The Queen of My Self


by Joan Chittister

Most of us know when we’re at a crossroad in life, when old answers have gone dry, when our souls have gone dry here, when nothing but another choice is possible. Then come the struggle and the dickering, the pain and the fear over which of the many directions we could take, over which we ought to take.

Indeed, the big decisions in life are hardly ever clear—except for one. And that one is piercingly clear: life is a series of dilemmas, of options, of conundrums, of possibilities taken and not taken. Negotiating these moments well is the essence of the life well lived.

As a result, we know now that this search for the whole self is no longer resolved through an educational process alone or even the choice of a good career. This search for the whole self is a process of making spiritual choices between the good and the better, the holy and the mundane, the essence of life and the cosmetic. We have built change into our futures, our educational options, our lives. We have come to understand that no life is set in stone anymore. On the contrary, life is a slow-won evolution of the self that taps every level of our lives and touches all its great questions.

Choice is the holy-making stuff of life. There is no such thing as the inconsequential. Everything we do affects something and someone. Choice, therefore, is a spiritual skill of great import.


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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


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