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
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
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