The Timeless Conversation

Dave Cortright
3 min readApr 21, 2023


a poem by Dave Cortright

— <sigh>

I sense your struggle

— I’m fine

It’s ok to struggle

We all struggle from time to time

You don’t have to go through it alone

— I can manage myself

I understand

I am here for you

When you are ready


— I’m struggling

You are courageous to admit that

Tell me more

— I have so much sorrow

Share it with me

We can work through it together

— I have no hope

Take some of mine

I have more than enough for both of us

— I am afraid

I am with you in your fear

You are not alone

— I am not worthy

I would not be here if you weren’t worthy

Even though you do not believe it

My presence proves otherwise


— Why are you doing this?

I am you

Your suffering is my suffering

We suffer together

— I don’t understand

The only difference between you and me is time

You are me in the past

I am you in the future

— That doesn’t make sense

I understand

In time you will gain the wisdom I now possess

You will become me

— I could never become you

You believe that now

I did too when I was you

When I was talking to future me

Then I grew older

And I became him

Finally I Knew what he meant

You will too, in time

— I don’t see it

Because it is not yet time for you to see

Just be with me now

And share your struggle

There is nothing more to do

[long pause]

— I am so angry and scared and sad and full of shame

I see you

I see your pain

I accept it all

This doesn’t mean you’re broken

This doesn’t mean you’re unworthy

On the contrary

It is precisely this

That makes you human

And makes you worthy

— I don’t know how to do this

Yet here you are doing it

Uncertainty is normal

Embrace it

Be open

Be truthful

Be patient

But most importantly

Be present in the conversation


— How can I ever repay you?

You owe me nothing

When you become your future self

You will meet your past self

Just as I am here in this moment with you

Just as my future self was there with me

And then you will Know

It is them whom you owe


[time passes]

— I think I’m ready… but how will I know my younger me?

If you look with care and compassion

You will see they are ALL you

At different stages

On different timelines

Once you let go of yourself in the present

You will see — not separate individuals at one moment in time

But one being at all moments of time

Some call this god, but it is beyond labels and language



Dave Cortright

Professional coach, effective altruist and audaciously optimistic about helping to fix the global mental health crisis.