Ignorance is not stupidity. Basically, ignorance means that I'm uninformed; that literally I do not have the information. But when I am ignorant my knee-jerk emotional reaction is to feel stupid. Those are two separate things! If I haven't lied or misrepresented myself in a situation, there's ultimately nothing to fear in saying "I don't know."
My mother suffered terribly from rheumatoid arthritis -- especially in the latter part of her life. She was a good patient, though, and of the generation which viewed the Doctor as a sort of Higher Power. No patient advocacy for her. If the doctor said "take this pill" she took that pill. She was diligent about her meds and whatever treatments were recommended. Thus she did experience some degree of relief from her arthritis pain. But once in a while she would wince and hold up her poor, mangled hands, moving her fingers with what little flexibility remained and say, "I took my medicine today but... today my arthritis pains me." I think the same can be said of alcoholism. You do the deal, go to meetings, follow direction, read, pray, meditate, be of service... and in so doing you get a real and substantive result. But some days... some days are just rougher than others. On those days I think of my mother and I say to myself... "Today... today my alcoholism pains me." Ain't no big metaphysical thing. I sit tight, and eventually it passes.
Procrastination is an act of sabotage. The proverbial -- even cliche -- self sabotage. It is the most pernicious and toxic character defect I continue to struggle with. I know it comes from my fear and (strangely sometimes) my sense of entitlement, tag-teaming me in a slow motion water ballet, constantly, with almost elegant rationale, pushing my head back under the water. Sometimes when I despair of ever making real and lasting progress in this arena I think of St. Therese, (which is maybe an odd thing to pop into my mind, but there it -- she -- is) and how at one time, after a long run of feeling very close to God -- almost ecstatic in the way of those who are (supposedly) profoundly connected to their Higher Power -- she fell into a deep, dark despair. In today's parlance we would likely call it a clinical depression. By most accounts, finding herself in this state, she felt abandoned by God since she had been such an impassioned ecstatic before. Finally, she decided that this darkness, this despair, was in fact a gift from God. I don't believe from what I've read that she saw it as a punishment for some unknown transgression -- or even a test, exactly (though those ideas occurred to her). But instead she decided to treat it as an opportunity to offer the purest submission she was able: If this was what was happening inside her, then God wanted this for her, and she would embrace it, offering her acceptance to God as a special calling. That's a broad paraphrase of what I've read -- and I'm not certain I always agree with her chain of reasoning -- but I think of that when I struggle and pray about procrastination -- such a destructive and shame-inducing part of me. And I consider that if this is the way I am now (still), and if I seem unable to make much real progress (for now), then this is the way I am, and instead of entreaty I offer submission and acceptance to my Higher Power. When (if) They offer me more assistance in dealing with this issue then They will do so in Their time, and until then I will submit. I will not quit. I will address the issue when it comes up (regularly irregularly, if you follow) but I will also try to accept myself with this deep, self destructive flaw, until with Divine assistance I truly transcend it.
There are more reflections like this one in "Mr. SponsorPants: Adventures in Sobriety and The 12 Steps for AA's and Others." Available as an eBook on Kindle via Amazon. Download a Kindle reader for free on any device or platform.