Yesterday was an interesting day. Somehow I had convinced myself that I had made progress. Yes, even after the last post where I exposed the proof of continued arrogance. Both Ann Albers, Byron Katie, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama tell us that other people are our best mirrors. Other people evoke or provoke aspects of our personality. If we keep alert, we can watch ourselves in that mirror.
OK, watch this. Last night I needed to refill the prescription for needles for my diabetic dog, Maisie. We have been injecting insulin into Maisie for more than a year, picking up a new supply of needles every 50 days, with rarely a problem. Sometimes, the pharmacist will ask me if I have a prescription for the needles. I explain its for the dog. “Oh, yeah, I see that. No problem.” and the pharmacist gives me a box of one-hundred needles.
Last night, the pharmacist challenged me, “I'll have to call the doctor. There are no refills left on the order.”
Its nearly 7:00PM and the veterinary office is long since closed. “Its for my dog,” I explain.
“I know its for your dog,” she says, “I will have to call the doctor to renew the prescription.”
I got angry. “Look, that prescription has said 'No refills' for over a year. Since it's for the dog, it doesn't require a new prescription.”
“Oh, wait a minute,” she says as she is typing into the computer. "There is a newer prescription on file. I'll use it.”
“Thank you,” I said.
“Nope, can't do it. I need to call the doctor.”
“OK, just give me a pack of ten needles to get me by until you can call the doctor.” (For some reason, they can sell a pack of ten needles without a prescription, but not a box of one-hundred needles.)
“OK,” she said as she pulled out a bag of ten needles. “Oh, wait! You don't need a prescription renewal for the dog. Do you still want the bag of ten, or do you want the box of one-hundred.”
I was confused and I was very irritated. Did I not tell her it was for the dog, and did she not confirm that she knew that? “Please give me the box of one-hundred needles.”
As I drove out of the parking lot, I realized I was still angry and thinking many negative thoughts toward the pharmacist. I also realized that I still have some nasty issues with judgment and arrogance. There is no way that I can justify the irritation I felt about the situation. The mirror worked! I saw myself as I was. Byron Katie's admonition came to mind, “Love what is.” I'm not going to change anything but my chemistry and my health by allowing anger to rule. So, now the question is, how do I restructure my thinking so that these silly situations don't cause so much turmoil within?