Dove with Branch
February 25, 2013 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,
 
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My husband has informed he has been having an affair and is in love with another woman. I have decided to divorce him and get a new life for myself. Now my husband tells me that he has come to his senses and is pleading for me and the children to take him back. The children want him back and I don't hate him, but I don't want to go through the pain again. For the children's, sake should I consider taking him back? - Trish in TX

Dear Trish, 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. 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. This is much more work to do than simply forgiving, but he must learn a new way of thinking and good intentions are not enough. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband thinks it's important what kind of clothing we wear when we are working in an office and representing our family. He says he knows what is best for me and that I must follow his advice. Should I follow his advice for the sake of the marriage? - Helen in NJ

Dear Helen, You get to be the decider of what you wear. Your husband may want to maintain a certain appearance or social status but apparently you have a different vision. You should consider his concerns for the sake of the relationship but you are not required to follow his advice unless you find value in that. 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: 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

Periodically I write about how we should make our political and social decisions with a consideration of all points of view. In our government we have a two party system with majority party rule. When the parties are more evenly divided; or in a spirit of cooperation, we talk about using a bipartisanship approach. The bipartisanship approach however considers only the views of the two parties. I believe we should develop the transpartisanship approach to government. Transpartisanship recognizes the existence and validity of many points of view. It advocates a constructive dialogue aimed at considering all points of view and arriving at solutions that meet the needs of everyone.

Transpartisianship is being increasingly employed by companies, universities, non-profit, and citizen groups for finding resolution to problems. If we are going to be an inclusive society that lives together in peace, we would benefit greatly if we would employ this concept at all levels of government. We can benefit from this concept in politics, culture, economics and other aspects of our society as well.

We can learn to share all viewpoints openly and honestly. Disagreements over issues need not undermine consensus if all parties are willing to search for an answer that accommodates all points of view. We will be able to find previously unanticipated solutions that can satisfy everyone. We just need to develop a sense of fairness to others and we can accomplish this.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Once we habituate behavior, we find it is difficult to change. Once we create or accept responses based on our negative emotions, we often hold onto them and have difficulty giving them up. Once behavior becomes habitual, avoiding it becomes a challenge - even when we know it's the right thing to do. Acting in the way we always have will obviously feel "natural" to us. But when we commit to and make a plan for changing that behavior, so that a new positive way of responding can take its place, that new behavior will soon become "natural."

With hard work and practice, we can change our behavior. Forcefully, vigorously, and powerfully work at creating better thinking, healthier feelings, and more productive actions. Do this now, not later. For most people, it won't take very long to no longer feel negative about many things. But keep working on change, you will always continue to improve, even if you never become absolutely perfect at responding in the desired way. And remember that increasing the effort you put into changing will shorten the time it takes you to do so.

Rehearsing a desired behavior is almost as good as doing the real thing. By repeating an action again and again, you create a new path in your brain and use it until the new response becomes habitual. Scientists refer to this as creating a new neural path. In this sense the brain doesn't know the difference between "real" and "rehearsed" behavior. The process is similar to that of memorizing a poem or improving on your golf swing. The more times you practice (or rehearse) the poem, the swing, or the positive response, the closer you get to that behavior becoming automatic.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that always upsets you. Determine the belief you have that makes you feel that way.

Tuesday: Create a new belief that will allow you to no longer be upset when the same event happens.

Wednesday: Rehearse, practice and establish this new belief until it becomes your natural response.

Thursday: Think about someone whose behavior frequently upsets you. Determine the belief you have that makes you feel that way.

Friday: Develop a new way of thinking about that person's behavior so that it will no longer upset you.

Saturday: Rehearse, practice and establish this new belief until it becomes your natural response.

Sunday: Resolve that whenever you become upset that you will search for the reason and then change the belief that is causing you to feel upset.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger 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 conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops 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."

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Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.

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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