cause we were talking about it. The intention wasn't to... - Yeah, it wasn't to save face and it surely wasn't, and I need people to know, I didn't ask Will to come to the table. That was not my idea. Will wanted to come to the table 'cause he didn't want me to be there by myself. He had all the best intentions. And got there and was, I think, his trauma response kicked in, like, "I'm not ready." So many people were like, "Don't do this." And I'm like, "Nah, I'm doing it." - For myself. - For myself. - Because I wanna live the... - Because I'm ready. I don't want this whole thing anymore. This whole Jada, Will, I'm done with that. It was part of the work that I was ready for and it was what I needed. And everybody's in different places in their journey. And that's also a dynamic I had to look at within myself in regards to, so it was two things. There's this healthy Jada is like, "Tear it down. I don't want that persona anymore. Tear my ego down." And there was this other part of me that was like, "Oh my God, I need to pretend, he's not ready. He's not ready." My codependency kicks in and I go, "This is what I do. I'm the martyr. I can do the martyr thing." So once again, it's both things. It's healing, like I'm ready. Like I'm ready for the tear down. And then this martyr that's like, "And I wanna make sure Will, as long as you're okay, I'm okay." That's part of my relationship with my mother's addiction that I brought into my relationship with Will that created a certain dynamic within myself in my relationship with him that I also needed to get my eyes on that I didn't see. That that needed to be healed as well. Without that table, without that moment, I would have never recognized that. As painful as it was for people to watch, existential disappointment in a collective. So sorry, I wish it could have happened another way. I'm sorry that it had to be so messy in front of everybody. I'm sorry. But I needed that. What I got to clear up, what I got to clean up, what I got to see. And to be able to sit here with you today and embrace it all and have so much acceptance for myself for all of the choices I've made. And people ask me, "If you had to do it over again, would you do it any different?" I don't think so. Honestly, knowing and talking to you, I found it to be so courageous and so full of strength because it was putting yourself on the spot like in no other way. And I can't even begin to understand how uncomfortable it is. I only can from the conversations we have. - Well, you were right there with me, Jake. - The level of discomfort that you were willing to put yourself in in order to let go of an identity, in order to let go of a perception. I'm saying it in these words because I just want everyone who's listening and watching just to think about it for a second. Imagine you had to go in front of everyone you knew, your family, your friends, your school, whoever it is that you're around, your people at work, and you had to share a secret that wasn't a secret between you and the person you're with, but was a secret to them. Just think about that, whatever that secret is. Everyone has secrets, everyone has something. And to do that requires just so much courage and strength. And it also shows the... I think you were just apologizing that it was so messy. I also think that it is uncomfortable. Like growth is uncomfortable and letting go of shedding identities is uncomfortable. And I'm not comparing my experience to yours at all because it's not the same in any way. But I'm trying to explain how like a tiny PDA, like my kind of like version of it is still as big. I remember the day I told my friends and my family and my teachers that I no longer thought I could be a monk. And it sounds so small, like now looking back. - Yeah, but time. - But at the time, as someone who was like, I was dedicating my life. You've met my teachers. I'm dedicating my life. I'm like doing this big thing. And all of a sudden I come to the conclusion that this thought in my head of I'm not good enough, I'm not a monk, I'm not meant to be, like this isn't my path, I have other desires, whatever it may be, I think I should get married. You know, all this stuff. And you feel so much shame around the fact that you're not good enough. And what are people gonna say? And even for me, that was just my temple community and my friends and my family. And even then it was like as if someone was ripping my ego out of my chest because that's what it feels like. It feels like an extraction of, not that I'm egoless now, but that was such a big way of crushing that part of my ego. And so I just want people to think about it through that perspective. And I'm saying it because I think that we all go through periods in our life where people misunderstand us. We all go through periods in our life where the people we thought loved us and adored us will now be let down. We all go through experiences in our life where we have to let go of someone that we thought we were or what people thought we were. And those are gonna be the hardest, most painful times. And actually, if we can learn to be graceful instead of when our friends are getting divorced, and we're like, "Did you hear someone?" We had that. Couple of people in my community back at home just got divorced. The whole community is talking about it. And I'm just like, "Guys, like, we have no idea "what was going on for the last 10, 20 years. "Let's give them grace 'cause you never know "when that could be you. "You have no idea when it could be you." You know, it's so easy to judge and throw stones at anyone and everyone, like, you know? And I just really feel that if we have the ability to be graceful and compassionate when other people are doing that, we'll actually do it with ourselves. And because we're hard on ourselves, we're hard on others.
On Self-worth & Self-love (01:09:43)
- Yes. - Because we're hard on others, we're hard on ourselves. And I just, for me, I just want to see more people be graceful for themselves and for others because there's so much human experience wrapped up in it. - Yeah, that's my hope too, you know, that people can have more grace for themselves. But I tell you, I think one of the saving factors was that, you know, there were no secrets between Will and I. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - And there were no secrets between my kids and I. - Yes. - So the fact that my family was absolutely aware of the entire journey, it was a saving grace for me. Whatever the world wants to think is whatever, you know? Will knows he was not betrayed, and my kids know that I did not betray their father. And that, to me, all that matters. - Yeah. - Was quite a exercise of having to walk in the world like that, you know, having people think that that's what happened. Just having that exercise in that way has been such a healing factor for me of just the level of self-love, the level of self-worth that I have because of what that experience has offered me. And I'm not saying that anybody else should do it on that level, you know? But what I am saying is that there are ego deaths that have to occur in order to get to a more authentic place of self-worth and self-love. - And I want to talk about the little gurus, as you call them in the book. We start with Trey, who, you know, this book is dedicated to your daughter and the daughter of your daughter. And the daughters of the people that read it. And to your sons. - Yeah. - And to the sons of the people that read it. And I wonder, what is it that you think you've learned from Trey that you've been taught by Jayden and that you've been taught by Willow in your journey with them all? Because you have such a, whenever I've seen you with them, it's, you have such a deep, beautiful, rich relationship with your kids. We were talking about that earlier.
