Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Are You A Lazy Lover?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 2, 2018

How lazy are you?

Most would confess to sitting or lying around every now and then, even regularly, and doing nothing in order to relax and unwind. No dishes, no laundry, no shopping, no cooking, no house cleaning, no errands, no lawn or garden work – no matter how pleasurable, just sitting around – maybe even in loungewear, or less – and simply doing nothing but watch teevee, eat snacks, and drink.

Even a day, or two, of such doing-nothingness, or “vegetating,” can be rejuvenating. After all, the ethic of six days of work, and resting on the seventh, has significant long-standing in almost every society and culture worldwide.

And in actuality, little, if anything, is ever made of anyone who does that, even with calculable regularity. But the person who does that habitually, justifiably earns our ire, and they are few, and far between.

No one would imagine calling anyone “lazy” who regularly took a day or two of such relaxation. But consider this: Even if in the small seemingly inconsequential things we do nothing, we run the risk of active destruction. Here’s what I mean.

At its core, that concept is somewhat similar to the term “passive-aggressive,” describing a behavior in which doing nothing (a “passive” measure) is employed as a tactic to obtain an objective, or goal. At it’s essence, it is a technique of avoidance, by doing nothing.

Passive-Aggressive behavior is a type of “magical thinking,” in which the normal laws of Cause and Effect do not occur. Magical thinking occurs when one mistakenly thinks or believes that a good thing will happen, or some benefit will accrue, or be derived by doing nothing. It is a passive-aggressive behavior.

Doing nothing in an effort to obtain something is contradictory in itself, for one cannot expect good things to happen by doing nothing. No football game, no race, no competition, no good thing of any kind has ever been won, achieved, developed or obtained by doing nothing. Something for nothing is an oxymoron. And as I’m fond of saying, “there’s no moron like an oxymoron.”

There are degrees of laziness. Slothfulness, for example, describes habitual laziness as a deliberate aversion to, and avoidance of activity. The word itself comes from the Latin word “acedia“ which is a combination of the negative prefix a- and the Greek noun kēdos, meaning “care, concern, or grief.” A lack of concern is a demonstration of non-caring, is exemplified as a deliberate lack of action, and is a destructive force.

Consider laziness within relationships – whether romantic/lover, parent/child, friend/friend, colleague/co-worker, boss/employee, or any other type of relationship. It takes effort to cultivate and maintain the relationship in a state of goodness and health, just as it takes effort to maintain our bodies in a healthy condition. Naturally, as with any relationship, there will be times when one, or both, will “get crossways” with the other, and offenses will occur. Tempers flare, harsh words are spoken, and feelings are hurt. Both parties are wounded. And upon the battlefield of our hearts and emotions, there are no “winners” – only losers.

And as with any war, there is almost always a cessation of violence, and a time at which all parties come together to make a truce, or to renegotiate terms of peace. The phrase “to the victor belong the spoils” does not apply in relationships, because co-equal parties have no genuine advantage, since both are equal, and both therefore approach as co-equals to work toward peace and mutual harmony.

But when both parties in a loving, or friendship relationship are offended, it’s often more common for them both to skulk away from each other and to maintain an alienating distance from each other for a period of time, until they say they feel better. But what they are both unwittingly doing is demonstrating passive-aggressiveness, instead of doing the work required for reconciliation which includes apology, and forgiveness. In essence, because they do not engage in the work necessary for maintaining and repairing the injury to the relationship and re-establishing peace, they are being deliberately, and often habitually lazy.

Learning to love and live together requires giving up anger, giving up the desire to have one’s own way, and insisting upon seeing the world from one’s own perspective. Apologizing takes effort, and it is not merely the physical effort necessary to apologize. Yes, both parties desire to be in the relationship, enjoy its benefits, and both are in deeply. But the greatest, and most pressing questions are these: Do both parties want to honor the claims the relationship has on them? Do they each desire to learn how to genuinely be unselfish in the daily grind?

Often, after injury, both parties often wallow in the mire of their own selfishness and loneliness. Love, however, requires effort.

Any intense friendship, loving relationship, or marriage has aspects that may seem burdensome. While there are joys, cultivating the relationship requires investing time, and self. But perhaps even more difficult is the realization and acknowledgement that the relationship has costs, because to maintain it will require restructuring priorities, compromising plans, and demand sacrifice. It will change the pattern of one’s thoughts and desires, and will literally change the way one sees the world. Suddenly, “me” becomes “we,” and “mine” becomes “ours.”

Love makes certain claims upon us, and the risk of opening up to love and it’s transformative power is fraught with unknowns. Staying the same may seem easier and perhaps safer – even if ultimately unhappier – but that insidious passive-aggressive behavior is destructive, and like stagnant water, it eventually begins to accumulate debris, and stink.

In his book “The Four Loves,” author C.S. Lewis acknowledged as much when he wrote in part that, “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

Relationships require significant effort to maintain, and some are simply lazy when it comes to the work required to make them flourish. A loving relationship impresses upon us an identity change and a corresponding call for our own transformation.

And though it may seem quizzical, one can resist love.

When resisting love, one may resign themselves to despair, or to desperate escapism. If escape from the relationship we’re resisting is not possible, we inevitably sink into an oppressive hopelessness. However, if escape from the relationship is possible, we may exert all our energy into any form of flight that shows even the slightest hint of promise, even if it is desperate – whether it’s significantly increased involvement in work, games, volunteerism, or sports – and that behavior itself is a type of distraction.

Whether one has the inertia of a couch potato, or not, the restless distractions of seemingly endless activity alienate and isolate us from the problem by doing nothing to address the problems in the relationship. It is a type of passive-aggressive laziness, and reticence to do the required work to make the relationship flourish.

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