Relationships and the $3 Hot Dog Combo-Guest Post

This post was written by a friend of mine as a quick epiphany he shared with me. I liked it so much, I asked him to elaborate, so I could share it here on my blog! Thanks Mark!

I was filling up the gas tank today at the local Valero when I saw a poster in the window of the station. Mmmmm..3 hot dogs for $3?

I love hot dogs, especially with mustard, relish, and onions..and a nice tall cold soda! Unfortunately, I rarely eat them anymore, because it’s unhealthy food.

As I was pondering this, I had a flashback to a post by the Dalai Lama’s on 20 Ways to
Get Good Karma
( .  In particular, I was thinking of number 17 which stated:

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Yesterday, I had been dwelling on what that meant to me, yet I had no idea why this thought popped into my head.  In the past, I would’ve dismissed the thought and purchased some hot dogs.  But in my search for enlightenment, if the universe puts a thought in my head, there must be a reason why.

Was the universe trying to tell me there was a relationship between “relationships” and food?

As human beings, we do have a relationship with food. After all, hunger is the most pressing physical need we face every day, and it gives us more physical pleasure on a daily basis than anything on this earth.  Yet, we are all different in the way we address that physical need.  Some people anticipate and plan for that need.  They prepare meals in advance or make careful choices in restaurants, and consider their physical and dietary needs as they live healthy lives.  They are careful about what they put in their bodies because they aren’t just addressing a pressing physical need, they choose to be conscious of the long term and understand what they consume will affect their quality of life.

Others, (the “eat and run” crowd) grab whatever “looks good” in the refrigerator or the cupboard, or worse: live in the fast food lane of Starbucks, McDonalds, et al.  This person is not considering their future health or maybe they just choose to ignore the consequences?

Whichever type of person you or I choose to be, whether it is one group or the other or both; there will be…or more accurately, there have been…consequences.  I’ve spent most of my life with the “eat and run” crowd, and have recently changed my life to join the more quality of life crowd.

But what does this have to do with relationships?

With respect to my past relationships, I realized my choices for relationships have been similar to my food choices in that I based them upon my short term needs: sex, financial security (partnering up with someone to split expenses), loneliness, (insert any need here), without consideration for the long term.

Furthermore, I reacted to those relationships once I was in them in a way similar to eating fast food:  the carbohydrate coma, the regret, the denial of “I won’t do that again because it is unhealthy for me” syndrome.  When a partner withdraws from intimacy where a commitment was made, the effect on our soul is certain to be long-term and affect our judgment in our life experience.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve had severe emotional confrontations due to intimacy withdrawals with my partner.  I now realize what I did.  I just didn’t withdraw from my partner; I withdrew from myself and life.

Both of my marriages started from relationships where I had known the person less than four months.  These and other “fast-food” choices led to those disastrous long-term consequences including two divorces, relocating from my home, shared custody of children, depression, guilt, etc.

Still, there are exceptions and blessings.

I have two wonderful children.  I’ve even had a few relationships that had amicable partings, where I not only remained friends with them to this day, but I grew as a person. I still reflect upon some of the great experiences I’ve had with these past relationships even though such experiences have been rare in my life.

Yet what does this have to do with a hot dog poster and what the Dalai Lama said:

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Choices and Self-love – this is what it means to me.

We are worthless as human beings if we don’t choose to love ourselves first.

We choose our food.

We choose our friends.

We choose our partners.

Nourish your body.

Choose healthy friends and partners.  It is true that we are what we eat, and in those we choose to associate with they reflect us like mirrors in our lives.  If we choose toxic food and friends, we cannot help but pay the consequences.  We know in our hearts we are worthy of the best food and the best friends if we truly value ourselves in this life experience.  By first loving ourselves and equally loving each other, our needs cannot help but be met and exceeded.

So, I’ve learned 2 things today.

1.      I’ve made a lot of fast-food relationship mistakes in my life, and once I’ve taken the bite and swallowed, it is pretty hard to turn a hot dog into leafy green vegetables.

2.       Before entering a relationship, look at the long-term perspective and identify what my goals are.  I know this sounds silly in that I’m 52 and just figuring this out, but it is challenging to make decisions affected by testosterone, heh.

by M.K.

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