Benefit of the doubt

 

Some layers of giving someone the benefit of the doubt…

There is a generosity in giving someone the benefit of the doubt. There is receptivity and an open heart here.

It comes from a receptive view. From recognizing that I don’t know. No matter how much a story feels true, other stories tells me it is true, and others agree, I don’t know. It comes from being receptive to the validity in other stories than the ones I am familiar with, and the limited validity in the stories I am familiar with.

It comes from an open heart. From recognizing myself in the other and a sense of us.

And sometimes, it is supported by a felt sense of nurturing fullness. (A felt-sense of security from an alive belly center.)

And I do it for myself. I give someone the benefit of the doubt for my own sake. And the other person may benefit from the open space there as well. It is an invitation to find a little more maturity there.

At the same time, when I act in the world, I can be smart about it in all the conventional ways. I don’t need to act naive. I am free to do what seems appropriate.

And in a practice perspective, there are a few things I can explore.

Do I fix on a single story about the person, assuming it is true? If so, can I find other interpretations that may be equally valid? And can I find what I see in the other right here? Can I see it, in specific situations. Can I feel it? Can I include it in my self image?

Even if I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, are there times and situations when I don’t? What is going on there? What stories come up for me? Am I coming from a fixed identity?

And when I do give people the benefit of the doubt, how do I act on it? Am I still able to be smart about it in all the usual and conventional ways?

Draft…

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is another thing we can explore…

I can notice what happens when I give someone the benefit of the doubt, and when it is easier for me to do so. I can explore what happens when I don’t give someone the benefit of the doubt and what brings me into that space. And I can explore how to live from it in the world.

……..

  • benefit of the doubt
    • generosity
      • receptivity of view
        • don’t know
        • recognize as confusion only, coming from innocence
      • open heart
        • sense of us
      • sense of security from belly
        • nurturing fullness
    • practical approach
      • benefit of the doubt
        • more honest, sincere
        • opens space for both of us, space to mature into
        • still be smart about it, act in ways that seems appropriate
    • practice
      • notice what I do
        • do I fix onto a story? can I find other interpretations? can I find in myself what I see over there?
        • if I generally give the benefit of the doubt, when do I not?
        • what happens when I give the benefit of the doubt? can I still be smart about it?

…….

There is a generosity in giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

Initial outline…

  • benefit of the doubt
    • generosity
      • receptivity of view
      • open heart
      • sense of security from belly
    • practical approach
      • benefit of the doubt
      • recognize, if there
        • a story is only a question, even if taken as a statement or truth (by me or others)
        • is play of awakeness/emptiness
      • also, be smart about it in a conventional sense
        • do what seems appropriate, don’t be naive
    • notice what tend to do
      • notice if fix on a story
      • shadow projection
      • anything else

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