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Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 14:53:55 -0800
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Dove with Branch
December 24, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

Welcome and Merry Christmas!

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have a brother who is a problem for me. He is irresponsible. He cannot hold a job and gets in trouble for things like not paying his bills and traffic tickets. The problem for me is that every time he gets in serious trouble he comes to me to bail him out. I don't want to keep supporting his bad habits but I always feel guilty and give in. What do you suggest? - Fred in Austin

Dear Fred, The answer is to give love and emotional support always and think carefully about the other support you give. Ask yourself if you are being caring or enabling? Sometimes this is a very difficult question. If you are having difficulty with this issue talk to some outside the problem. If you need a place to seek help look up Al-anon. You are facing the same problems as someone who has an alcoholic in their life. Above all, do not feel guilty for problems you have no responsibility for. - the Dean

Dear Dean, When my husband tells me what he thinks should be done, I often get very upset at him. I know he is trying to be helpful, but I can solve my own problems. I just want someone to hear my concerns. He still keeps on doing this even though he knows it upsets me. I have told him I just want him to listen without giving advice, but he does it anyway. How can I get him to stop? - Candice in Santa Rosa

Dear Candice, If you don't want his help and are upset when he tries to offer it, maybe you shouldn't keep telling him your problems? It might be more effective for you if you would let him offer advice, and then either use it or reject it as you see fit. Not seeking or listening to outside advice only reduces our effectiveness in dealing with a problem. It would be helpful if he could listen without giving advice, but that is his problem. Try not to make it yours. - 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 need to re-examine assumptions about our foreign policy objectives is demonstrated by our self- centered definition of national security. Typically political leaders and journalists alike suggest that the primary goal of foreign policy is national security, and only after that has been assured should we worry about our relationships with other countries. How we are doing is what counts instead of how the world is doing.

Such thinking assumes that we can be secure while other nations are insecure - that somehow we can be safe regardless of the attitude of other nations. In any war missiles will go both ways. There is no way to make the world safe for ourselves unless we make it safe for other nations as well. We must take responsibility for their security problems as well. We can not make our end of the boat safer by making the other end more likely to capsize.

We have to find out what the other side's (calling them the other side is another problem) legitimate concerns are in order to solve our own. At every level we need to re-examine our working assumptions. We want to do more than survive. We want to be able to enjoy life. We are not seeking to win a war. We are seeking to gain peace. Peace for only a special few will not survive.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

It is within the power of each of us to have a life in which we always choose to respond from our positive emotions and no longer experience the negative ones. Not having anger is such a freeing feeling. You never have to go to bed at night trying to figure out how to get even. You no longer have to judge how other people are acting. You just accept the world as it is presented to you. You spend your time thinking about the best way to make it work for you. You are able to focus on making decisions that allow you to fully enjoy life. And you do fully enjoy life.

Just knowing that a life free of fear and anger is available to you once you make the choice to enjoy it; will make you feel better immediately. Choose to take control of your own life. Don't leave it in the hands of anyone who happens to annoy you. Although opportunities to be angry will be offered to you at every turn, you always have the option of refusing to accept them. When you realize that it is your own thinking that has to change, and not other people's behavior, you become capable of making the choice to take control of your anger and your life.

The management of our emotions is subject to the laws of learning, as is everything else we do. Once we learn that a more desirable way to deal with our emotions is available, and we see the value in developing more effective thinking, we are motivated to make the change. Once we learn how to make the change, it is just a matter of doing the work.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I realize that it is my own thinking that upsets me.

Tuesday: I realize that if I change my thinking it is no longer necessary to be upset.

Wednesday: I recognize the value of not becoming upset when things happen.

Thursday: I recognize that I am capable of changing the way I think about things.

Friday: I see the value of no longer becoming upset by things.

Saturday: I choose to take control of my own feelings and not let then be controlled by the actions of others.

Sunday: I resolve that when I become upset I will learn new positive thoughts to replace the upsetting ones.

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
 

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I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

 

Contact Information

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