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Remember the Titanic, a doomed ship and a tragic love story. The ship undone by a hulking iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean – Jack and Rose, the unwitting victims of the rigid social divide of a 1912 society. Rest in Peace Jack. Nice one DiCaprio and Winslet.
What a tearjerker movie, an epic tale of love found, then lost, self-sacrifice and the snowball effect of bad decisions on the high seas. But underneath it all, this is also a movie about science and psychology. Really? Way to turn a perfectly good, cheesy romance story into something meaningful! Sigh……
Anyhoo, if you could bear with me, I’d like to expand on this a wee bit. The main themes of love and self-sacrifice resonate throughout the film but there is so much more we can learn from it. Hello science! Yes indeed, we should have been alert to the key role played by the iceberg in this saga. It looms large and ominous as the cause of the events that unfolded. How did the ship end up with a long gash down its side that crippled it?
Well, if this was a whodunit, we would say that the iceberg did it! For most icebergs, what you see peering out the water is only about a tenth of their structure. The rest is below the water, lurking in the depths. It’s a deceptive sight, as what you see is definitely not what you get. The Titanic was gouged along its side by the part of the iceberg hidden below the water. So what lies beneath is a blinking lot of iceberg.
Psychologically, our minds are a lot like icebergs. This is because only a small part of what motivates us is conscious and known. The majority of what you do is influenced by what is stored in your subconscious and this is largely unknown to you. Yep, it’s annoying but there you go. We think we know why we do things and in part, we do…..for some things. However, a large part of our behaviour is driven by unconscious stuff stored up and filed away from when we were born.
Sigmund Freud, the great psychoanalyst, speculated that this part of the mind was not easy to access. He saw it as a dump box for urges, feelings and ideas that are linked to experiences we’ve had along the way during our lives. These feelings and thoughts have not disappeared and are there, influencing our actions and our conscious awareness. The job of the subconscious is to attract circumstances and situations that match the images you have within and also to protect you from being hurt or experiencing pain. So what does this mean?
It means you can only really become aware of what is in your subconscious mind by your behaviour and then it’s often too late and very frustrating. It’s worth thinking about what kinds of situations you avoid? What things do you do over and over even though they are self-defeating? These are the types of things that give you useful information about what lies beneath! Be as skeptical and curious about your own behaviour as you are of other peoples’ actions. Both can be equally misleading.
If you are trying to tweak your behaviour in a particular area, you need to shift the self-beliefs stored in your subconscious. This can, in time, have an underground effect that shows itself as a different way of behaving. It’s challenging and tricky but is possible if the drive is strong enough. If you are able to change your attitudes and feelings about yourself and others internally, your focus can shift in many positive ways.
What lies beneath your iceberg? Worth thinking about.
Take care, reflect and be kind to each other
P.S. Could Jack have shared the door with Rose?