You Are Not Lazy: Digging Beneath the Symptom


You Are Not Lazy:

Digging Beneath the Symptom

 It is not laziness you need to overcome, it is inspiration you need to uncover.

Immersed in a society that is unaware of its deeply imbedded assumptions, results in a disconnection for those who do not buy into life and world that is presented as normal. Many supposed imbalances within people are storied as inherent personal inadequacies that require external influence to return individuals to normalcy. You have a chemical imbalance – take these drugs. You were born with these genes – we can teach you self-restraint. Your behavioural tendencies need controlling – that is why we have systems of law and governance (government, religion, police, teachers, parents) with their tools of reward and punishment. There is something wrong with you.  This story says that you need to be corrected and adjusted into what society prescribes as normal behaviour. We call this maturity.

{I note that I do believe there is a place for these tools in the world today, however, over time, we will collectively transform and remove them from our story}

The unspoken assumption is that what society portrays to be normal/mainstream/accepted is healthy. That the world is functioning properly and life is rolling along just fine; why can’t you? It is encoded in the belief that someone who is depressed needs treatment because there is something wrong with them. Depression, a soul’s deep rejection through non-participation, is a healthy response to those in deep resonance with the planet. Rebelliousness is a natural response to limitations and boxes placed on the dynamic human spirit. Greed and corruption are indicators of a perception of scarcity. Evil is a symptom of fear. All are linked to disconnection.

Who is lazy?

An assumption I have reflected to me is that particular people are just naturally lazy. To call someone lazy is to judge them to be “Lazier than me”. It is to create a label based off of your limited perspective of them. Directing this projection onto a group of people, rather than a specific individual, illustrates even more of an externalized judgement. How do you assess laziness?

Now I want to mention that in my story, if I were to receive comments of a particular nature from others, such as my being lazy, I would receive and reflect on such feedback to expand my awareness and grow in compassion. On the flip side of the mirror, if I were complaining of laziness in others, then I am likely projecting this internal critique of myself onto others. Externalizing the internal. Healing arises from a compassionate response of attention.

How lazy are you?

What is it to be considered lazy? First, there would have to be some sort of comparison. We would also need some way to quantify “non-lazy” behaviours. If I am sick in bed resting am I being lazy? What about if I play video games for four hours every day after work? If I create lots, but never finish anything, am I lazy? Am I lazy because I don’t do something you consider to be work? With so many variations it is easy to see how we each construct our own scale to measure “laziness”. The comparison is set at our personal definition and ideal.

Lazy is defined on as “averse or disinclined to work, activity, or exertion”. There are other uses related to speed, although I figure most instances of identifying as lazy relate to work. If I worked long hours at a job that did not fulfill me, and saw someone enjoying themselves doing an activity I do not call “work”, I would be tempted to call them lazy.

Uncovering Natural Motive

I do not believe that people are innately “lazy”. Laziness is a healthy response to a life lacking meaningful work. It is a symptom of an individual’s disengagement, brought about from a deep need for passionate play and daily excitement. When scarcity of excitation takes root in one’s life, the branch of idleness will grow. Without engaging one’s unique gifts it becomes easy to take the path of non-participation. Laziness recognizes the unfulfilling nature of most of the work we are presented.

As with all symptoms, it is the root that must be given attention if we are to heal. Laziness need not be overcome through external force or internal self-control, for this would leave the root intact. Again, this approach carries the assumption that there is something wrong with the individual and not the environment. The symptom of non-participation dissolves without effort in the light of inspiration and the motivating energy of excitement. Find meaningful work/play and laziness no longer requires any control to conquer. This also extends into habits of procrastination and the inability to concentrate. Fill the deeper need and the symptom is healed. The illusion of conflict dissipates.

Freeloading and Giving Back

We all desire the freedom to give of our deepest gifts. The story of “lazy” carries the belief of this desire for contribution to a larger whole through contrast. We perceive others as lazy as a reminder of this deep aspiration for meaningful work through the giving of our gifts. There is a belief that if we were to provide for people’s needs, such as in a universal living allowance to cover basic living costs, nobody would do anything. This might be true initially, as people learn to embody their own inner self-direction, but eventually the “doing nothing” will prove to be just as unfulfilling and will illuminate the desire to give back in meaningful work. Creating the supporting container of community will accelerate this discovery and healing process from the unfulfilling and superficial to the meaningful and profound. Community creates the space for the natural emergence of individual gifts.

Healing starts with awareness and is amplified through attention. Feel into your critiques. With this new awareness we are able to take responsibility for our life situation. Presence and attention directed to our immediate experience will inform us of the consequences of our choices as well as whether or not we find fulfillment and happiness in our chosen work. A society that refuses to acknowledge its sickness and instead seeks to adjust those who refuse to participate in the perpetuation of its illness is insanity of the deepest sort.

You are not broken.


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