Jada Speaks About Jaden and Willow Smith (01:12:05)
- Yeah. - I would love to know what is it that each of them have taught you? - Trey, he has such an enormous heart. And I think what I love about Trey is his ability to meet people, join people where they are, his ability to join me. He has a way of seeing the best in people, no matter what, the best in circumstances, no matter what. And even in his most challenging times, challenging relationships, having the willingness to see the person's spirit versus personality. And he's always reminded me of that. You know, mom, you know, that person, you know what I mean? And I'm like, you know what, Trey, you right. He and I have kind of been walking parallel. We'll look over at each other and go, I see you. And he goes, I see you, you know? You know what I mean? So, you know, we're the two in the family that's really been on a intense walk spiritually. And he has so much perseverance in regards to understanding God, finding his way, understanding life. I don't know, you know, he's just such a, he's such a light, you know? So iron sharpens iron. He'll walk in the kitchen and go, mom, look at me. What do you think I'm feeling today? You know what I mean? Or he'll look at me and go, wow, you know, you're like bright, what's going on with you? Like he can just see me and he could see people, you know? And I'll be like, wow, how did you see that? Yeah, this is happening. This is like, really? You know, and he's just such a light. He's just such a joy. And so he just is always reminding me to look for the best in people. And I just adore him. That's why he's a bonus. And then Willow, oh, she's such a fireball. I mean, she is like the mirror of the fire of my soul. When I tell you she is the mirror of that, like I get to see myself in her in so many ways. What I love most about Willow is that she is to the point. You know what I mean? She is like, she doesn't have a whole lot of play play. She's just like, no, no. She just hits it on the mark. Where sometimes I can be very flowery, you know, very gentle. And I also love how she loves me. She teaches me a lot about love. She teaches me a lot about, when I talked about being able to join, like she teaches me a lot about how to join her and how to join others in ways that I'm not used to. I know how to join others in ways that I'm used to, but me having to learn how to join her in a certain manner, I've had to come out of my comfort zones and really be like, oh man, I'm very deficient here. And her patience with me with that deficiency. She's so patient with me. She's like, it's okay, mom. You know, sometimes I don't need you to talk to me, mom. Just hold me. I'm like, oh, that's all you want me to do? You just want, that's all? I'm not used to that. You know, I don't come from a family where affection, you know, that we don't hug each other and hold each other. That's not what we did. But Willow, Ma, I don't need your advice. I just want to sit here, hold me while I cry. And then I have to learn how to, I've had to learn, she's taught me how to hold tears and really be able to join with those tears and not rebel and, you know, like have them repel 'cause then they bring up my tears. And so she's learned, she's taught me how to love my tears too. You know, those places within myself that I haven't always been willing to go, you know? And now I cry all the time, you know, and I call it the thawing because for so long I wasn't allowed, I didn't allow myself to cry, you know? So she's taught me that. And then there's Jaden. Oh man, Jaden, he's just walking joy. I mean, he comes in the room and it's just like, "Jaden!" You know, he's just walking joy. But he was like that when I carried him. I was the happiest I had ever been in my life when I was pregnant with Jaden. And I think that had a lot to do with the energy that he carries. He has the capacity to love everything. And that is difficulty, challenging people, challenging situations. He has the capacity to love it all and find the beauty in it. And I'm talking about sincerely. And it is like, that's a God-given gift. That's not, you can't teach that. And so he just, I was sitting out, you know, I was just talking to him the other day and I was just like, "Oh, I was reading this book, "Emotionally Immature Parents." And I was like, "Jaden, you got to read this book. "Your mother has been an emotionally immature parent." I said, "You got to read this book." And he said, "You know what, Ma?" He said, "Things from afar can look a certain way. "But when you put a microscope up on something "and you look at it close up," he was like, "It is such a weird shape, "weird, beautiful shapes of things, "but you get to see the intricacies of it. "And it's so much more. "And that's what you are to me. "You're like this beautiful, intricate organism "that I love so much. "Don't ever apologize to me again." - That's so beautiful. - You know what I mean? And that's just how his mind works. And he comes over and he hugs me and he kisses me on my forehead. You know what I'm saying? And he's like, "You gave birth to me "that don't ever apologize to me." You know what he's like, "And I'm not reading that book." I said, "I'm gonna get you the book anyway. "You need to read it." I'm always apologizing to my kids about all kinds of things. I think it's so important for parents to apologize. Say sorry. You know, I've gotten in the habit every little, like if I misunderstand something or if there's like this like little glip, you know what? I didn't quite get that then. I'm so sorry. I apologize. I'm gonna do better next time with that. And thank you for your patience. I think it's important. I wish my father had apologized to me more. My mom apologizes too. I actually learned that from her. She's apologized a lot. And I actually said the same thing to her now that I'm thinking about it. Stop apologizing to me. - But isn't that, those are the best relationships where someone does something and the other person is like, it's fine. And that's what kind of, it's that relationship where internally you're happy you heard it, but you know you didn't need to. The other person still felt the need to say it. And it creates so much clarity. And you know, when I told Willow you were coming on today, she sent a little note. - Oh no. - Because I was talking to her about it and I was talking to her about the book. And so she sent this little note that I want to read to you if that's okay. - Oh my God, let me get my napkin. - So she said, this is from Willow. And Willow, if I don't read it as you would in your amazing voice, then please forgive me. I'm also apologizing to you in advance. Mom, I am incomprehensibly proud of you and all of the inner excavation you have done during the writing of your book. There were many times during the process where you would read me sections and deep emotions would come up for us both. Learning from you through learning about you is one of the biggest joys of my life. You never cease to inspire me with how wide you've opened your heart, not only to the immense joys of life, but also to the deep uncertainties and shadows with equal gratitude and grace. You have shown me true tenderness and true strength come from the same place within. And that is something that I aspire to show others. Thank you for loving me. I'm so grateful for you. - Thank you. - The guru, that's the little guru right there. There it is. - She loves you so much and they all obviously love you so much. But when I read that and when I was reflecting on it, I was just, and as me and Radhi always talk about this, 'cause we've watched you and Willow so many times together. And it has been so inspiring to us to see that connection you both have and the openness you have with your kids and how well they understand you. And as you were just saying, you were always apologizing, but that's what they're seeing. - Yeah. - They see that because you're so willing to share with them. - Yeah, I don't keep secrets from my kids. I've let them see my deepest flaws. And I think that's important. I mean, and not in a way that, we have to be careful with that too, but I mean, just as far as like, it's okay to be human, not being afraid to show my humanness. 'Cause that's the one thing with my mother that I have so much gratitude for, that I could see her as a human being. And my relationship with my mother being an addict and me being able to relate to her as not just my mother, but as a woman, as a person.
