Dove with Branch
March 29, 2010 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, My friend is always having problems in his life and I always try to help him. He thinks life never treats him fair. He frequently asks for help and I do even though I am getting tired of it. The problem is that no matter how hard I try he doesnt appreciate it. He asks for my advice, never follows it, and then he blames me when it doesnt work out. This upsets me. How can I get him to appreciate what I do for him?  Gordon in VA

Dear Gordon, You probably cant. You can however learn not to expect or require his appreciation. You can learn to look at your advice as given with love and without strings of appreciation attached. If this doesnt work for you, and you want to retain him as a friend, try telling him that you have no more advice to give, or that it is given only when appreciated. If you still feel a need to help, and to be appreciated, it might pay to find a different friend. Friendship should be based on love, and without stress.- the Dean

Dear Dean, I have a friend who always must be right. If she makes a statement she will defend it as true no matter what, even when it is easy for everyone else to see that she is wrong. She refuses to change her mind even when it is obvious to everyone else that she is wrong. How can I get her to stop being that way?  Jallice in CA

Dear Jallice, Ask yourself do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? As a friend you can let her know that she is doing this, and how other people react to it. But as a friend you can also just accept this and allow her to be wrong without argument when you know she wont listen. Just accepting her quirky little ways could make life more fun for you.  the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

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

As individuals we always make choices according to our beliefs. If we believe that the world is a dangerous place, and that everyone is out to get us, then we act accordingly. And the world will respond accordingly. Things will always end up being the way we think they are - just because we think they are that way. When we dont believe that we can have the things we

Most of us want to have peace in our life and in the world as well. The problem is we view the world as a place where others want to take advantage of us or rule over us. Many others see the world in the same way. As a result we end up distrusting the motives of others and believe we have to defend ourselves from them. Most people want to be loved but dont act loving! All we have to do to have a peaceful world is to believe and act as if that is what everyone wants.

When someone does a bad thing, what we really want is that they never do such a thing again. If we search together for a new way of responding we can solve this problem. When we believe that they must be punished for their act; and respond accordingly; they take it as an act of aggression, and vow to continue the fight. When they learn to trust our peaceful motives they will respond with trust and we can then solve our differences in a loving way.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We feel upset when we dont deal with unfinished business from the past. As we continue to hold onto our anger, our unforgiving thoughts become the cause of our suffering, and we continue to hurt. The only remedy for this pain and resentment is forgiveness. We can be free of suffering by letting go of the past. Becoming a happy person is really not possible until you free yourself from your anger and forgive.

If you find yourself fearful that what has happened in the past will happen in the future, try taking the opposite attitude  that things will be better now that you have learned the lesson inspired by the negative experience. Which attitude is the most productive- holding onto anger and being miserable, or practicing forgiveness and learning from the experience? Why not consider the person who wronged you" as a teacher? If you look upon them as a teacher of one of lifes lessons, it will be much easier to forgive them. Be thankful for the lesson. View the situation from the perspective of how you dealt with it rather than what was done to you. < p align="justify">

To decide not to forgive is to decide to suffer. By shifting your perspective and refusing to blame others, or to carry any resentment, you open yourself to a happier existence. Forgiveness is letting go of all hope that we can somehow fix the past. We have all been hurt by the actions of others. It is always easy to justify your anger, but even with the strongest of justifications, you will never be happy if you hold onto the anger. The anger will have won out, and you will have lost, no matter how strong your case.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the people that you have not forgiven for something they have done.

Tuesday: Find a new way of thinking about them that forgives the past behavior.

Wednesday: Think about all of the things that have happened in the world that you are angry about.

Thursday: Find a new way of thinking about them that releases your anger.

Friday: Think about the things you have done that you have not forgiven yourself for.

Saturday: Resolve to look at your past mistakes as lessons and release them being thankful for the lessons.

Sunday: Choose to always forgive others and yourself for any poor choices that they or you make.

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
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook Emotional Intelligence  Taking Control of Your Life.

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a Sponsor a School program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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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

 

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