Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Give the Benefit of the Doubt


We are all under so much stress these days. Isn’t it easy to find ourselves frustrated with the behavior of others? “They should not behave that way,” so easily pops into our minds and perhaps out of our mouths. Let’s practice offering the benefit of the doubt to ourselves and others.

So many of us were judged a lot in our lives—as children and then continuing to our schools and jobs. In fact, we might have noticed that we hear the judging voices in our heads about ourselves. Aha! That might just explain why we formulate negative thinking about another. We see outside ourselves what we are experiencing inside. Oh my!

Rosco Pasture III, 16 x 20, SOLD

We become aware of this phenomenon and shift. Let’s catch this habit and experiment with  different behavior What if we saw the innocent person doing the best he or she can? What if we gave the benefit of the doubt?

Please try it. Right away we will observe that we feel better doing that. Especially note how this feels when applied to our own dear self.

Seeing Innocence, the Goodness. Seeing as Inner Being sees.

One Woman’s Offering a Kind View

Picture this scene: two sisters with grown children, Patricia and Maddy. Patricia has a lake house. She invites Maddy, the protagonist for this account.

Maddy wants to include her children. Patricia nixes that idea—Maddy’s son who has had a drug problem is not invited. Patricia’s young grandchildren will attend, and P fears the influence of the nephew with substance abuse issues.

Feeling hurt and reactive, Maddy jumps to the defense of her son and pushes back.

The phone call does not go well after that. Maddy gets upset as does Patricia.

Let’s look at what Maddy does to recover

Soothing Herself

Our heroine Maddy realized she was feeling out of balance. Our star M wanted some calm and soothing, harmony with her sister and relaxed about her son.

Inside herself, this dear woman recognized that her defense of her son was a reaction: In that moment M felt hurt at her sister “rejecting” her son.

M calmed herself and saw the kindness in the invitation. Dear M owned how sensitive she felt to any pushing away  of her son and his past behavior. Ok Maddy could see why she was upset.

What about Patricia’s point of view? “Oh,” realized M, “Pat feels protective of her grandchildren and wants to honor wishes of her son, father of these grandchildren. That father is afraid of drug abuse and as a result afraid of Maddy’s son’s influence. I can walk a bit in those shoes. I can understand that reaction.”

Our heroine shifted her thoughts about her sister to more supportive and compassionate ones. M forgave herself for her reaction too. Then this dear woman felt better!

Then for that moment Maddy let it go and went on with other things in life.


A few days later, feeling more balanced, the recovered sister was ready to take action. Maddy crafted a note of apology to her sister. By expressing her love our heroine felt much relief.

Changing our own thought helps US feel better. M did not look to P to apologize or take action, Maddy used her own personal power to shift from a judging and hostile posture to an accepting one. We can all do that.

Do you have examples of good things flowing from seeing the best in yourself or another? I would love to hear them. Please comment.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

(Mission statement here).