It’s Important To Show Your Flaws & Humanness To Your Children (01:22:14)
And I think that was one aspect that I felt like I really needed to bring into my relationship with my kids, for them to see me as a person. We're in this together. - Yeah, it comes across when I've witnessed it. It's the most beautiful thing. I could only ever dream that when Radhi and I are able to do that, that we- - You will. - Have what you have. It's really special. It's remarkable to watch in practice. And I mean that, and the message says it all, but Cheda, I wanted, you know, throughout this book and even in this interview today, I think I was gonna say this to say it later, but I'm gonna say it now. I've been sharing spirituality with people in different ways since I was 18 years old. And I was so young and immature then in my spirituality and I still am today and that will always continue. And I've just been fortunate to sit at the feet of incredible teachers and mentors. And so any realization I've had earlier than I should have had it is because of sitting with elders and, you know, sitting with the teachers I've introduced you to. And I've rarely met someone who's as eager for healing as you. I don't think I've met a family that's more where healing is the top priority. - Right. - And it's such an interesting thing to perceive in someone because you can tell by someone's language and when their eyes light up and their body language changes as to what they are motivated by. And ever since I met you from the first day we met, backstage green room for Red Table, talk series two launch day event. I was getting to host an interview, you, Danny and Willow and I remember you'd asked me, like, what did you learn as a monk? And I'd said to you, I was giving to you the, what I did learn as practices, but I wasn't getting to the root of it. So I was explaining the practices like gratitude and meditation and mindfulness and service. And you were kind of just like, oh, that's cool. Like, you know, it was, and then I'd said to you, because I felt a inner voice say that I should, and it was truly guided from within. And I said to you, I learned how to love God. And that was potentially the first time I'd even said that in that way to someone. And you just like your whole body language and your eyes and everything just changed and everyone else was late. So we were just talking and you were like, I want to learn how to love God too. And you'd obviously already been on that journey for decades, like, you know, and you talk about it in the book where you started with the ethical society. You know, that had been a journey that had been a part of your journey forever, but it was so interesting to me to meet someone and an entire family who is more focused on healing and growth and God in their own way, in your own language, in your own ways than anything else. I've never, we've never had a conversation that steers too far away. - From that. - From any of those things, which would say so. And we have fun and we have a good time and everything, but that, and the reason I raised that is because I also saw that when you were talking about Oscar's Night in the book, you referred to as the holy slap and the holy joke. And you've always looked at everything through the lens of how is this bringing me closer to the divine? I remember one conversation we had about the feminine divine and I'll never forget it because we, at this point, we'd been doing, we'd been talking twice a week for like a year and a half or something. And we were talking about a specific aspect of the divine feminine, which is often left out or forgotten or hidden. I'd never seen anyone respond in a way so sincerely and genuinely to a vision of God as you did. And you said with tears in your eyes, you're like, I've been looking for this God for 25 years. And I remember just going, like, I could just see the genuineness and the sincerity in your eyes. And I was just like, wow, like, I hope I can love like that one day. Like, that's actually what I felt. Like, as in, it was so inspiring. And I know that I've got closer to divinity through our work and that's because of your seeking. And you've pulled me closer to the divine through your seeking, which you've given me the greatest gift, like, for years and years and years, ever since I've known you. And it's your ability to look for that.
Addressing Controversies And Healing
Jada Addresses The Oscars 2022 (01:27:36)
And so I wanted to talk to you about, you know, I think when it all went down on Oscars night, and you talk about this in the book, and so I want to leave everyone to read about it in full, but the perception was that you were so offended that you'd kind of urged this action, which is bizarre in and of itself for so many reasons that you lay out in the book. But I want to hear from you, like, what were you actually hurt by about the condition that you were going through? And in that gap between what we saw and what we didn't get to see, which everyone had their own theory on, what was actually your thought space? Where were you? - Let me start with, that was a really layered moment. Let me start with also that there was so much that people didn't know in regards to what was happening with Will and I at that time. And I will leave for people to get the book. - Yeah, absolutely. - Because there's so much history. - And you go into it. - Present, yeah. - You break it down. - I break it down. - Hence why I did not. - Exactly, there's so much history that I think would give people a lot more context to understand that moment. Let me also say that I know there was a difficult moment to watch because of history that Chris and I had in regards to the 2016 Oscar So White. And I'll let people read to get up to speed on that. But when I first saw Chris' name come on stage, come up as one of the presenters, I said, "Oh boy." I looked to Will and I was like, "He's not gonna be able to help himself. "This is gonna be something." I was like, "I knew, I already knew." And I was like, "Okay." So Will had been going back and forth backstage all night. So when Chris said what he said, I looked to Will as if to say, "See, I knew it." Right? And then I was like, "Oh boy, that's not cool "to talk about a medical condition that people, "there's nothing you can, "it's not something that can be cured." And that how many stories I had heard of people, young people committing suicide and the shame and just how many people suffer, and you don't even know. Like once I had the condition and I saw how many people around me had it, I was like, all these years I didn't know and people express the shame, the level of shame they had around it. I'm gonna be okay. As far as my condition, and as you can see, my hair is growing back. That's what it does. It'll grow, it'll fall out, it'll grow back again. Pieces of my eyebrows will fall out, grow back. I'm having a good moment right now. My alopecia is not as extreme as most people who are dealing with that condition. And I just felt like that's not okay. So I wasn't upset about me. And I don't remember actually rolling my eyes. I think what people saw was me looking at Will going, I told you, I knew he was gonna do that. And oh boy, here we go again. - Yeah, that was kind of the-- - Yeah, you know, oh, here we go. But I wasn't upset about me. I really wasn't. It wasn't about me. It was just all the stories I had heard and that I continue to hear about people who have suffered from this condition. - And obviously you didn't want what happened to happen. Like I think that, I'm just clarifying that. I know that. I'm just clarifying it because I'm just like-- - Of course, it wasn't like I looked at Will and said, you know, you know. But, and that's the kind of, you know, those are the kind of moments of context that I think I lost sometimes. - Listen, there was an aspect of that that I was as shocked as anyone because Will and I hadn't been referring to each other as husband and wife since 2016. I was like, wife, me? That's right. I am, I'm okay. That's right. I am your wife. And that kicked in. I'm like, yup, here we are. In that moment that that did happen, I was like, we came together, we're leaving together. You know, that part of me that put everything else aside and was like, this is going to be something. I need to make sure Will's okay. We're going to get through this. I had no idea that that was none whatsoever. And I came as family. I actually didn't go to the Oscars as Will's wife. And I know for people that's weird, but what was going on behind the scenes, Will and I had been like, we weren't living as husband and wife since 2016. I was happy he asked me to go. I was happy he wanted to share that moment with me still. And I was going to be by his side. And I think also people weren't really aware of the journey that had taken place after "Emancipation" as far as Will's concern. It was a really difficult movie. And afterwards he decided to get into therapeutic settings and he asked me to join him 'cause a lot of stuff was coming up. A lot of stuff from his past, childhood stuff. I think people didn't understand that there was a history there between he and Chris as well. So there was a lot of context that people just didn't have. And I'm going to tell you something else. I understand why people thought it was me. I understand why people blame me. I don't think it's right, but I understand. You know, considering the narratives that were out there that I was part of, I have to take responsibility for that. And I talk about that in the book. Me being the adulterous wife that had pushed Will to his limit, I get it. So I couldn't even take any of it personally. And I had to put myself in the shoes of the audience and go, if I was looking at this, what would I say? I probably would have said the same thing. And then that made me really look at like, oh man, like culturally, we're always blaming women. Like I had to really go deep into that. Why do we do that? You know, that men of power that have so much of their own-ness in their life, but when something bad happens, it's a woman's fault. You know what I mean? It's so interesting. You know, and I had, I really started to examine that, but more so just looking at that narrative and taking responsibility. - And at the same time, there was love and compassion for Chris, there was that. - Oh yeah. You know, I talk about that in the book. I've worked with Chris, I know Chris. Am I always a fan of Chris's stage work? No, but Chris as a person, he's a sweet guy. There was a moment when Chris came down to the end of the stage. And you have to understand I'm in deep confusion. I don't know what's going on because of me understanding the context of Will and I behind the scenes, what just happened on the stage. I'm worried about Will. I've never seen that from him. I don't know what's going on. But Chris comes to the end of the stage and he looks at me deeply, sincerely. And he says, Jada, I meant no harm. And it was so sincere in his eyes. I'm like, that's the Chris I know. That's the Chris I've experienced. That's the Chris that a lot of people don't get to see 'cause people just see Chris on stage doing what Chris does. But I'm glad I had that moment because with everything else that transpired afterwards, you know, his Netflix, certain comments and all of that, I could hold on to that sincere moment. So when we talk about looking past personality and when somebody has had that opportunity to show you their heart, to show you their spirit, that's the truth, not all the other stuff that hurt, misunderstanding, confusion might bring up. So were my feelings hurt? When I heard what was happening as far as the Netflix? Of course, my feelings were hurt, but I didn't take it personally. 'Cause I can see his eyes right now as I'm talking to you. And that's the truth of Chris's spirit. Jada, I meant no harm. I talk about it in the book. It's like, you gotta have grace. When we're hurt, I'm not saying that I, I don't agree with how it was handled. I don't agree with it, but I understand. And so my hope is that there will be, there's such a beautiful opportunity for healing. And my hope is that that will occur as time.
These Two Beautiful Men Deserve A Reconciliation (01:37:05)
Everything needs time. You have two beautiful men who have hurts. Hurts and who have hurt one another, but they're both beautiful men. And as I said before, my hope is that these two very capable, beautiful men at some time figure out how to resolve this whole thing of the present and of the past. 'Cause life is about healing, man. It's like life's too short. And sometimes conflicts can really amplify love. They really can. I know it has for me. And that's why I called that chapter The Holy Slap, The Holy Joke, The Holy Slap, and The Holy Lessons, because through all of this conflict that I've been in the midst of, all this misunderstanding that I've been in the midst of, it's helped amplify love within my heart. It's made my heart more elastic. Hate, and I really have been able to understand how hate has a ceiling. Hate, aggression. It has a ceiling, whereas love is, oh. But it takes so much courage. And it's so easy to go into aggression. It's so easy to go into hateful feelings. It's easy. And I can't blame anybody for doing it, and I have no judgment, 'cause guess what? Been there, done that. - You know, Jada, when you started today, you said that this is your journey from being unlovable to trying to find love again. And it's really the true story of all of our lives, of just, we're all on that journey of being unlovable, thinking that if someone loves us, we'll be fine, then thinking that if we get or achieve this, we'll be fine, then thinking if I love this person perfectly, then I'll be fine. And it's like, we keep filling in that, the sentence between unlovable to lovable with so many versions. And I think what this book, this memoir, does so beautifully, honestly, is you show us every version that you tried to fit in that gap. - Right? Every version. - Every version that you tried to fit in that gap, you're just showing us the reality of what that comes with, like the pain that comes with trying to fit everything into that gap. And I appreciate you for doing that, because it's hard to not turn every story into a fairytale ending or a perfect ending. And there isn't that here. And I think that that's what truly makes it relatable. It's what truly makes it applicable wherever we are on our journeys on that spectrum and anyone else's.
Friendship Built On Healing & Personal Growth (01:40:16)
And it's why I said that I really hope that anyone who's on that journey themselves will pick this book up and be able to notice which gap they're trying to fill it with and come back in, if that feels right, if that-- - That's really right. It's like, 'cause you're right. It's like all these, it's like, okay, that didn't work. Let me go over here. Let me try this. And then it just, nope. You got to heal you. And you got to really get with a power higher than yourself. And I want to thank you for really being so helpful in so many ways, Jay, in regards to, you talk about, I mean, we've been on such a beautiful journey together in that way of just learning and deepening our relationship with God individually, together. I so appreciate you for that. I mean, you have been so instrumental in that way. - I genuinely can't take any credit. Like I'm not even, I'm not even-- - Well, you can. - And that's not me being humble or modest. It's me just saying that in the same way as you feel people came into your life to accelerate that journey and reconnect you, like you did the same for me and Radhi. In a physical way, all of you have given us so much family. We've celebrated so many Thanksgivings together. We've had you over for Sangha every, for days and days and weeks and months and years. And you've given us so much. And I think that's what I think this book does. I think that's what we'll do for our friendships is that I got the opportunity to build a friendship with you that was based on nothing else but healing, growth and the divine. And that kind of relationship just has a different energy. It's really special when there's nothing else. There's nothing else that would have made our paths cross. We don't work together. We don't do business together. We don't have the same friends, but this. I'm so grateful to watch someone do the hardest work. And I'm going, yeah, I need to do it too. And I admire it because I see it from that perspective with you and I always have that you're not trying to take the easy way out. You're not just looking to fix it with a bandaid. You're not just hoping it will go away. You're like, no, I'm gonna sit there with it. That is just, that is such an uncomfortable place naturally for 99% of people. I'm in awe of you because of it and I always will be. And I'm just, I'm so happy that you decided to put it into writing because this isn't about clarifying. It isn't about people getting a sense of what really happened that's not what it's about. It's about how can we sit through that discomfort that we're going through in our life and choose healing and growth even when it's the hardest thing and the farthest thing away from us. - Listen, if things get cleared up from reading this book, great, but that's not the purpose. 'Cause I actually don't think you can. - You can't. - Yeah, you can't. It'll just be more stirring up, whatever, other things. And it's really, which is why it's even more important to really be able to have a strong sense of self. And not to be looking for external things to be, to substitute what you have to have inside in order to know your place in this world.
