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Subject: Inner Peace Newsletter  3-23-2009
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:52:03 -0700
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Dove with Branch
March 23, 2009 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, I am staying at home because I have recently retired. My wife never makes the bed or cleans up the breakfast mess until late in the day. It is difficult fro me to see this mess and nothing being done about it. How can I get her to clean it up? - Harold in CO

Dear Harold, You can suggest doing something that she wants done in return for her making the bed and cleaning. Better yet, do the dishes for her in trade for some other chore. Consider sharing her work so that she gets to share in the retirement. Best of all, why don't you just do the cleaning in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more chores she would like to have done while you are at it? The messy house in the morning is a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding that others do things your way are not positive ways to solve problems. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am getting married again and would like to have a formal wedding and an elaborate reception much like my first wedding. My intended is happy with that but my mother and my best friend tell me that it would be improper because it is not appropriate for a second marriage. It is not a question of my parents paying for the wedding. The question is: Would it be appropriate when others close to me feel it is not? - Georgia in CA

Dear Georgia, The primary question is: Is this wedding for the couple or for their friends or family? Only you and your intended can answer that. If it is important to you to have a large formal wedding then why not have it; unless of course your friend's opinions are more important to you than your own. You have valued relationships with each of those people. You should make your own decisions based on your own beliefs. Consider their requests, but make a decision based on what you think is right for you and your fiancée under the circumstances. It is not necessary to honor old traditions. We should however be considerate to the concerns of our friends. If you decide not to follow their advice tell them so in a loving way. - 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

Some people look at history to find out how things were so that we will not repeat them again. Some even think that because events happened before that they are bound to happen again. They think of our society as flawed, and condemned to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

When I look at history I see growth and change. We see so many things that have changed. For example, the right to vote, equal rights, and democratic government. There has been great movement around the world in those directions, even in our lifetime. We are at a place that never existed in our history. I do not see us going back to the way it was. We now have universal education, which I see as the great springboard for change. We will not march back toward ignorance. We will not burn the books!

What I envision, is that we will be dealing with new inequalities and issues tomorrow that today we accept as reasonable. We will grow to be less accepting of war, individual power, and personal greed, among other things. We will learn to find better solutions to our problems; and more effective methods for resolving our differences. Let's work together to create change rather than just resisting it simply because it is not the old way we have learned to do things. We would like to be in a "better place" than we are now. Only change will make that possible.

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."

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

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