I havenít been very pleased with my practice of being-ness lately. Lots of noise in my head has arisen and itís lingering (not yet fading). Recently, some of that noise is anger. I like to think that I donít get angry, so this was a surprise. But then I learned something, had some insight, so I making it a lesson for me. And part of that lesson is to share it, so let me explain.
I ran out of a prescription medication a month ago and it took three days for the doctor to send the renewal the pharmacy. Thatís a looong time to refill a simple prescription for a relatively mild medication. I was angry at the doctorís office for taking so long to do this seemingly simple thing and that because of it I had to go without my medication for three days, but I also understood that the people involved were doing their best under their unique circumstances. The doctorís office finally sent over a new prescription, and on my bottle it says that it can be refilled until 2/10. Good, I think, no more hassles about this for a year. Well, itís a one-month supply, so when I call to refill it this month they tell me there are no refills and the doctor needs to send them a new prescription. ďWhat? Itís good for a year, says so right on the bottle,ď I say. ďBut thereís no number of refills, just a date,Ē the pharmacist says. ďWe need a number or we canít refill it.Ē This is on Saturday, and I am on my last pill. All of this means that the doctorís office wonít get notified until Monday, and it could be days before the doctor sends the NUMBER of refills so they pharmacy can fill a prescription that is dated to be good for a year (by my math that equals the number 12). So now Iím pissed off. ďThatís just stupid!Ē I tell the pharmacist, but thatís all that can be done for now. We hang up, but now I am MAD. I rehearse this madness over and over again, until finally I sit and examine it, try to use some mindfulness and look into it a little more deeply.
What I learned was that I could let go of the anger better the first time because I understood it was people involved and just the mechanics of paperwork interacting with office dynamics; the woman at the office explained they were busy and doing their best and felt bad that it was taking so long. This time, however, it is much harder to let go of the anger because I donít understand a system the pharmacy has in place that prevents filling a prescription that is up to date. The first time I could understand because it was people, but this time itís a system that I just canít understand (yes, I know, people created the system). So hereís my point (thank you for your patience so far), its not what the pharmacy did this time; itís my lack of understanding what they did. My ďselfĒ bumped into something it didnít understand and became angry about it. My ďselfĒish attachment isnít so much about my pills or the time it takes to get my pills. I can let that go fairly easy. No, my attachment is to understanding things! Itís easy to let things just be when you have an understanding of those things, but when you donít understandÖÖ.. thatís hard!
So, what Iím wondering now is how much of our anger is this lack of understanding? Or maybe I should say how much of our anger is this attachment to understanding?
Thanks for letting me share. Itís really noisy in my head, so I think Iím gonna go do 4-hr zazenkai and see if that can quiet things.