Monday, April 26, 2010

The importance of family connectedness

Here is an excerpt from a book I am reading called "The Dance of Intimacy" by Harriet G. Lerner, Ph.D. I have found the book to be very enlightening and helpful in my journey toward improving my levels of "connectedness".

“The ability to stay responsibly connected to family members, and to define a solid self in this arena, helps us to bring a more solid self to other intimate relationships. When family relationships have been especially painful and when there are cutoffs in the previous generations, maintaining connectedness is not easy. But distance or cutoff from family members is always a trade-off. The plus is that we avoid the strong uncomfortable feelings that contact with certain family members inevitably evokes. The costs are less tangible but no less dear. Family connectedness, even when these relationships are anxious and difficult, is a necessary prerequisite to conducting one’s own intimate relationships free from serious symptoms over time and free from excessive anxiety and reactivity. The more we manage intensity by cutting off from members of our own kinship group (extended family included), the more we bring that intensity into other relationships, especially into those with children, if we have them. In some situations it can take years to figure out how to reconnect with a particular family member, but if we can slowly move in this direction rather than in the direction of more cutoff, there are benefits to the self and the generations to come.” (Learner, 1989) p.98
Learner, H.G., & (1989). The Dance of intimacy. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

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