Slice of Life 3: Truth Speaking vs. Shit Talking

by Kate Flowers, Heinemann Fellow 

I spend a lot of time beating myself up over things I say.

If you know me, you know I talk. A lot. And that I often say exactly what I’m thinking, as unwise as it may be.

People who like me might say that this makes me a Truth Speaker. And yes, in the best cases, it does.

But often it just makes me a Shit Talker.


And so tonight, I find myself standing over the sink cramming handfuls of popcorn in my mouth, running the rewind reel of the day over and over.

I shouldn’t have said, I think.

That was pretty mean-spirited, I think.

Today there were way too many moments where I was most definitely Shit Talking, under the guise of Truth Speaking. So, where’s the line?

I know for sure the line exists. For me, the line between Truth Speaking and Shit Talking can be best defined by whether or not I am following the Four Agreements. (If you know me, you know I fervently believe that all of life’s “thorns and arrows” can be cured by the right book.)


Like thousands of other people, I first read this book after the author, Don Miguel Ruiz, appeared on Oprah. I was freshly out of college, a single mom and new teacher, and the agreements seemed like a gift. The were simple, wise, indisputable.

Here they are:


When I’m Shit Talking, I’m usually violating at least three of the four agreements. I’m not being impeccable with my word. I’m almost always making assumptions.  I am definitely not doing my best. And if I’m being honest, the motivation behind the Shit Talking is usually that I am taking something personally.

Time to read the book again. Perhaps, time to get these agreements tattooed on my forehead.

A bowl of popcorn later, all I can do is resolve to do better, starting now.

Thanks for reading my third entry in the Slice of Life Challenge. March 3, 2017.



4 thoughts on “Slice of Life 3: Truth Speaking vs. Shit Talking

  1. Thanks for the reminder, friend. Words are powerful, and I know I need to do a better job myself with how I use them—that I’m using them “in the direction of truth and love.” Also, whatever you’re beating yourself up for—hugs. And you’re awesome. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Careful with those forehead, tattoos, Kate! That being said, I can relate to the impulse, and the self-flagellating on this one (as someone with a tendency to over-talk and get on my educational high-horse). When I took a “Meditation for Educators” course a couple of years back, we reflected on avoiding judgment with our words and thoughts. Not easy to follow. But important to remember — as were the reminders in your piece. And speaking of judgment, don’t be too hard on yourself, amiga. Keep up the truth-talkin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s easy to be hard on ourselves, Kate. I think it’s hard to be kind all of the time. It just is. I beat myself up for it and try to check myself, but I often wreck myself. Once I recognize what I’m doing, I try to be better, be more aware. Hands Free Mama and Only Love Today have helped me immensely, but I’m definitely a work in progress. Truth talkin is the way to go. I’m trying, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think you hit at the core– it’s a fine line between truth telling and shit talking. I’m working with a new math coach this year. She’s struggling with, as she says, “all of my criticisms and judgements.” We had a long talk on Friday about how these criticisms are what makes her good at her job. But the next step is figuring out how to share these observations, when to share them, and how to keep in mind all that is already good.

    Liked by 1 person

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