Sunday, November 1, 2009

Always Give the Benefit of a Doubt

Last week was a crazy week for me. I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with some friends and family members that I hadn't seen in a while. Sometimes the daily aspects of life seem to take over and it's so easy to put off visits and catch up sessions until you've realized a few months have passed.

I was able to spend a wonderful day with my husband's Aunt window shopping and having lunch. We were able to catch up and reconnect which was much needed for both of us. Later that week my mother-in-law had some free passes to Epcot so I was blessed to be able to join her for the day and experience the International Food & Wine Show as well. It was a day well spent.

The day before heading to Epcot, I learned that a previously close friend was in town for vacation, staying with family, and asked if I was able to meet up with her. I was able to set aside one day where I could drive out and meet her. I should preface this by saying it had been over 3 years since I last saw her. Actually, the last time I saw her was at our wedding. She leads a very busy lifestyle and has an equally demanding career. I had made some attempts to contact her but hadn't ever heard back. From time to time I had wondered if there would be a chance for us to reconnect once I was back in my hometown. I had even started to wonder if perhaps she was upset or diappointed with me for one reason or another. Given the fact that everything was fine before seeing her at the wedding, the only thing I could come up with was perhaps she hadn't received the thank you card for her wedding gift that I had mailed her. But knowing her, I knew that wasn't her style, so I let that thought go.

We were able to catch up starting from my wedding date up until the current day and I got to learn all about what has been going on in her life and she mine. It was a really great day and after an hour or so it felt like old times. I had even jokingly mentioned that because we hadn't chatted in so long that I wondered if perhaps it was due to something like her being upset with me, or perhaps not receiving the thank you card? I sort of laughed it off knowing that she probably thought I was being silly. Suprisingly, she said, "actually you know, I never did receive a thank you card." I was shocked and somewhat disturbed by the fact that I believed all this time that she had in fact received it. It was important to me for everyone's gifts to have felt appreciated and I love to send thank you cards. It made me wonder who else didn't receive theirs, since I had sent out every single one exactly one month after our wedding day and all at once.

Our conversation was a bit akward after that for a few minutes and later on in the evening she had jokingly brought it up again, so I wasn't convinced that she believed that I had actually sent the card. It made me wonder how often certain events take place in our lives and how quick we might be to assume instead of give the benefit of the doubt instead.

It's so easy to let your imagination run away with you, instead of believing the best about someone. I once heard somebody say that we judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

I know there have been times where I have tried to figure out why something worked out the way it did, or assumed instead of giving someone the benefit of the doubt. It will be my goal going forward to believe the best about everyone, especially the people who have disappointed me time and time again and whose stories don't always line up. It is not my job to figure everyone out or judge anyone's motives but rather to love others unconditionally and treat them as I would want to be treated.

Have any of you experienced something similar?


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