A few weeks ago I wrote a letter to myself, from my future self.
I know, it sounds weird. And when I started, I felt kind of ridiculous. But it turned out to be an amazing, unique experience, unlike anything I’ve experienced before.
Before I started writing, I imagined the person I want to be in the future. The me who has achieved all my goals and is the product of all the things I’m trying to create in my life right now. She knows every pitfall and trial ahead of me. And she’s made it through all of them.
After my original hesitation and awkwardness, the words just started to flow. It felt like I had tapped into who I really am, at my core. And the advice I gave myself was exactly what I needed to hear.
A lot of emotion came up while I was writing this letter. I felt unconditional love and compassion for myself. I felt understanding and empathy. I felt wise beyond my current life experience.
When I was done writing, I went back and read it to myself. This time the emotions were somewhat different because I was now on the receiving end of this letter. I felt like I was getting advice from the person I trusted most in the entire world. Someone who loved me unconditionally and would never lead me astray. I felt deeply comforted and at peace.
So often, we worry about what everyone else thinks. We get advice from people who can’t truly know what we’re going through and what it feels like to be us. Even when it’s someone we’re really close to, they still can’t really know. Getting advice from my future self was a spiritual experience for me.
The other thing I found incredibly fascinating was what I chose to give myself advice about, the things I mentioned specifically. It clarified what things are the most important to me, and what things don’t really matter that much. Too often we spend all of our energy on things that just don’t matter.
My older boys spend all their free time playing video games. The youngest doesn’t have the same love and wants them to stop and play with him instead. They usually don’t. But sometimes I’ll say “what if he died in a car accident tomorrow? How would you feel about your choice to play video games instead of playing with him?”
All of us do this. It might not be as obvious. And it might be on things we deem more worthy of our time than video games. And yet… are they really that important?
I challenge you to try this. It was a life-changing experience for me. And it’s an experience I plan to repeat as I go through the trials of life. I will always turn to God first. But from now on, I think I’ll turn to me second.