For the most part, our bodies don’t lie to us in “little ways” – a deep inhale is the human response to something nourishing or freeing, a downward facing gaze is often an expression of depression, hips tilted back suggests incestual issues, etc. However, for many of us who have been traumatized, our bodies DO lie out the whazoo when it comes to FEAR.
As a prime example, my body pretty much tells me I’m in danger ALL THE TIME. It’s such a strong and constant “signal” that it’s really just "noise." It never turns off (except under rare and treasured circumstance). As my partner Deva likes to put it, it’s like my body pressed my fear gas pedal to the floor, so hard and so often as a kid, that it got stuck. In present time, there’s no longer a reason to feel that much fear — but my nervous system has gotten stuck in overdrive. The fear got instilled so deeply that it didn’t just temporarily “light up” my psychical circuit boards — it eventually etched a well-worn path into them. The fear response was legitimately and understandably engaged so often and so deeply that at some point some deep part of me decided “Well, might as well just keep it on all the time then.”
Why are we designed this way? With such a powerful capacity to adapt to our surroundings out of self-preservation — and then to not be able to switch back to our “normal” mode of functioning once the threat is actually gone?
I guess it all comes back to some version of the evolutionary principle “Nature doesn’t care if we’re 'happy,' it only cares that we survive."