Dove with Branch
February 09, 2009 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I keep and enjoy displaying keepsakes from the past. My husband is concerned that some were gifts given to me by old boyfriends. He feels that it is inappropriate for me to even keep them. I don't have any attachment to the boy friends and wouldn't even think of them unless he mentioned it. I do like the gifts and don't want to throw them away. Should I do it anyway just to keep the peace? - Suzanne in WA

Dear Suzanne, The real problem seems to be your husband's jealousy. He should be working on getting over his jealousy. A successful marriage depends on trust. If he is willing to work on the problem you could help him out by giving away, or at least putting away the relevant gifts. Perhaps a compromise, such as putting away the gifts might be helpful if he agrees to work on his problem in return. Neither of you are perfect. Helping each other to get better is the basis of a good relationship. Perhaps there will be a time when you can again display them with his blessing. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We have been married for seven years. Every holiday my wife insists that we have dinner with her parents. I would be happy if we take turns but she says she doesn't enjoy dinner with my family. I enjoy my family and miss being with them. How can I get her to have holiday dinners with my family half of the time? - Rubin in GA

Dear Rubin, She may not be willing to go to your family but that shouldn't stop you from going. If you feel strongly that you should share the family dinners and she refuses you can go alone when it is your parent's turn. If you give in to her demands for the sake of the marriage then you may not have the kind of relationship you desire. If you want a relationship that is equal and she wants to be boss then something needs to change. Try to work with her to find an answer. Just letting her always decide what the two of you do is not good unless you want it that way, and obviously you don't. - 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

We have freedom of speech in this country and that is a wonderful thing. What we don't have is an acceptance of free speech. We certainly have the right to not accept what the other person has said, and to let them know that we disagree with them. We seem to do this often and vigorously.

The problem we have is that emotionally we often don't tolerate well the right of others to exercise this right. When someone says something we don't like we often get insulted and tell them they are wrong for talking that way. We look at things as insulting and inappropriate when someone has an honest opinion that disagrees with our own. We think they shouldn't be saying that. This is pretty much the same as thinking "they are not free to exercise their rights in a way I, or others find objectionable."

We don't need to get into judgment and a battle of the wills simply because someone disagrees with us. We will be more effective in our own life, and for our society, if we simply look for the truth in what the other person is saying and respond only with our own truth in a positive way. Just because you disagree with someone is no reason to feel that they are an enemy in some way. We have given them the right to speak their mind. Our society will interrelate more effective if we truly honor that right.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If we think we must have a certain result, then we are addicted to the outcome. If we desire a certain result, we have a preference. If we have no preference as to what the results will be then it is easy to be accepting. If we are accepting, then we have no negative emotions attached to the event or to the outcome. We can also learn that we do not have to be emotionally attached to the outcome, even when we have a preference. We can accept the idea that we are willing to try things the other person's way.

For everything that happens in our life, there are three possibilities: (1) We can change it, (2) We can leave it, or (3) We can accept it. With each event in our life we need to make this choice. For example; consider your work. You may not be happy with it just the way it is. Is there a way you might change it to make it better? If that is not possible, then your next choice might be to leave it. That may not be possible for the present, because you may need the work in order to eat, or pay the rent. You then can choose to accept your work, or you may choose to make a plan to change to new employment in the future. If you choose to make a change later, then you need to make the decision to accept your work for now. As with all of life's experiences, if we don't find a way to make our work experience a positive one, then we are left with negative emotions in our lives.

To remove any anger or other negative emotions from your life, you need to apply this principle of change it, leave it, or accept it each time you need to make a choice. The important thing is to remember that if you can't change something and are not going to leave it that the only choice left for you is to accept it.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I release all anger from my life..

Tuesday: Today I celebrate my commitment to live in peace.

Wednesday: Every day I join others in a prayer for world peace.

Thursday: Today I accept the viewpoints of others as valid for them.

Friday: Today I agree to understand the viewpoints of others.

Saturday: Today I choose to feel loving toward those whom I disagree with.

Sunday: Today I choose to love the world and appreciate my life experience.

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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