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Oprah: Do your children teach you a lot?

Madonna: Absolutely. My daughter is a daily reminder of the issues I have to work on—being too consumed with the way I look and what people think of me, feeling insecure, all that stuff.

Oprah: You've said your daughter is going through a thing with her hair.

Madonna: She's a bit more obsessed with her hair than I'd like her to be. I don't know where that comes from. [Laughing.] Whenever I catch myself feeling intolerant toward my daughter, I realize she's just showing me who I am.

Oprah: A few months back, Anne Lamott wrote a piece for my magazine about being 49. I'll read part of it: "I have survived so much loss, as all of us have by our 40s—my parents, dear friends, my pets.... If you haven't already, you will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of a beloved person. But this is also the good news. They live forever, in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through. It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather is cold—but you learn to dance with the limp." Have you perfected the limp from losing your mother when you were young?

Madonna: I've learned to make it work for me. I've taken that longing, that searching, that yearning for answers, and I've turned it out to the world. That's one reason I'm as insatiable for knowledge as I am. I'm looking to fill myself up.

Oprah: You seem so different from when I interviewed you five years ago. Really.

Madonna: Well, good. I was a whole different person back then.

Oprah: What's one thing that people misunderstand about you, Madonna?

Madonna: Some believe I don't care what others think. I'm not as hard as everyone thinks I am.

Oprah: What do you know for sure?

Madonna: That my husband is my soul mate. That I'm going to meet my mother again someday. That there are no mistakes or accidents. That consciousness is everything and that all things begin with a thought. That we are responsible for our own fate, we reap what we sow, we get what we give, we pull in what we put out. I know these things for sure.

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