Many years ago I enrolled in a masters degree program at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. I was a minister in a medium to large church in Iowa. I was also coming undone. In those days I didn’t know why I was so anxious and depressed. I just knew I was having panic attacks and severe anxiety.
Sometime during the summer term, I was approached by one of my classmates. She was a campus chaplain at Notre Dame. She suggested we go out to a pub after classes. After classes I took my uber-anxious self out for a walk with this chaplain to the Blue Pelican. I tried to find it on the web just now to see if it still exists but, although there are various Blue Pelican establishments, none of them appear to be near Creighton in Omaha.
As soon as we got through the door, she looked up and said, “A pitcher of Guinness, please.” That pitcher got stretched to the next pitcher. We talked for a long time. I can’t remember anything we talked about at the Blue Pelican BUT I do remember the last words she said to me on the elevator to our rooms. She said, “You know, we are both anima and animus, male and female qualities. Maybe you should try to make friends with your anima.” That set me back a bit. I had never looked at my issues in those terms. (Yay, Carl Yung.)
How prescient those couple of sentences turned out to be!