Be Okay With Your Victories & Your Challenges (01:44:06)
This place is crazy. And to try to make the material space, the material world align in a way for your comfort, that's, it can't start there. It has to start within yourself that how you see and what you attract to you is in alignment with what is happening here, right? But looking for the world to buoy you up or accept you in a certain manner, nah. - Yeah. - And like I said before, this can just give some little breadcrumbs to help people get to a sense of self-worth that gives them that comfort no matter what is happening. If you've brought freaking chocolate chip cookies with peanuts in them to the school fair, even though kids might have allergies in the school, then wrote you a letter and said, "Don't bring products with peanuts." - And you made them with nuts. - You made them with nuts. - Yeah. - And now the mom group is on your neck. You can be okay. You can be okay with your victories and you can be okay with the inevitable challenges that life is going to deliver. It's okay either way. You're okay. You're worthy. You're lovable. Peanuts and all. - So Jada, one of the things that you mentioned was that you went to the Oscars as family, but not as a wife. - Yeah. - And I wanted to ask you, how do you define the status of your relationship now and what is it like? - You know, right now, of course we've had, it's been an intense two years and we've really been doing some deep healing together. And that's why I was saying before the idea of how just really disruptive situations can amplify love in a certain manner, because it kind of forces you to have to dive a little deeper. That's what we've been doing. We've just been growing together and see what happens then. See what grows from there, you know? But like I said in the book, it's like we have this beautiful friendship and we really look at our marriage as being the cornerstone of family. We're both kind of coming up with different definitions of what marriage means for us. We're still figuring all of that out. Yeah, but the beautiful part is that there's been some really deep healing going on. Yeah. I mean, you know, at the end of the day, that's what it's about. Marriage is so much about growth, like really learning how to grow emotionally, like emotional maturity, spiritual maturity. And there's this spiritual bond there. I mean, we've tried our best to get away from each other. I mean, our best, and we just don't want to. So we are defining it the way that works for us. And I think getting comfortable with not being concerned about what anybody else thinks about it. We have this life partnership and every day we're trying to figure out what that means. - You've both talked about how you feel like you're a mirror for each other.
How Jada & Will Are Healing Together (01:48:08)
- Yeah. - And when I've spoken to Will as well, it's like, he feels like you're the person who knows him to his core. - Absolutely. - And he knows you to your core. Like you know everything that potentially there is to know about each other. - Everything. - And you're obviously still learning. - Yeah. - What's really interesting about that is some people would say, "Well, why not just get divorced?" - Yeah, everybody's always like, "Why don't you just get divorced?" And it's like, that's like quitting. I don't think there's any person that could embrace the best and the worst of me and be willing to hold space in the way that Will holds space for me and the way that I hold space for him. And I know that most people probably go into their relationship as like, "You are here to please me." And yeah, our relationship isn't quite that. It's like, it's more about, there's no greater mirror I could have than Will. He doesn't, I can't get around myself. Just like he can't get around himself with me. And I think that that's just been what this has been all about. Like it's been a deep clearing, like really having to look at yourself in ways in that mirror that sure, we talk about this all the time. Would it be easier to go and find somebody else and have a more pleasing, more comfortable relationship? Maybe, but would that get me to the person that I really want to be? I don't think so. And I'm not saying that everybody's relationship is supposed to be that. I'm not here to say that. I'm just saying that that's what my relationship is. That's something I desire to get to a deeper part, a more spiritually sound, emotionally sound, and really understand love unconditionally. And the thing that I've learned about unconditional love, you can't really understand what unconditional love in ideal circumstances is. To really get to what it is to love yourself and someone else completely with all that's divine, all that's human, all that's perfect, and all that is deeply flawed and have full acceptance for it all.
Why The Marriage Hasn’t Ended In A Divorce… (01:50:35)
I tell you, this is... You know, marriage is not for the faint at heart. It's just not. And it is definitely, I believe, I believe. Different people get married for different reasons, so I'm not trying to say why anybody else should be married. But for me, the holy path of getting to a divine aspect of myself in partnership with Will, and it seems like Will wants the same for himself. And it's taken us, I mean, we got together at what? I was 23, okay? 23 when I first decided to commit myself to Will it Carol Smith, Lord Jesus. - So young. - So young, we were babies, babies trying to figure this out. And you know what's interesting about young relationships? You create these young patterns that get so, like these really young immature patterns in yourself and how you relate to your partner. And then you create these dynamics between one another that it takes a while to like really be willing to look at that stuff and dissolve it and let it go and mature and grow. It takes some real like self inventory, patience, courage. Right, because you're breaking down everything, all your romantic ideas, everything you thought, you know, relationship or marriage, all your romantic fantasies, you know, just, you know, blow up in flames. But it's really been freeing. It's really been freeing to see what's more true, right? I'm not saying that I know the truth yet. I just feel like I'm seeing more of what's true, you know, as regards to what love and partnership is about. 'Cause I was definitely one of those people that's like, you're here to make me happy. And when you don't do it, that's a problem. - And that's a normal setup. That's how we believe relationships are. And you know, I've talked about it before and I put it forward in my book, this idea that we think pleasure is the ultimate gift of a relationship, but really purification is, and that's a really tough idea for anyone, including me. I like perfected that idea for me to wrap my head around. And I can honestly say that I love Radhi and you know, you've seen us both together and everything, but the greatest gift Radhi gives me is a mirror and a purification of Radhi can call out my ego better than anyone or anything. And I know it's coming from a good place. Radhi can show me my flaws in the nicest, most supportive way possible and can receive it back from me. And then I feel like because of her, I'm trying to be better, getting better, not for her, for myself, it's almost like the person that you live with knows you so deeply or the person that you've seen, has seen you in all circumstances, in all situations, knows you the deepest. I always say Radhi knows whether I woke up and meditated in the morning. Like Radhi knows whether I got angry or frustrated at night after a phone call, like Radhi knows that. And if I use that to my advantage of, am I becoming, am I growing? But it's such a hard concept for people to understand because it's so counterintuitive to the pleasure scene and the pleasure seeking mind that we've been conditioned to chase. And again, I'm not saying we shouldn't have pleasure in relationships. - Oh, absolutely. - That's not the point I'm making. I'm just saying that there's more to it. There's another level. - There's definitely more to it. And I think we've talked about this before you and I, as far as people believing that romantic love is the highest form. Now, I believe that romantic love is an aspect, right? Of a higher form. But I don't believe that romantic love itself is the highest form, right? I believe within the highest form, you can have romantic love, but that romantic love is not of the highest, right? And that's all I've been examining and exploring with Will and really trying to get to that point and really trying to understand the power of unconditional love, friendship. Like there's something about friendship, familial love that is beautiful. But when two people can have an agreement around divine love, like love of a source greater than yourself that you want to be connected to, and then you decide that your relationship is going to be connected to that same source, oh boy, now we're onto something. Now we're onto something. But to think that romantic love can hold all of the difficulties and challenges alone. And I think that's why so many of us get into these power struggles and why there's so many divorces and why that just all of this strife in relationships. You brought up something that was really important and it's the idea of Roddy when she can kind of pull your coattails with love. And I think it takes a lot of work to figure that out, like to not be offended when someone shows up imperfectly. And those are those kinds of pieces within relationship. Like we feel like people are supposed to come ready-made. You walk down the aisle and it's like, he knows how to love me. I know how to love him.
