Dove with Branch
February 19, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I know you have heard this story before, but my husband left me for his secretary about six months ago. I have filed for divorce and am trying to get on with my life the best I can. Since that time my husband has told me that he has come to his senses and made a great mistake in leaving me and the children. I don’t hate him and the children want him back, but I don’t want to go through the pain of this ever again. Should I consider taking him back so that our children have a father in the home again? – Carol in Texas

Dear Carol, You can consider it, but it’s not a step I would take easily. If you simply take him back without getting to the root of the problem there is a good chance that the behavior might be repeated. Make it clear to him that the problem that resulted in this behavior must be corrected. Start by having him go to counseling for at least three months. After that the two of you go to couples counseling until you and the counselor agree that you are ready to experience a loving, trusting relationship. Don’t take the risk of getting together until you come to this point. Learn to communicate honestly and trust each other before you resume the relationship. If you resume the relationship make regular status checks and resolve problems as they arise. – the Dean

Dear Dean, Regarding your answer to Kate (1/22) it is important what kind of clothing we wear when we are working in an office and representing our family and if the clothing she is wearing does not properly represent the family then she should wear something appropriate. Her husband wants her to wear certain clothes for a reason. She should pay attention to what he wants her to wear. – Kelly C

Dear Kelly, That is all true, but she is the decider of what she wears, not her husband. He may want to maintain a certain appearance or social status. If she agrees with that, or has agreed to that fine, but if she wants to do otherwise she is free to do so. Different choices create different results. We should be aware and make the best choice for ourselves. What our mate wishes should be a part of our consideration, but not necessarily the deciding factor. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

The time of the Vietnam War was a time of many protest movements against the war. The cold war was a time of ban the bomb movements. The thing most of these movements had in common was that they were resistance movements against what was going on. The people who were involved were called activists. An activist thus became someone who didn’t like what was happening and was fighting for change in the status quo.

I see a different thing appearing more often in the peace movement today. Many of those who are working for peace are working only for positive change. While they are often called activists they are not resisting what is happening. They are just trying to change the consciousness of our society so that we choose a nonviolent resolution to our conflicts. Resolution of the conflict becomes more important to them than retribution for the “wrong.”

I look at this as a truly positive change in our social outlook. Peaceful resolution to problems is possible. And it produces a happier, less stressed society with more of its energy and resources dedicated to the enjoyment of life, than to the protection of life. War is wasteful and no longer necessary, once we are willing to give up being the “boss of who does what.”

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We know our opinions stem from our thoughts, not from external truth. So, perhaps we shouldn’t go to battle over our truths as we so often do. Although deeply held, your truths are not necessarily those of others. When you come to terms with this reality and place feeling good above the need to be right, you’ll be taking a giant step toward eradicating the angry conflicts in your life.

The need to be right is also the need to prevail. We live in a competitive society, and we like to be winners. Part of being right is winning the conflict. Realize this, and know that your desire to be right is your ego trying to win another contest. Reframe your thinking to accept the idea that we are all in this together. Expect that others will think differently and that their perception of events will not be the same as yours. Accept their differences with joy. If we were all the same it would be like living in “Pleasantville,” the movie about life in the suburbs where everything is the same - dull, and colorless.

So how might you change your way of looking at things to take into consideration someone else’s perceptions – and to wind up with a more harmonious result? Imagine someone using a cell phone in a restaurant where you are having dinner. They are chatting away somewhat loudly and this upsets you because you think they are making too much noise and being rude. But what if you came up with a new way of looking at the same situation – forced yourself, in other words, to perceive this unpleasant situation in a new, more pleasant light. That light might look something like this. “I’m going to imagine that this cell phone person is simply having a conversation with a real live dinner guest, and he is speaking as loudly as he is in fact speaking on the phone. I wouldn’t be disturbed by the live conversation scenario – so why should I be disturbed by the cell phone exchange?” In this example by changing our perception of the event, we have succeeded in changing our response to it – from angry to accepting.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I listen to peaceful music.

Tuesday: Today I release stress.

Wednesday: Today I speak in a calm and loving tone of voice.

Thursday: Today I praise someone for their efforts.

Friday: Today I use words that lift and inspire me.

Saturday: Today I speak my truth, honestly and from the heart.

Sunday: Today I commit an act of kindness toward our planet.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

My Phone Seminar for this week is: What do you want? . . . You want to be loved!

What we all want is to be loved. Learn how to give and receive the love that you want in your life. Learn how to not drive that love away with your anger.

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