Dove with Branch
September 15, 2014

Insights From

the Dean of Peace

 

Notes from the Dean's Desk

Dear Peacemaker,

 

      Welcome!
 

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies are available on my website.  

 

If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them.

Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have a friend that always criticizes the way I dress. I tell her that I don't like to be criticized, but she says "I am just trying to be helpful." I don't think that friends should criticize each other. What do you think? - Brenda in IL

 

Dear Brenda, I think that you think friends shouldn't criticize each other - and that you look at her giving her opinion of how you look as criticism. If what someone thinks of you is of no value or hurtful to you then you will want to avoid them - or get over it. Many think it is really great to have someone they can trust to give them an honest opinion. If I had a friend who was doing this to be helpful I would appreciate it very much. If what they said upset me, then I would try to examine and change how I feel about it. Friends sometimes bring out our insecurities. If they are doing it in a loving way then we can be thankful. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, My daughter-in-law won't invite me to her home or not even take calls from me. I have never seen my grandchildren because she won't allow my son to bring them to my home. My son has chosen to abide by her wishes even though I know it hurts him very much. She won't allow him to call or write. She won't even let me know what I have done to upset her. What can I do to make her let me see my grandchildren? - Anne in NM

 

Dear Anne, If she refuses to talk to you and you are unable to talk to your son as well, then gracious acceptance of the situation is probably your best bet in the long run. Perhaps time will change things. Have great compassion for your son and do not make things more difficult for him. For whatever reason, he has chosen to abide by his wife's wishes. It was most likely not an easy choice for him. Try not to add to his suffering by showing your pain to him. Being understanding would be a great gift to him. - 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 humans banded together; at first in small communities and then in ever larger social structures we developed rules about how we should live and function together. These are the rules that have become the laws and traditions which determine how our society functions. These structures were created at a time when we were concerned primarily with our safety, and when we had little trust that others would follow the rules voluntarily.

 

We developed solutions that did not look beyond the immediate problem we were trying to solve, and did not contemplate changes that would occur in the future. Conditions changed and needs changed but rules changed only a little. Our rules and laws are bound by traditions from the past that are difficult to change.

 

We would benefit from examining these structures in some detail to determine possible changes that will bring them into harmony with the objective of creating a harmonious framework for our society. Our objective is to create a framework that will make it possible for each of us on this planet to experience a peaceful and joyful life. In working to create peace we need to examine each of our society's operating systems to determine their goals and purpose. We need to discover the stresses and obstacles created by the way they presently function. We need to have a general understanding of the functioning and objectives of each of these areas. This will allow us to be able to create productive changes that will help to align these systems more closely with our need to function effectively and to be creative in a Peaceful World.

 

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.

 

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: 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." 

 

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.

 

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

If you wish to no longer receive this newsletter please send a reply which includes "unsubscribe" and the existing subject line in the reply.

The subject line and the address to which it was sent must be included.

 

Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
web: lifewithoutanger.com
Join our mailing list!