Haunted Happiness

Nope. It's not about ghosts. That is not what I am writing about today. Even if I were trying to be trendy I'd be off by a week and a half.

No, what haunts my happiness isn't so polite as to only show up once a year. It is every. single. day.

What is this persistent pest? Does it have a name? Maybe you have guessed by now.


Guilt tells me I am a sellout to any and every ideology I've ever deigned to entertain. All for the price of happiness. Imagine it standing over me making me write a daily ransom note to get my sanity back:

"Shh!" Guilt says curtly. "Just write what I tell you."

I scribble some words down on the page about my parenting choices.

"Good," Guilt nods in approval.

I scrawl another line about spiritual wrestling and doctrinal non-conformity.

"Ah," Guilt sounds gleeful. "You are becoming quite the expert, aren't you? Continue."

I roll my eyes, but there is definitely a sigh of resignation. I move to a new page, because trust me, I've got volumes of dictation. I've lost count. How many more do I have to log today? At least one or two more before Guilt feels I've been satisfactorily reprimanded for not being perfect.

I scratch out one more thing about how I could have made better dietary selections. Oh, and then I add on the part about my fall clothes being particularly snug this year.

"Splendid!" Guilt claps its hands. "You've done exceptional work today. But don't get a big head. You aren't all that or really much of anything, mind you. Here is your sanity. Oh, I'm keeping one piece of it, because I'm still disappointed in you. See you tomorrow."

I never really know why I keep treating Guilt like an old friend. I need to tell it off and make the reason stick. I'm making the resolution to do it tomorrow. I might need an arsenal of positive affirmations to combat this wily foe. Will you help?

What should I say to Guilt when it arrives unannounced but expected on my doorstep tomorrow? Seriously. What should I say?

I eagerly and happily await your response. I bet you've met Guilt before, too, so this should be good. Let's help each other. Okay?



Jamie Bagley