‘Benefit of the Doubt’

Do you believe in the meaning of words? Do you believe them as they reach your ear?

Do you give people the benefit of the doubt? Do you put your faith in them?

I do.

So I’ve accepted that sometimes my heart will break, that sometimes people will disappoint me; that they’ll lie and try to cheat me, whilst really tricking their own selves.

I’ll try to remind myself they’re not necessarily bad people, that we all err, that we all stumble our way through life. I’ll try not to judge them too harshly, to judge their acts instead, and remember that there’s a person underneath.

I’ll try to remember we’re all flawed- me first. I’ll recall the times I’ve erred, hurt others, made mistakes. I’ll try to see a piece of myself in them, empathize.

I’ll learn to enforce some boundaries, not to be such a permeable membrane; keep some stuff out, not let it hurt me.

I’ll continue to have faith in people; I won’t turn into a cynic. I’ll keep giving chances, but I’ll learn to draw some lines. The latter might be the more difficult task.

I’ll try to remember: “I’m not responsible for the world’s problems. I’m not responsible for other people’s feelings. It’s not always up to me to fix things, fix people”. I can only fix my own self… if I’m willing.

And when I meet another member of this secret congregation of which I’m part of, when he or she will utter “I give people the benefit of the doubt, even to a fault”, I’ll try not to let my latest bad experience render me afraid to get hurt. I’ll give this person a chance, believe the words being said, believe that it’s the truth.

I’ll try again.

And someday, maybe someday, perhaps, I’ll learn to protect this precious marshmallow heart.

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