Love, Marriage, And Partnership
Romantic Love Is An Aspect Of The Highest Form Of Relationships (01:57:25)
And not making room for that space of growth that is inevitable. People are going to mess up. People are going to do stupid stuff. People are going to say stupid stuff. Now, when it comes to abuse and all of that, that's a different story, right? But people who are willing to learn how to love each other, 'cause I really do think that's what committed relationships about, marriage or not. I'm committed to learning how to love myself, learning how to love you, right? And then learning how to cultivate this relationship that we have with that essence, with those components. Then that's a beautiful thing. That's what I believe the holy path of relating is all about. And not everybody wants that. - Yeah, totally. You know, some people really just want the romantic version of it. And that's okay too. - Absolutely, absolutely. - That's okay too, you know? But for me, definitely on that path of looking for something deeper within myself, mostly. - How did you let go of that desire for romantic love, but then hold on to the friendship? Because I feel like that's a journey that is so hard, whether someone stays married or gets divorced or like you both are, you described yourself as best friends. How did you hold on to friendship, being able to let go of the mirage that you had earlier, or not even the mirage, the reality of what you had earlier, as you talk about in the book? You know, the chemistry, the spark. I think so many of us are trying to hold on to that, but you've let go of that. And then you're saying, but we've held on to the friendship, the mirror, the work, the growth. That sounds like the hard way through it. - I think it's how people show up, and people don't always show up perfect, clearly. But one thing about Will and I, we're just not willing to give up. It's like, I'm lucky that we just want to have each other in one another's life, right? You have moments of disharmony, but if you know that you're not willing to not have that person in your life, you know you got to put forth the effort, and you got to put forth the work to transform whatever's not working. So we always make the decision to take that one step closer to diving more deeply, to learning how to love. And most of the time, it has more to do with self inventory, having to go in the corner and look at oneself and then come back and go, I was tripping, whether it's I'm sorry, or I had a misunderstanding. Can we look at this now together? Because now I've looked at it in my corner alone, and I've seen my part. And I want to talk to you first about my part. A, B, C, and D, right? And then inevitably, usually your partner will go, well, you know, I could have done such and such and such. And so when you have an agreement that's really unspoken of like, I want you in my life, and I want to have good times with you, and I love you, then that's the energy that nurtures and keeps one willing to just keep working at it. So there's that deep love.
Letting Go Of The Romantic Love (02:01:13)
And the great thing is that Will's got a great sense of humor You know what I mean? He's got a really good sense of humor. So he has a way of being able to help me get out of my funk. But I'm kind of like, you talk about this a lot with Roddy, where I kind of have to take my time. Like I'm not always ready to talk right away. I need to like sit, I need to be with myself. I need to kind of like work through my thoughts and all of that, where Will is always ready to talk. I like to go deep. He likes to get funny. The great thing about him, he can go deep. - Totally, absolutely. - And there are times that I really like to play and have fun. So we're like these energetic fields. You know, I'm earth and he's sky. We are your typical yin and yang. You know, that, you know, there's this great chemistry there between us that just works. And, but when it doesn't work, oh man. Oh man. Oh man. You know what I mean? Those moments where there's just like, ah. But I think that's just inevitable in every relationship. - Yeah, I agree. But it just doesn't look traditional. I think that's the point. That's the part where it's like, it just doesn't look traditional. It works. There's the trust, there's commitment, there's understanding. And at the same time, it doesn't look how you think it would look. - It doesn't look traditional. I don't know. I'm gonna be honest with you. There are aspects of traditional relating that absolutely work. But I think in this day and age, I don't know too many marriages that are traditional. I really don't. Everybody is trying to figure it out, right? And I think everybody's so scared to talk about all of the different ways that they're trying to figure it out. I know so many people who are like married, but not living together. Married, but have decided to have other partners. I know so many people and have for a long time that are trying marriage in so many different forms. And my whole thing is, figure it out for you. Marriage is not a cookie cut out formula. Besides, I do think that there's some staples. Love. But even that, let me take that out for a second. There's some people who are married strictly for business purposes. I've seen that too. As long as there's agreement between two people and how they decide they want to be together. Stay out of it. It has nothing to do. I tell people all the time, don't look at my marriage as being contagious. Whatever I'm doing doesn't mean you gotta be doing that. You gotta be doing the thing that works for you. And I feel like every partnership, two people have the right to figure that out for them. - And it's so different in norms, in different cultures, in different backgrounds. I mean, like for me and Radhi, we spend a lot of time apart because she likes to be back with her family in London and I travel for work. And so we discovered and agreed very early on in our relationship that when I work, she would often visit her family back in London and she loves it. And she wants to be with her mom and dad and her niece and nephew and her sister and brother-in-law and everyone. And I love my purpose and I want to be traveling. I want to be working. I want to be moving. And I remember so many times in our relationship, people would be like, "Is everything okay?" - And then we'd go back to London. People would be like, "Why is your wife not with you?" Or people would be like, "Why is Jay not with you?" And everyone starts thinking that there may be something going on.
