Thursday, May 16, 2013


Dear Temple,
I hope this note finds you well and happy. I've been doing a lot of reading lately. I've begun Hemingway's Farewell to Arms. The title should have been 'Farewell to Legs' with how its starting. I think I read it already a long time ago - maybe high school. Whatever.
I'm also on a bit of a graphic novel kick. I'm reading a lot of Batman and Avengers. Batman rules. I've also just finished a really good one by Neil Gaiman called Death. It's worth a look.
I've heard you've been a bit down lately. I have too. Maybe there's something in the air. Most of the time when I feel down I don't really know how to explain why I feel this way. It's not that I don't want to feel better. I just don't. The problem with not being able to explain the 'why' behind how you're feeling is that if you can pinpoint the problem - you'll be hard pressed to come up with the solution.
Carl Rogers was a Psychologist whom I've been recently studying that really seems to speak to me and has been a help when I'm low. Roger said that we all have an image of ourselves of what we would like to be like - an ideal. You, of course, are perfect. I'm not talking about you - this is about me. Anyway, if how we see ourselves is close to our ideal self consistently then the higher our sense of self-worth is. Convexly, (convexly?) if our life experiences are unacceptable and our ideal image is nothing to what we see ourselves to be - our self worth is denied since we are in a state of incongruence. This is all based on how we see ourselves (self-image), how we think about ourselves (self-esteem), and who we would like to be (ideal self).
As you can probably guess, Rogers was not much on behaviorism or psychoanalysis. His theory was that people behaved as they did because of how they perceived their situation. Nobody, Temple, knows how you perceive your situation and your life. You are the expert on that. Ever have anyone tell you how you should feel, think or act in a situation where you felt just the opposite? They are basing their views of how you should feel on their own situations - not yours.
You have good instincts and plenty of life lessons beyond your years already. Trust your instincts. Trust yourself.
One of the determining factors of reaching self-actualization (Maslow bomb! - think fullest potential) is your environment. When you're a kid you don't get much call on the environment you grow up in. You're getting older now and you've got a pretty good handle on what environments are healthy and which ones aren't. You know who loves you and who's acting in their own selfish interests. You know who keeps you safe and who handles your care with disregard. The older you get, the more you will have charge over where you go, what you do and who you choose to be around. Trust your instincts on this. Trust yourself.
I love you much and miss you always,
Uncle Justin

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