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I’m Not Biting My Tongue Anymore! Speaking My Truth: Learned From Kids

Speaking my truth, I’m a GenX’er and that comes with many things I’m proud of. We didn’t get trophies much but the ribbons I earned from track are cherished memories. We were the generation raised by the Boomers who mostly believed, “spare the rod spoil the child” or”children should be seen and not heard.” I was a talker (ok laughing) and I still am a talker. An undiagnosed annoying girl who has no filter, but sharply learned to zip it. “Think before you speak,” became my mantra. Now I’m saying “oops the filter was off.” No, I’m not apologizing or biting my tongue anymore, and here’s why! I’ve learned while helping my kids why it’s important to keep speaking my truth and stop silencing my voice.

Is It Honest?

I learned to think of the words we speak passing through a few gateways. The first one being is what I want to say honest? I’m a truth-teller so this has never been tricky for me. I am the too blunt, too honest, sometimes brutally honest woman. I rarely sugarcoat the truth. Many times this served me up a nice dose of anger from the receiver of my words. Sometimes the truth hurts and can be a tough pill to swallow. It’s important to “speak truth to bullshit. Be civil,” one of my favorite quotes from Brene Brown. I will continue to speak the truth.

Is It Kind?

My next thought I consider is whether or not our words are spoken with kindness. Is the truth we speak an investment in the relationship? Does it come from a place of empathy and compassion? Is the intention behind speaking the truth to bridge understanding and build others up? Sometimes the truth hurts, and setting boundaries are difficult, but if we soften it with a level of kindness and decency, and present an empathetic voice, it makes the pill go down a bit easier sometimes. This can only come from the heart. We can’t fake kindness.

Is It Necessary?

The final checkpoint I process in speaking the truth is to determine if it’s necessary. This is the one I stumble on the most! Is it necessary for me to speak the truth to set my boundaries? YES! Is it necessary for others to know what I will or will not tolerate? YES! Is it necessary to beat my head against a brick wall with someone who refuses to ever hear or listen? Or responds with verbal abuse? Definitely NOT! Will my words matter or make any impact whatsoever? I sure as hell hope so even if it’s not today!

Many times I get completely flustered or straight-up angry at something and find it difficult to even form words into a sentence. Then I back down, can’t respond, do the entire fight or flight, freeze, and fawn is usually my emotional response to bullshit. This past couple of years I have become braver and I’m no longer afraid of whether or not I will offend someone with speaking the truth.

words have power

I Taught My Kids to Use Their Words

As I myself learned how to speak better, I shared and taught this also to my kids. And always, when they become emotional and I can see frustration, the best process to the regulation of their emotions, has been to say “use your words.” What do you need? How can I help? What is bothering you? And then the truth flows, understanding transpires, the negotiation begins and peace flows.

When emotional regulation is not happening, that’s when timeouts have to happen. I have one quiet child who is introverted, and when she speaks it’s so necessary. We have to pull it out of her. I have twins who, like me, say anything. So with our different communication styles, I can see when one wants to speak truthfully but is afraid, and I can see one sometimes get down and dirty with zero filter. The goal is no regretful words, and understanding to take place. They all do this so much better than me sometimes.

So I’m Speaking Truth to Bullshit!

I have learned from them and many others to speak truth to power. So it comes down to this. When I’m offended or I disagree, should I hold my tongue? No, not anymore. This crap has become too important to be silent. I have spent the past two years chilling in my home, avoiding crowds, spending time in solitude, listening to clients, reading and educating myself about everything going on that will directly have an impact on my children, their futures and the future of my grandchildren. Even if I’m wrong, I’m not afraid because I’m fully willing to stand corrected, and welcome dialogue. I need to say what needs to be said instead of being mowed over.

Here’s The Truth, My Truth

Black Lives Matter! I speak proudly these words now and forever. Until we value black lives the same as white lives, we will continue to witness dehumanizing. The lives of my offspring, their partners, friends, family, and children are devalued by the current system. This needs to change. Black lives are human lives and deserve to be valued. Why would anyone argue this?

I remain confident that our system was built to oppress POC and protect white males so they can retain their positions of patriarchal power. This statement is making many white men extremely uncomfortable. Why?

Freedom comes with responsibility. People who abuse their freedom (privilege) to harm others need to be held accountable. I want to hear more discussion about responsibility because freedom isn’t available for everyone.

I continue to defend and protect anyone who is being wronged, discriminated against, or who needs help standing up for themselves. No longer will I stand down to bullies, or internet trolls, or people trying to justify and protect what is wrong.

Greed is wrong. Corporate greed is causing so much corruption. It causes poverty. It’s deeply rooted in envy. Greed is a scarcity mindset. Abundance is generosity, and care for others when you have more than enough for yourself.

Layout all of the 7 deadly sins and we are seeing the interconnection daily. The ugliness and violence is beyond enough. In fact, it seems these human behaviors are sometimes glorified. It’s time to speak to what is wrong if we are ever going to take a stand to make things right.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.

Teri Clark

Teri is a Boss Babe for 30 years in the hair industry. While owning and running her business in Northern Colorado, she’s most proud of being the CEO of her beautiful family. She has three talented flown and grown daughters, 24 and 20 year old identical twins. Her life experiences have embodied plenty of transitions including marriage, children, and a stay at home mom life. Followed by relocations from VA to TX to CO, working with at risk teens, grieving the heartbreak of divorce and the pivoting struggles of single parenting. While stabilizing life in Colorado as a single working mom for the past 15 years, she never forgets to give back through philanthropy projects. She has a passion for people, reading, dancing, music, connecting with kids and empowering women in all circles of life, especially behind the chair. With empty nesting now at hand, she aspires to add writer, painter, musician, gardener, traveler and stay at home dog mom to her resume. Exploring all that life has to offer in gratitude, is the catalyst for her creativity.

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