Marriage Is A Partnership That Works For Both Partners (02:05:29)
And it's actually like, "Well, no, this was our agreement. This is something we've sat and talked about and figured things out." And actually we love this thing because we get excited to see each other again. It's refreshing. It works for us. And again, it may not work for anyone else. Someone may say, "I need my partner by my side every day." Fair enough. And someone may say, "I want to travel more than you do or less." But we just found that having honest conversations between us and knowing why we were making certain decisions, even though they were abnormal to our community, the community that we grew up in, where the way we live is very abnormal, even though it's just about time apart, the point was we had an agreement that worked for us. And I think getting to know you both, I can honestly say that I feel like you guys are both always honest and communicative with each other on what your agreements are. - Absolutely. - And that's what we have been discussing today as well, that there's always been that openness to do that. - Oh yeah. Well, I talk about it a lot in the book. - Absolutely. - And I think that a lot of people had a lot of misunderstanding, as we talked about earlier, I believe, in regards to open relationship and being able to be with whoever you want. No, that's not what was happening. And I think a lot of times that people just didn't know that we had agreed to not be together as we were trying to figure out, are we going to be separated? Are we going to be divorced? Then we would reconcile and then we would break up again. And there's all this back and forth between us that we didn't share with the world a lot. And I think now people are just going to have to be okay with our marriage is not traditional in the sense of here we are married, but not. You know what I mean? And as I'm on my path and Will's figuring his thing out, we've decided to hold space for each other. And as we're trying to figure out who we are, Will's lived a lot of his life for other people. I've definitely lived my life a lot for other people and really having this time for me, I need this. What I've been able to discover about myself in the last five years, six years I think now, I've needed this time to really concentrate on me and really developing a relationship with myself. And I feel like the better relationship I have with myself, the better relationship I have with everyone else in my life, including Will. And so I talk about that a lot in the book, just a lot of the misunderstandings that have occurred, rightfully so, because it's been a lot of mixed messaging. And then people are like, "Well, you guys have been on the road car." And all of that, we see you, we never knew there was a breakup. You weren't supposed to, that was between us. And at the end of the day, we're always family, no matter what. So I think that the way we are deciding to be in a union, people are just going to have to get with that. It's probably not going to look like what someone else is doing. And that's just the truth of the matter. - Yeah, we're good with that. - I can definitely say that whatever relationship anyone is in that we all get to a point in our relationships, romantic or otherwise, where growing together becomes the greatest priority. It doesn't matter how we got there. - Yeah, how we got there, what's happening. - It's just that I think that is the key. I was saying to that when I was writing my book, "8 Rules of Love," it was like, the journey I went on through writing it got me to that point of recognizing that yes, the goal of every relationship in my life is simply to teach me something I have been unwilling to learn. And the people that I'm closest to. - Come on, Jay. - Yeah, the people that I'm closest to are the only ones that can push me or pull me to seeing that. Whether it's your mom, whether it's your dad, whether it's your sister, brother, partner, whatever it may be. And for me, I also discovered through the writing of the book that the greatest love story, and I really, really believe this, when I was writing it, I was like, the greatest love stories in the world are actually not romantic. The greatest love stories in the world are generally humans sacrificing themselves in the service of others. Like you see people take on great sacrifice to help people that they may not even meet. Or you see people taking on a mission or a movement that positively affects so many people that they were never even connected to. Like those are the greatest acts of love or the act of love that a parent has for their child, that they extend themselves and express in their unconditionality. You don't really see romantic love being unconditional. Generally. It's interesting that trying to practice and understand what unconditional love is and figuring it out, which we all are, including me. But that journey was really powerful for me to recognize that the more unwilling I become and the more I hide from the lessons that I'm meant to learn, the harder it gets and the harder the lesson gets and the test gets and it just gets bigger and worse. - It gets bigger. And you know, the truth of the matter is, it's like, I'm always gonna be by Will's side. You know, when I think about like, if something ever happened to him, it's like, I'm gonna be right there. If he needs me, I'm gonna be right there, always. That's just an unbreakable fact. That's the bond we have. You know, we've tried to break it in every, which way you can think of. We don't want to be in this lifetime, without one another, it's just not gonna happen. So we're trying to figure out what that looks like for us. And there's something really powerful about that. I gotta be honest, as difficult as it's been, as there's been times that I've hated that fact, having somebody that forces me to have to raise my consciousness, evolve my understanding of love, to deal with the fact of that bond, that's a God-given gift. Because me and God gotta get with that. God has to be my mentor on how to love, will, and myself, and care for the relationship that we have through the eyes of the great supreme, not the way Jada wants it. And so that has been a beautiful surrender that I've really have had to surrender. 'Cause I really feel like it's about the decree. God was like, "Oh no, in this lifetime, "that's your person, like it or not, I don't care." So it set me up to have to break certain ideas of my own personality and my own ego, and really surrender to what the great supreme wants to teach me about love and about patience and about care, kindness, consideration, forgiveness of myself, forgiveness of others. It's deep. And I'm so grateful. It's been a painful journey, no doubt. But the gifts that I get on the other side of that discomfort, and when I get on the other side of the discomfort, I go, "I get it. "I could not have gotten that gift."
Despite Living Separate Lives There Is A Strong Bond (02:13:45)
Or that understanding without that trial you gave me. I just ask God these days, "Can you make it a little easier? "I think I'm getting the groove of things." You know what I mean? I'm just like, "Come on." But I've also realized too that I'm getting to the point that when things, tumultuous things come about, I smile and I go, "Okay, you got a great one for me "on the other side of this bad boy." You know what I mean? You just start to realize it's never failed in that way. I remember asking Swami, I said, "Do you think I should get divorced?" - Wow, I didn't know you asked him that. - I sure did. I asked Swami, and he said, "You know, Jada, "people take their vows very lightly these days." And he said something to the effect that when we stay committed to the vows that we make, we find what we need. And I was like, "Okay." And I just stayed on track. I was just like, "All right, let me just keep digging. "Let me keep going." And he's right for my journey. Can't say for anybody else, for my journey. 'Cause he said, oh, this is what he said. He said, "People end up as friends in the long run "and they're holding hands, walking each other home." And that's how I feel. I feel like Will and I are walking each other home as life partners. - Well, Jada, I wanna share one last thing with you, if I can. So earlier, I had a letter for you from Willow. - Okay. - And I also have a letter from Will. I may need your help with, you may have to reenact some words because I feel like you'll be able to channel Will better than me. I will not try and impersonate him because it won't go well. But this was for you, Jada. I think it was when Will found out that you were coming on the show. - Right. - I was happy that he was able to send this to me and so I could share it with you and I'll just read it. And let's do it in his words. - Okay. - I want to explain this one for us. I know, but I want the audience to know. So he said, "Congrats, Dink." - Okay, so let me just tell you what Dink is. - Yeah, just tell us that before, yeah. - Yeah, let me tell you what Dink means. Oh, he's so crazy. So when we play golf, he's my favorite person to play golf with. So when we play golf, when I hit my driver, it goes, "Dink." So that's why he calls me Dink. - Who's better at golf? - He's definitely better. But I'm getting to a point where I can, you know, I can challenge him in a good way on a couple of holes for sure. - All right, okay. Congrats, Dink. I just turned the final page of "Worthy" and "Damn." Can I get you to do the "Damn?" How would he say it? - Damn. - I just turned the final page of "Worthy" and "Damn." It is amazing to realize that despite having lived most of my life by your side, I still found myself shocked and stunned and caught off guard, laughing, then inspired, then heartbroken. I was all over the place. It's one thing to hear anecdotes at a family barbecue, but it was truly overwhelming to take in your story potently condensed in this way. You are one of one, a rare blend of power and delicate sensitivity. I know it wasn't easy to excavate the depths in that way. I applaud and honor you. If I had read this book 30 years ago, I definitely would have hugged you more. I'll start now.
