Cheese, Whales, and Relationships: A lesson in Delayed Consequences
So, I love cheese!
Let me explain: I eat cheese and crackers for fun. I eat queso like it is a food group. I can eat a slice a cheese and then it turns into a brick of cheese. Basically, I am addicted. There was a study that came out not too long ago that even said that cheese activates the same addictive parts of your brain that some type of drugs would active. When I read that, my heart broke. Ya girl is addicted to cheese. Y'all, cheese? What the hell?
Cheese makes me happy! My dad can tell you stories of how I got some type of cheesy meal every time I ate. How I would drown my mashed potatoes in shredded cheese.
Now, I am sure that you are reading this and wondering why in the entire hell I am talking about cheese; however, have no fear I have never left y'all hanging about my points.
So here it is: I am almost 25 and now cheese upsets me. Not just cheese. Icecream. Creamer. Milk. Anything with dairy. Do you really how heartbreaking this? I mean I can't even comfortably stress eat ice cream without out having my stomach upset within 45 minutes. But you know what my dumb ass still does: EAT CHEESE AND ICECREAM! I didn't care what it did to my stomach, I wanted to enjoy in the creamy goodness of a cold scoop of icecream.
But the other day, I got so sick. Like I couldn't go to the gym like I had planned. I was damn near crying. I couldn't do anything but lay down and watch Netflix. Although this seems like an ideal type of relaxation, it isn't when you have all these plans of being productive and you have every intention of being but you physically cannot function.
I was hurt. Literally and figuratively. I had to realize that I couldn't keep eating dairy like I had been. I knew that I should have been doing that all along; however, it was good-- at the moment.
So I am writing this post to ask you: how many times have we done things we know we shouldn't but we still do because it will feel good and amazing at that moment? Don't all raise your hand at once! We all have. I know I am guilty.
One of the ways I do that, or have done that, is I react. I cuss someone out in the moment because it gives me great satisfaction at that moment. It feels like I got a load off of my chest. But later, I have a mess to clean up. I may even have hurt my chances for an opportunity because someone witnessed me do that. Or the person I just gave a piece of my mind in turns holds the keys to an opportunity.
Hell, I can give you a better example: choosing to stay with a man that is no good because at the instances they show me the love I thought I needed. I know I cannot be the only one who is guilty of that. We ignored all of the red flags. We ignored all of the other signs. We ignored all of the negative comments. We ignored the wandering glasses. We ignored the rumors. We even ignored the abuse. Because sometimes in a good moment, he (or she) could give you something you thought you needed. Something that felt good at that moment. You really didn't care about the stomach ache you were going to get later.
Like me ignoring all the signs that I and cheese may not be the best of friends right now in this point in my life, we have kept indulging in relationships and friendships that are going to cause us to be in pain later.
As I began to realize that I am going to let go of, or at least in moderation, my dear friend Mr. Cheese, I began to understand that I had been doing this with many aspects of my life. I had been partaking in things like toxic friendships and relationship because I was afraid of what would happen if I didn't have those things. Do you know how sad I am that I cannot eat slices of cheese when I come home from class anymore? Do you know how sad it can be when you realize you have to walk away from a relationship because the delayed consequences are not worth the instantaneous pleasure?
It wasn't until I started going to therapy that I was able to really evaluate my life and actions. To actually be honest with myself. I had to ask myself the tough question: Is the pain I am going through caused by my own actions?
It reminds me of the story in the Bible where God told Jonah to go to Nineveh but he didn't want to go so he ran. And while he was on a ship running, a great storm came. And he was ready to end his life (he asked the folks on the ship to throw him overboard because he knew it was his fault) because of this storm; however, if he would have just followed God's directions he would have never ended up in that storm. He would have never ended up in the belly of the whale.
All in All, I guess I am asking you and even myself how many times are we willing to have a stomach ache and be sick? How many times have we ended up in the belly of a whale because of our own actions? And the follow up to those is: when will you get tired and want to change? Even if it seems like you will have to give something up.