The heart of it

The truth is not the thing we think it is

It moves, changes, morphs, transcends

It is fluent, and it depends

On only the deepest held feeling

As to how it emerges and when

In an argument it may stay hidden and never come about

Our task therefore is to tickle it out

Out of the hidden places

I don’t know why it likes to hide, there is a certain fear of it suddenly emerging in the wrong place, wrong time

Like a terrible spectre that we cannot bear

But that is perhaps because we feel it so badly, when it isn’t there, and it is its very lack that we are fighting against

There is nothing more infuriating then an inverse truth

We call this a lie, but it’s a little less obtuse than that

And a lot more obvious

The truth is in the thing that hurts the most and is almost impossible to say

Which is why arguments that ignore it do not go away

They keep circling back




And at every pitched battle in between.

As a relationship grows older


The partners less complicit with drama, and more competent in being together

We learn to sing the truth like an opening sonnet that sticks to its own very strict structure

Tell the truth

What hurts?

Get to the point and don’t prevaricate

Know that you are just as probably the problem, as the reflection which is annoying you in your opposition

Don’t pick on someone who is tired

Don’t be mean

Fight clean

And don’t bring up things that aren’t pertinent to the immediate problem

Open with love and respect

Close with the mission to always protect the relationship first

And our own ego last

In this way entire wars are won

Words that needed saying are said and done

And no one loses any precious ground

Yet builds their sovereignty higher

*arguments get a bad wrap. People avoid them because they are adverse to conflict but sometimes they need to happen just to clear the air of smoke and bring the truth into the room.

And the truth is something that keeps needing to be hauled back into the room where everyone can see it.


The truth is difficult to find and sometimes it takes a lot of energy to get to the heart of the matter. A great deal of damage can be inflicted on egos in the meantime if the war rages off topic and just gets mean or descends to snide chipping.

Learning to argue without getting caught up in drama or sidetracked by emotions is a difficult but worthwhile skill . Sometimes the only way to do it is to have so many arguments that you just get better at it.

But I have found one element that if you place it smack in the middle and don’t stray too far from it, is a game changer.

The truth doesn’t always look like the thing which began the argument in the first place, but it’s always there, right where it hurts. Find the place it hurts and then the truth won’t be too far off that point. Sometimes it is lodged where we least expect it, often it resides in ourself.

Peace is something I strive for, crave but these days if it takes blowing a bit of smoke out of the air first, then I don’t walk away. And avoidance is not a thing I would recommend when people are becoming hurt, because in the end, it will just take far more energy down the track, then a simple discussion a long time ago would have expended.

Soonest begun, soonest said, soonest over and put to bed.

And everyone sleeps peacefully again.

Header photo: Taislia Stupak Unsplash

10 thoughts on “The heart of it

  1. Well written and very thought-provoking. Choosing your battles, and perhaps like most things in life, there’s sometimes never a right time until it’s spoken.

  2. Very true. Food for thought. As I was reading your post I was running through my head the many arguments I have avoided in life to buy peace. Yes, as you correctly say, the truth gets compromised. Lots of changes need to be made , the art to be learnt..

    • Families and relationships are torn apart in silence and suffering quietly from conversations that need to be had – far more I would say, then clearing the air with honest truth. The more regular the truth clearing, the less energy it takes. Just do it with love and truth in the middle and the egos well outside of it and all will be well. If all is not well then there is more to discuss, step back and have a think then step back into the conversation again when everyone is ready.

  3. “fight clean” is the most beautiful lime I’ve read all day. Be honest with your heart but duke it out! Definitely the key to a successful relationship ☺️

    • In families and important relationships we know the other person well, arguments spiral and get ugly when we intentionally press a persons “buttons” – those things that truly hurt or annoy them. That area is below the belt as far as I’m concerned, and is an issue that they need to work on, not have pointed out to them every time a conflict arises. That’s what I mean by fighting clean, stick to the matter at hand and don’t slip into name calling and character dismantling – it doesn’t solve anything and can sometimes lead to irreversible damage because we no longer trust that person not to spitefully hurt us.
      Lessons learned from my Mother, lessons learned from my Father and lessons learned from living within my own family that I love so very much and hate to see anyone hurt or suffering. We learn diplomacy as parents when we have to separate warring factions and their bones of contention, yet still keep them bonded by love. Difficult but worthwhile heart felt work. 💕✨💪

  4. This is very interesting and thought-provoking, Kate. Cleverly written. I’m one of those who hate conflict, but in reading your post, I can see sense in dealing with difficulties in a relationship openly and honestly. I tend to bottle things up, and they either don’t come out at all, which I know isn’t healthy, or they come out in my writing. But unless the person concerned reads my writing, which rarely happens, I guess these difficulties never get ironed out. I’ve learned a lot by reading your piece today, so I thank you for sharing it so beautifully and openly—definitely food for thought.

    • Thanks Ellie, I think some people are blessed with relationships that are sincerely amicable due to the blend of personalities. However, when people have very different personalities, but care a great deal about each other, then compromises and honest conversations have to be had in order to ensure everyone returns to the most important point – which is protecting the relationship itself. It’s so easy for everything to get burnt down in a furry exchange of egos otherwise. The poetry tends to sound more dramatic then the situation ever is, but that is because poetry goes to the heart of the matter rather than the thin skin on the surface of an issue. My family and fundamental relationships are the highest priority for me, so I ensure that they are strong. If we have a strong family around us, anything is possible, not only for ourselves but for every member of the family. But families are full of different personalities, so it can be a bit of a battle to stop the battles sometimes 😁 it’s so important though, as a parent and as a partner, it’s well worth the energy to have the right conversations and keep having them. I’ve seen families shredded to bits over seemingly small and bitter things that could be solved by an honest conversation. There is nothing like open lines of communication and knowing you can depend on each other though. I think writing things down is a great way to tell yourself what is hurting, but share it because people really don’t realise sometimes how their actions or words are affecting those around them.

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