Have you ever needed advice and wanted to talk something over with someone, but you didn’t know who to choose? Some of the things that can worry a person are personal. And yet one needs to air one’s feelings. And sometimes one simply needs advice.
I had a problem once of just this sort. It was something very pressing and also very personal. I wanted to get wise counsel, but I couldn’t think where to turn. In my head I considered various people to whom I might turn, yet I found reasons in each case why discussing my problem with them would create only further problems. I thought about “professional” advice, such as one gets from a psychologist. But I must admit, I’m a bit skeptical about all that. Anyway, at the time, I couldn’t afford it.
Amazing thing, though! In sifting through my thoughts, in particular as I imagined what each person might say to my problem, I found myself listening in upon numerous imaginary conversations. It opened a door of thought and helped me see my problem from the imaginary perspective of numerous fictional others. And that experience of itself revealed solutions to my crisis that I had not seen before.
You can give yourself wise counsel. One way is to write to yourself. Write a letter to yourself and perhaps even answer it! Imagine the various commonplaces, the ideas that you are likely to hear and respond to them each in turn. You can sing your own version of the old song, “I’m going to sit right down and write myself a letter/And make believe it came from you ….” and you can be both sender and recipient.
You can write a letter to your future self and it’s a surprising form of correspondence. You can give the wise counsel that you need to hear, and you can preserve your privacy in the bargain. And you don’t even have to worry about the postage!
[Top of the post: Jan Vermeer. Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid. c.1670. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.]