Lazy Days and Internal Combustion

 In Marriage and Men

a memo to men

I have met my latest granddaughter and she is lovely. My artist son and his artist wife travelled from Philadelphia last week with six month old Maya and I fell in love. Again. It’s wondrous and magical seeing her feet fly and her hands wave recklessly around when I come into her field of vision. New life and I too feel reborn.

I’m convinced that energy to burn is a secret component of good marriage. If it’s centered. If it’s in the service of loving. If it’s totally yours to claim. Energy drives desire and we are all basically seeking connection. Our complaints are always about dis – connection. Coldness, distance, hostility – these feed our fear. Maya, on the other hand, has no relational fear. She’s as available for love as any human will ever be.

 We’ve created time, carved it out of our busy lives, so that we can lay on the floor and play. We take time to sit around and talk and play, Maya always in someone’s lap. The inner engines of our bodies firing on all eight cylinders as the fuel of loving flows easily through our veins and arteries happens because we made space for it.

Energy is born of loving but you have to husband your energy as well. Jack Nicholson called his body ‘the instrument’ when asked the secret to good acting. ‘You have got to take care of the instrument’ he said. He meant exercise, good healthy food, rest and a healthy inner life. These are the fundamentals of sustainable energy and love is the natural outcome of a healthy body and a healthy inner life.

 Your marriage will starve if you do not focus on taking good care of your energy. Drink too much, sleep too little, ignore your need for movement, for stretching, and for a healthy diet and you’ll be chronically tired. Chronically tired people do not make good lovers.

 My partner teaches me every day, relationships do not thrive when we are lazy. The grandchildren come and she never groans, never denies them, never gives in to my (sometime) grouchiness. She embraces the opportunity for refueling and immediately makes generous space for loving.

Much of what I’ve complained about in our marriage is simply a self created illusion. I “need time for myself” I inwardly moan. I “have to clean up after them” I whine. I “have work to do” I protest. She isn’t controlled by any of that. “The grandchildren are coming” she gleefully announces. And, as much as I can, I give in, accept, welcome. And you know what?

I find myself full of new energy.

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