What would you say to your younger or older self if you could talk with him/her?

What would you say to your younger self if you could talk with him/her?

One of my favorite movies, Disney’s The Kid, with Bruce Willis and Spencer Breslin. Of course, the idea of being able to converse with yourself is sort of insane, This movie makes it almost believable!

Bruce Willis plays Russ Duritz, an image expert who helps people make modifications to their physical appearance as well as coaching them how to behave to get the best results in their field. He is quite successful helping others fix their lives but his bravado hides his own life failures. Early in the movie, Russ gets visited by a kid who turns out to be his younger self.

Anyway, when young and old Russ/Rusty get to know one another, at first elder version is annoyed with the younger version, even disgusted. As young Rusty (Spencer Breslin) shows up over and over again, Russ (Bruce Willis) begins to have “deja vu” moments that upset him. In time, he finds out what point in his life he stops remembering why he became hard and cynical. He guides his younger self through some trying times but in the end, he heals emotional pain and mental blocks by facing the pain.

My favorite scene is when older Russ is talking to a friendly newscaster, Deidre (Jean Smart). He is telling her he’s seeing his younger self and interacting with him she sort of smiles. When she tells him that his younger self was there to talk to/teach him, not the other way around, he falls silent with a dumbfounded look.

I love that. What could we learn from reliving a part of our childhood? What would you say to your younger self?

I for one, have learned to practice parenting myself, where in my mind, go back to younger versions of me and either comfort yourself or take the younger you on a walk to meet older, presumably more successful aspects of yourself. I love this. The best time for me to do this is when I travel back and visit 5-year-old Cheryl who had just been laughed at and humiliated by some bullies, and take her for a walk through my history, showing her all the times the older Cheryl had succeeded at one thing or other. Big things and small, like:

  • earning badges in Girl Scouts
  • getting all A’s in school (well, there were some B’s too)
  • learning piano and guitar
  • singing in choir and traveling with the choir
  • finishing high school and taking two years of college
  • learning to cook for a large group
  • marrying a fine, good man
  • having nine fabulous children
  • writing and publishing three books, which still earn royalties

I could go on and while you might think those are big accomplishments, it meant a lot too that young Cheryl. She grew up that day.

Anytime, I feel worthless, I travel back and look at my history. I feel proud.

What would you say to your younger/older self?

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