There is a huge amount of wisdom inside each of us. Likely enough wisdom to independently advise ourselves brilliantly on nearly everything in life. If we spoke to ourselves as gently, lovingly and wisely as we do to our friends and family, and if we actually listened to our own advice, I think we would all be really well-adjusted and zen-like.
Imagine, for example, if you could counsel your high school self on a few things. I'd tell myself to stop caring about what those other knuckleheads thought about me and just live my own wild and wonderful life. My young self would be advised to choose a wider variety of friends and to explore more in the arts. I might also tell myself those striped elephant bell pants were not flattering at all. And to be nicer to my sisters, because in the future I would think they were the bomb-diggity!
What things might you tell yourself when you first became a parent? How about not to fret so much about the mess, and to enjoy the sweetness of babies because they grow up so fast...and to go out and leave the kiddo with a sitter now and then, because it is good for everyone to have some separation. I would tell my young parental self to keep having interests outside of parenthood, too. Because they do grow up, and life needs to remain full and interesting after they are gone. And that forcing them to eat asparagus isn't really worth the battle.
When I paint, sometimes I think the characters are young versions of me giving advice to my older self. Like this piece, which tells me there is a wild divine child inside of me who loves to play in the woods and is both frightened and exhilarated by the woods at night, and I haven't given her much time in the trees lately. I will take her advice and get myself outside for some nature time.
In a true act of universal conspiracy of the very best kind, I came across a way to really give my future self some advice, just in case my 60 or 70 or 80 year-old self is in need of a voice from the past and a little wisdom from my own youth. At www.futureme.org , you can send your future self an email. It was interesting how really thoughtful I became in crafting just the right words for myself in the future - kinder, gentler words than my normal inner dialogue. As if I were sending it to someone else. It was a little "aha" moment for me.
If you decide to give it a try, I'd be curious to know - how did it feel writing to your future self?