Linda Graham, MFT and author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, looks at how “unlovability” is wired into the brain and the experience of rejection gets encoded in neural cells around the heart. She offers ways to feel lovable again, as we all should.
When we’re not caught in the suffering of feeling unlovable, it’s fascinating to learn just how those afflictive pockets of inadequacy, unworthiness, failure, shame, get so deeply embedded in our neural circuitry in the first place. In these uncertain times, when we’re especially vulnerable to the fear and self-doubt and second guessing creeping in, it is skillful means to learn how to re-program our body-brain’s conditioning and generate new neural circuits that support our feeling lovable, loved and loving.
Here’s a simple exercise to evoke the sense of contraction we often experience at a cellular level when we experience an unexpected hurt, rejection, or disconnect. I learned this one from Stuart Eisdendrath, M.D. and Ronna Kabatznick, PhD, at a daylong on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. They use this exercise in their MBCT groups at UCSF.
Allow yourself to sit quietly for a moment, eyes gently closed. When