Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.
II Corinthians 5:17
In his book Teaching the Elephant to Dance, James Belasco describes how trainers shackle young elephants with heavy chains to deeply embedded stakes. In that way the elephant learns to stay in its place.
Older, powerful elephants never try to leave—even though they have the strength to pull the stake and walk away. Their conditioning has limited their movements. With only a small metal bracelet around their foot attached to nothing, they stand in place.
The stakes are actually gone!
It’s a story you’ve probably heard before, but, like the powerful elephants, many people are bound by earlier conditioned restraints. Just as the unattached chain around the elephant’s foot keeps them from moving, some people impose needless limits to their personal progress.
Don’t let this happen to you as a couple.
When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.
We’ve seen it happen too often. It occurs when a rocky relationship gets to a stalemate because of one partner’s resistance to change.
“If you don’t go with me to see a counselor, I’m out of here.”
That’s when the couple enters a very scary space, when the resistant person’s deep need for loyalty is threatened to its very core – when they feel that they may lose their partner’s loyalty and commitment altogether.
There’s no need for any couple to get to this point.
Even the conditioned elephant will change at this point. When the circus tent catches on fire and the elephant sees the flames and smells the smoke, it forgets its old conditioning and runs for its life.
And get this: Forty-five percent of Americans report that they would change a bad habit to become a better spouse if they could. The truth is, they can change.
Each of us can improve ourselves to be a better partner whenever we decide to. The question is when will we decide to?
Reflect and Respond
What is one thing you know you can change for the better about yourself if you decided to?
If you want some help…you know where we are and we ARE available.
The doctor even makes house calls.
(Based on a blog from Les and Leslie Parrott)