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So Guilt, we’ve been tight companions for such a long time now. I carry you everywhere. You’re familiar and comfortable, we know each other so very well.

But you know, you are a heavy backpack. I’m getting tired. Really tired.

I’m just going to set you down here, by the side of the trail. Just for a time. Let’s call it a trial separation.

I know, I know. You’re shocked.

“But I’ve served you so well,” you say. “I remind you of so many things – what you should be doing, where you need to be, who you need to take care of, of the many things you’ve left undone.”

Yes, you’re always whispering in my ear, letting me know how I should improve. Sternly, you remind me of the many people who suffer, how much worse life could be, and that therefore I should not aspire for more.

You are so articulate when you outline the many reasons I need to shut up and get back to work.

It occurs to me now, perhaps underneath your dexterous explanations lurk that old patriarchal Christian cliche:  “Idle hands are the devil’s work.”

But I don’t believe in that one. Or do I? You’ve certainly found ways to make it seem true.

For just a little while I’m going to cut you loose Guilt – along with your sidekick, Regret.

I know you don’t need me. You’re just fine hanging out there, heavy and solid like the rocks beside you.

But it’s funny, even though I’m so much lighter setting down that pack, I feel a little lost without your familiar weight.

Maybe I don’t need you either, Guilt. I’m going to take a chance and move on without you for a few days. I know you’ll be right here waiting for me if I change my mind.