Jay Reads A Letter From Will (02:18:08)
Welcome to the Authors Club. I love you endlessly. Now go get some Merlot and take a rest. - He know I can't have no Merlot. That's beautiful. - That's why I can't divorce that Joker. - Yeah. - There's one line that really hit me. And I wanna hear obviously how you felt, but he said, if I had read this book 30 years ago, I definitely would have hugged you more. I'll start now. How did it feel listening to parts of that? - You know, one of the things I talk about in the book a lot is perspective. When we got married, Will had to be 28, 29. We had such different needs, no right or wrong. You know, Will was very driven, but I got married because I was pregnant and I wanted a family. And I must say that was the one thing. We both wanted to create a family we never had, but what we thought took having a healthy family, Will believed, man, as long as I get out here, make money, get the biggest house, make sure you guys don't need anything, that's how you have a great family. And my thing was like, no, but love and, you know, me and you, we gotta do do do do. Everything was centered around feelings, love, do do do do. We just couldn't find agreement because we thought we had two different goals around what it took. And so to hear him say that he would have hugged me more is me hearing him say he would have taken a bit more time to listen and understand. And that doesn't mean that he would have to be off his path, but just to take a little bit more time to listen and understand. And I think when we were young, 'cause that was the same way. I mean, when we were young, you just think your way is the only way. And I think that where Will and I are getting to now is understanding that our ways, my way is just one way, his way is just one way. And then how do we listen to each other more to blend those ways? I was very careful in not going into romanticized regret after hearing that line, "I wish I could have hugged you more, "but I will do so now," right? I was like, "No, no, no.
Married Young With Different Needs & Visions For The Family (02:21:15)
"You're not gonna go into romanticized regret." - Wow. - Because what I know as a fact is that every step, everything that has transpired between us has been absolutely perfect. All the beauty and all the ugly to get us to a place that we're coming to. And you could go, "Oh, I wish that I had known this "when I was younger." That's the whole point of youth. You don't know. You know what I mean? And then to really just to be able to embrace like this time in my life and in his life and coming into newfound wisdom and enjoy that. But I'm so glad that getting closer to that blend between us, and that's what I'm saying. It's like, who else am I gonna grow with like that? And be able to have that deep cherished moment of like when you can look back at where you were 30 years ago and where we've traveled to get to this moment right here, right now, of this beautiful family. Without him, I wouldn't have had Jaden, Willow, Trey. Oh my gosh. There are no greater treasures than those three. And then all of the magnificent experiences he and I have had together, the great ones and the not so great ones. But they're ours, part of our tapestry. One thing I talk about in the book, going to see Ruby Dee when I needed some marital advice. And she told me, "Laugh now, "because you're gonna laugh later." And it's so true. I didn't know what she was talking about then. But she'd been married at that time for 50 some years. Ozzy was gone, Ozzy Davis had passed on. And one of the things she said to me, I said, "What's one of your biggest regrets?" And she said, "I wished I had laughed with him more." And that never leaves my mind to just find ways to get through the bumpies, to get through the bumpy stuff. And let's get back to some laughter. And some joy. - Jada, I'm gonna give this to you. In case you wanna read it again. - Yeah. - And I wanna thank you for your vulnerability, your openness today, and the vulnerability in the book that you shared so profoundly today. But the book, you get to weave the tapestry together and the lessons and where they come in your life. And I really believe that anyone who will read this book will gain access to a much deeper understanding of themselves as a mirror, and also get an opportunity to reframe, rethink, renew ideas, perspective, thoughts about their own journey. - That is all that I want. Like, we have so much fear around allowing people their journeys because we can tend to get hurt within them along the way, but it's inevitable. And the more that we can have acceptance for the reality that life is a journey, nobody is meant to be perfect. It baffles me. Well, actually, let me take that back. It doesn't baffle me 'cause I've been there. It doesn't baffle me. I've been there where just being afraid to allow what is to be, and that is embracing our humanness and learning how to love each other through our humanness, all this cancel culture and all of this, that is purely a rejection of aspects of ourselves and a rejection of humanness. And that's where unconditional love has its most power. But if we can learn to do that with us, starting with ourselves, learning to have unconditional love for ourselves and have acceptance for our journey. And that's what I want from this book. I'm just putting it out there like, A, this is what my journey looks like, and it ain't cute. This is what I've learned along the way, and this is how I learned how to gain self-worth and to feel worthy about it all. - About it all. - About it all, Jay. Every piece of it. And that's all I want for everybody else. It's okay. It's okay. You don't have to come down on yourself. And just because we stumble and we might lose our way doesn't mean we're lost forever. Thank you, Charles Xavier from X-Men for that statement. - I love X-Men. - I do too. Charles laid it out just like that. I had to put that quote in my book. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - But it's true. And that's all I want for everybody. We are all worthy, embracing it all, every aspect of our journey. That is the thing that makes us worthy. - We're hard on others because we're so hard on ourselves. We're hard on ourselves because we're so hard on others. And that cycle keeps repeating itself. Point out someone's flaw because we're pointing them out in ourselves. But not looking at the growth we're trying to make and the growth someone else is trying to make. The healing journey that they're on and the healing journey that we're on. And as you were just saying that, what came to my mind was that we all have to take the same steps, but on our own path. And I think what this book does so gracefully is show your steps, which reminds us all that even if we trip and we fall, which we inevitably will, there's still another step after that, that we can take.
Personal Growth And Acceptance
The Fear Of Embracing Our Humanness (02:27:27)
And that ultimate step is what you just so beautifully put, the step of recognizing that all of it was worthy. All of it was part of that journey towards self-worth. - And that you're loved. You're loved and you're held, no matter what. Through all of the scrutiny and through all of the, I don't know, stones that were thrown at me, as painful as all of that was, what a beautiful gauntlet to get me to the understanding that it's only our self-judgment that's the true enemy. And I got to cure so much of my own self-judgment through all of that. It's almost like being like Wonder Woman, you know, pew, pew, pew, you know what I mean? It's like the great supreme makes it so that you're invincible to all the criticism, anything else anybody has to say about you. When you get that true sense of worthiness, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks, doesn't matter what other misunderstandings are happening. And I want that for everybody. It's a superpower, but it's not given without the trial. It's beautiful, it's beautiful, it's beautiful. Thank you, I'm so grateful. And thank you, Jay. - Thank you, Jay. - Yeah, thank you, Jay. You've been so good to me through it all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. So grateful to you too as well for letting me be a small part of the journey because it's one that you give me the bravery to tread myself, so thank you. If you loved this episode, you'll love my interview with Will Smith on owning your truth and unlocking the power of manifestation. - Anybody who hasn't spoken to their parents or their brother, call them right now. Don't think you're going to have a chance to call them tomorrow or next week. That opportunity with my father changed every relationship in my life.