What my mouth tells me

alone black and white blur child I’ve been paying more attention to my mouth the last little while. Kind of my whole face, but my mouth is pretty interesting. Also, the voice that comes out of it.

Sometimes when I’m saying something, my mouth will purse up like I don’t want the words to come out. Like whatever it is, I don’t really want to say it out loud. For example, admitting something hard about someone I love.

I think a lot of people grow up with a certain view of their parents, a kind of dreamy view. Later, we start to realize those people were human, and flawed. Not like the teenage “my parents suck”, more like the realization that dad barely paid attention to me after the divorce.

My parents are still together and this isn’t my personal experience. But, if it was, it might have been too painful to admit. Perhaps I would subconsciously create a different narrative, and support it by selectively remembering the fun times with my dad and not all the times he failed to show up.

Later in life, when I was strong enough to face the pain, I could finally tell someone what it was like. Saying it out loud for the first time makes it real, puts it out there in the open. It’s admitting it to oneself, and opening up to the consequences. It’s a commitment to accept reality and deal with the pain.

So maybe I purse my lips. Or mumble. Or look down.

Maybe my voice gets quiet. Or higher-pitched. Or weird.

I’ve noticed that this happens to me when I’m admitting something that’s hard to accept. When I’m coming to terms with the truth about myself of someone I care about. My mouth or voice or posture changes. And, if I pay attention, I get some really interesting information from my body.

There’s this one yoga instructor who talks with someone else’s voice. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s not her real voice. It’s not the voice she’d use when she’s fully grounded in herself, feeling safe and secure and sure. And least, I don’t think it is. I think we can tell these things about people.

I do that, too. I use a fake voice. It’s hard to blog in my real voice, and sometimes I’m not sure if I’m doing it. I’ll have to go back and read it later, maybe much later. If it hits me funny or I throw up a little in my mouth, I’ll know I was off-centre or maybe afraid to be fully authentic.

I think I’m about to do it right now. I’ve reflected on this topic and now I’m done, but I feel like maybe I should wrap it up neatly. If I force it, you’ll know. It’ll be super cheesy and cliché.



What does your voice or body tell you? I’d love to connect about similar experiences you’ve had.

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