Okay, so this is not a movie review column. It’s a relationships psychology column. So what am I doing talking about the new movie, Courageous? Courageous is all about relationships: relationships between people and God; relationships between marriage partners; relationships between parents and children; relationships between peers; and even relationships between employers and employees. There are so many relationship angles here that I’m probably inadvertently leaving out several of them.
Although the movie was often known as Fireproof for policemen, I found it to be much more complex in its scope of relationships. This isn’t taking anything away from Fireproof or The Love Dare materials. I often use these materials in life coaching for troubled marriages. But the examination of relationships that exists in Courageous marks it as a construct of human interactions that goes beyond marriage.
Or maybe it doesn’t.
As I think about this, the theme of marriage actually pervades the film, with the central marriage relationship being that between Christ and his church (the church traditionally being known as the bride of Christ). As the movie shows, all other relationships in our lives will mirror the relationship we have with our God. You may substitute Higher Power if you choose (I’m not here to proselytize).
This is something we should consider in relationships psychology and our individual relationships. How we behave in one relationship may be a good indicator of how we behave in other relationships. It is an axiom of behavioral analysis that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Those who are abusive in relationships will continue to be abusive. Those who are emotional vampires will continue to be emotional vampires. Until there is a profound change in how we view the world (a paradigm shift, or, a spiritual awakening), it is unlikely that our behavior will substantially change.
Choice theory psychology suggests that by changing what we do in our lives, we can change the way we view things, and by changing what we think and do, we can change how we feel both emotionally and physiologically. In essence, choice theory suggests that we can create a paradigm shift, or spiritual awakening, by changing our behavior and building on those changes, eventually to precipitate a paradigm shift – a profound change in how we view the world.
This is a gradual process. In fact, I prefer to use the term, paradigm drift, in these instances, rather than paradigm shift. The shift in belief occurs suddenly, surely enough, but only after our thinking has primed us for that shift and our thinking has drifted enough to precipitate the shift. Think of ice cream sliding off of a cone. It will fall, surely enough, but only after it has slid down the cone to a position where it finally topples off the edge of the waffle. The moment the ice cream falls (paradigm shift) is a dramatic event that captures our attention, while the sliding (paradigm drift) may escape our notice as we are enthralled with the flavors of the treat or recovering from brain freeze.
The point here is that we make big changes by first making little changes. Mighty oaks from small acorns, etc.
If we find our relationships to be something other than we would like them to be then we can change what we do to create different relationships. We can create a shift in our relationships (overall) by changing how we relate to others (individually). Try it in one relationship and see if it doesn’t spill over into other relationships.
Perhaps we should start, as Courageous suggests, with our relationship with our Higher Power.
If you would like to learn more about choice theory psychology and how you can use it make positive changes in your life, contact Knoxville Center for Clinical Hypnosis. They are Choice Theory/Reality Therapy certified and would be happy to talk to you about how to begin making changes in your relationships.
Enojy the Casting Crowns video!
Experiment with life. Nurture those you love.