The DGF: Cultivating a feeling of connection

My brother is having problems with both of his teenagers. They are in full rebellion mode and letting their parents have it in all the ways they know how. One of those ways involves being cold and distant at times, defiant and rejecting at others. The name of the game is “pushing away”.

I scare easily so I tend to make horror movies in my head about the ways in which my children will reject ME. My son is three and a half and my daughter still has four months before being born, but the fear of rejection is circling already.

I try to make fun of myself and my paranoia. I remind myself of that Mark Twain quote that says that a lot of horrible things happened to him in his life, most of them in my head.

I also think of one mental exercise that Martha Beck recommends: pushing your fears to such an extreme that they become ridiculous. As in “What if I lose my job?!” becoming “I will surely lose my job and end up serving burgers and all of my teeth will fall out.”

I don’t like to dwell on those scenarios too much… because now I know that it is better to pluck a desired feeling out of the big pile of fear and confusion and cultivate it.

It took many years to learn the wisdom of looking at the many ways in which some way I’d like to feel has already shown up in my life.

Connectedness is in:

  • lifelong friendships
  • my baby’s hands around my neck
  • thinking of someone and having them call me “out of the blue” an hour later
  • having a “knowingness” about someone, that turns out to be right on
  • having instant rapport with someone
  • the “complicity” I have with my husband


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