"The Body Never Lies!"

First coined in mass consciousness, as far as I know, by Alexander Lowen, creator of the mind-body-emotions therapy process known as Bioenergetics, this simple, direct statement  should change everything in the same way that the other Truths About Everything should. What Lowen extensively demonstrated in several seminal books, including his first, "Language of the Body", was that our physical bodies "speak" openly and clearly, continuously and unequivocally to us and to others. If you want to know the state of a person's inner life, beliefs and attitudes, even their emotional, physical and psychological history, you can literally read their body language like a book.

We all have this knowledge. To a great extent it is coded into our everyday expressions. Someone said to have a "stiff upper lip," which means able to endure hardship, does indeed have a thin, tight, not supple upper lip, indicating a history of early oral deprivation. Someone who you experience as a "pain in the ass," does in fact cause you to squeeze your buttocks together to ward off their intrusive, "anal" tendencies, reminiscent, perhaps, of some early toilet training issues. "Tight-fisted” (stingy), “tight-mouthed” (secretive), “shouldering responsibilities” (bearing burdens), “holding your head up high” (being proud), and on and on, these are not mere metaphors or analogies. These expressions about personality traits show up in actual body expressions and deformations, which are incorporated in our defensive systems and character structures.

It must be a calling of mine in this lifetime to be working in this area of body language, because even as a young boy, I was aware that people always looked exactly like who they were inside, even if on the outside they tried to cover up with a mask. All children initially have this awareness, but they are unfortunately taught to deny what they see. For the purposes of my path, I never suppressed this awareness. Interestingly, I've recently rediscovered the Ian Fleming "James Bond" novels, which I was an ardent reader of as a young adolescent. What I was surprised to find out in the current reading was that Fleming/Bond was an astute reader of body language, often describing someone's probable history and present-time intentions in their body configurations. A person might be described as having a "cruel mouth" or "proud breasts," in spite of other outward attempts to show the opposite.

So, what are the ramifications of this Truth, that the body doesn't lie? Well, for one thing, it puts our masks in perspective, doesn't it? You see, only the mind liesWe can fool ourselves, and attempt to fool others, with our thoughts and words, but in fact, our masks cannot actually hide our inner self from another who wants to see us. It can only, to some degree, hide our inner self from ourself. Others might agree to go along with your mask, if you go along with theirs, but know this - if someone wants to see who you are, they can do so with impunity, despite your best efforts at deception. That's what made James Bond such a good secret agent. It's also what makes for good therapy. A good therapist is a tuned in reader of body language, and an accurate mirror, basically someone who is willing to see and reflect back what is visible but denied by the patient. The same can be said of a good friend, a good parent, lover, etc.

Another ramification of this Truth has to do with our own attitudes towards our bodies. If you "don't like" your body or judge it negatively, it is an indication of your being out of alignment, being in a state of untruth. A significant book that I used for my class segment on body language, "Molecules of Emotion," by Candace Pert, demonstrates that all the way down to the bio-molecular level, when we are in truth, no matter how difficult to face, we come into a state of health and alignment. Conversely, when we are not in truth, we are in a state of dis-ease.

Furthermore... to not like your body is irrational. Your body is merely a living reflection of your inner life, and metaphysically speaking, your body is always a perfect expression of your soul. To blame your body for its condition it is like blaming a mirror for what you see in the mirror. If you hold anger in your body fat, if your muscles and skeletal system are twisted, rigid, inflexible, etc., it is simply you letting yourself know what you are going through inside. The opportunity in the reflection is for you to love and have compassion for your journey, and to know yourself better.

So, give it up, folks. Anyone who wants to can see who you are and what you're going through. See yourself. The amount of effort it takes to create and wear a mask is enormous and it has no practical purpose whatsoever. Really. Whoever loves you, loves you in all of your glory, in spite of what you believe to be your "imperfections." 

We can see you. Relax.


Isabel Pareja said...

I agree with you, I'm living this relaxation process, letting down some defense walls, etc. Coming out of the prison of my character structure. Without the help of my therapist and the relationship I have established with her, this wouldn't have been possible. We were hurt in relationship and that's why we started to have our masks, it was dangerous for us to continue with our truth. We need a healthy relationship with a self-realized adult (as opposed to the adults we usually had around in our childhood), a secure and stable base to be able to heal, to let go and relax, to be ourselves again. And our bodies that have stored so much pain in the process of numbing and building our walls, they need so much care and love. This can also be built with this process I've described of a new nurturing relationship from where you can start experiencing that being in your body, feeling it, is such a pleasure.

Anonymous said...

ah the mask I used to have...
Nowdays I cry when there is a happy or sad film ending- just as I rememeber doing it when I was a small child.
And it makes me happy to do so, I feel relief.

And only 5 years ago, I would have sneered about people who meet in groups and cry together...


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