Dove with Branch
May 10, 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, We have two wonderful children. They are very active in school and community activities. My wife is busy taking them to practice and doing all the other things necessary to support them. She says she is so busy with the kids that she never has time to do the housekeeping. We entertain guests at home often because of my business and we need our home to look nice. How can I make her realize the importance of this so that she has the house looking nice when company arrives? - Sam in CA

Dear Sam, You are not the boss. You shouldn't be making your wife understand anything. You have a need for a clean house. There are four of you who can each clean all or part of it. You have many solutions besides requiring your wife to do it. I am sure she already understands your need for a clean house. I suggest you find a positive way for her to be able to accomplish this or find another way to get it done. Anyone can clean the house only your wife is available to be a loving mother. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have retired and I am at home during the day. I find my wife never does the breakfast dishes until just before she starts dinner. The sink looks like a mess and makes it difficult to fix a snack. How can I get her to clean it up? - George in AZ

Dear George, You can suggest doing something that she wants done in return for her doing the dishes. Better yet, do the dishes for her in trade for some other chore. You could just do the dishes in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more to do while you are at it? You could even decide that leaving dirty dishes in the sink is acceptable. The dishes in the sink are a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding that others do things your way are not positive problem solving skills. - the Dean

 

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

Over the centuries we have fought many wars in the name of freedom. People become convinced that someone is controlling, or trying to control their freedom and they are willing to go to war to gain, or protect it. We think of freedom as a circumstance of our life rather than a quality of life. We often forget that freedom is more about how we feel than our actual limitations.

When we see ourselves as free then we are free, regardless of the circumstances of our condition. When we think we are free, then we refuse to be subjugated by anyone or anything. We can even be free when we are in jail if we are there because we have chosen the acts that put us there. Freedom is a state of mind not a circumstance of life.

Freedom is a quality of life that others cannot give or take away. It is the nature of who we are. We choose to be free or not, and are only subjugated when we accept not being free. Just because others in the past have accepted not being free does not mean that we must. We lose our freedom whenever we try to take it away from others, because that is based on the belief that people can be subjugated which is a belief that creates our own fear of subjugation. When we as individual humans truly embrace freedom, then war will no longer exist.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
    World Peace

We feel upset when we don't 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 life's 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.

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." It will help you to forgive if you take the position that, in your life, no anger is justified.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
    Left Arrow

Monday: Realize that there is nothing in this world that requires you to be angry.

Tuesday: Think of the people in your family you have not forgiven for things that they have done.

Wednesday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone in your family.

Thursday: Think about all of the people in your life you have not forgiven for things that they have done.

Friday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone.

Saturday: Release all anger that you hold against any institution, government, group or situation in the world.

Sunday: Resolve to always release any anger whenever it is experienced.

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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