Growing Older: Reader Essay by Jeannette Lopez

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

We are born to an unconscious legacy, and self-awareness does not come for decades. Our raw female energy germinates in wrenching moments that transform autopilot lives: a first sexual encounter, falling in love, pregnancy and birthing, losing one’s parents, betrayal and dissolution of a family, life-threatening illness, widowhood, becoming an elder Crone Soul.

In such times we experience the continuum that links our past, present, and future selves—but our perceptions are vague. Higher callings may emerge that taunt, tug, and persistently pull at us during the course of our busy and distracted lives. But we remain unaware and adhere to a furious pace of self-inflicted demands, duties, and obligations that challenge our sanity.

I stand alone, and I move forward. I leave behind my old clothes, old labels, old images, and old ideas no longer useful. My hungry, driven brain has morphed into calm watchful eyes. I have abandoned my security blankets and decluttered my life. Desperation and fretful impatience have dissolved.

In my seventh decade I seek guidance and I guide, speak to the heart, manifest the Middle Way, heal, lead, clarify, and simplify; I provoke others to seek their own inner message. I inhabit a body with a Felt Sense and many cohesive selves—the sum of all my parts and more, my Muse embracing all.

- Jeannette Lopez (Ph.D. ’80), Mandeville, Louisiana

Photographed by Susan Poag

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