The call comes from my veterinarian at 4, saying my cat’s 5:30 appointment has to be changed. The vet needs to leave and there is no one who can fill her spot. Will Friday at 5:30 work?
There is nothing on my calendar Friday at 5:30. But that doesn’t matter. The Judge does not like that I’m being asked to rearrange my schedule; something “could” come up. Someone is at fault that my appointment must be changed, and since I properly booked the appointment, the fault must lie outside of me.
I’m trying to learn to accept things as they are, especially things I know are not worth getting upset about. This interaction is about as ordinary and mundane as they come: a changed appointment.
I can practice, in real-life, skills I’m learning in meditation. This is a soft pitch, right?
Unfortunately, at this moment, I’ve learned nothing.
The Judge, for reasons a mystery to me, has been activated. And is intent on blaming someone. This time, the target is external. She’s grabbed hold of my voice and injected righteousness into it. Even as I say, “no, Friday won’t work for me,” I can feel the sharpness, the displeasure, the clear message that changing this appointment is unacceptable. “I am being wronged,” is the message the Judge intends to send. “And you are wrong because of it.”
The tone of voice pains me; I’m sure it is felt by the other person. I suspect I come across as angry and mad at them. Even though the person calling me has nothing to do with these changed circumstances. Even though this isn’t how I want to respond.
Despite the fact that one character wants to accept what “is” and change the appointment graciously, another character—the Blaming Judge—has grabbed the steering wheel, irritably intent on driving the car toward the wall of blame.
I manage to retain enough control to reschedule the appointment without more righteousness leaking out, but I’m left wondering…why does blame even appear?