A Transition

Perhaps by now my book will be published. Actually, it was published and on the market for five days, when it was brought to my attention that there were grammatical and punctuation errors in the book (so like me) that far exceeded any acceptable mistakes, I took it off the market for additional editing. But before that happened, my plan was to write blogs that paralleled the stories, events, and people in my book.

I wrote blogs about how abuse affects children, embedding both vulnerability and a mistrusting hardness into the developmental core of the child. I wrote about the common denominators between myself and Marilyn Monroe that would elicit a felt sense of the familiar, which as I look back I can see attracted her step-son, Joe DiMaggio Jr. to me, a seventeen-year-old ignorant waif.  I wrote about my own substance abuse and the many people that I had lost through out my life to addictions. In the middle of writing about addictions and the people that I had lost to the disease, the hungry ghost of addiction took the life of my own daughter. It will take me awhile to sort through all of my thoughts and feelings surrounding her sudden death. Lastly, I wrote about the myriad of people, places and things that I had made into gods with a small “g”.

I am so pleased to have found balance in my book between the dark and the light, the pain and the grace that has filled my life. Contrary to what many people think, it is not the abuses or the hardships that I recall– it’s the wonderment of all of the ways I have been blessed.

While I was getting my degree in theology at a catholic university, the program required that we have spiritual direction, a God guidance and inquiry by a spiritual mentor. In flushing out my most deeply held spiritual beliefs, Sister Alexandria asked me reflection questions like, “Why did you decide on that course of action?” or “How did you know to do that?”

I always responding by saying, “It directed me.”After a year of weekly “chats,” one day Alexandria said, “Do you think that you could start calling ‘It’ God?”I said, “No, I’m not comfortable calling my “It’ God, because maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.”

I know some people would call my experience “God.” Others might call it intuition, or good old common sense. I have never known the origin of my “It” but I can tell you this for certain, when I am not into an active addiction–alcohol,sugar, shopping, studying or zoning out on television–I have a powerful source within that guides me to people and places that I never dreamed possible.

I believe that everyone has access to this guidance regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs. A Catholic nun wanted me to refer to this beautiful something as god with a capital “G”. She didn’t care that I was not a practicing Catholic; she simply believed that God’s hand was guiding my life.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could be so affirming toward one another? My “take away” from the Catholic university was that I was soundly affirmed in my abiding belief in the mystery that remains unnamed to me.

Throughout his life, the highly respected catholic priest, Father Thomas Merton was interested in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism and of course, the great Catholic mystics.

“Merton was not interested in what these traditions had to offer as doctrines and institutions, but was deeply interested in what each said of the depth of human experience.” Wikipedia.

Wouldn’t it be a magnificent shift in our collective human consciousness if we could affirm and support each other on our respective spiritual journeys regardless of different perspectives? What if we just listened to one another’s perspective from a place of compassionate curiosity without having an agenda?

Beginning in early childhood, an angel visited me speaking to me in words that could not have come from my own mind. I named her J. Marie because as a child I named everything including the Dempsey dumpsters that fed me abundantly. I will tell you about J. Marie one day in another bog, but first I want to write about the angels in my life disguised as women, the kind with real skin that hides their wings from human eyes. Three of the four women/angels that I write about in my next few blogs are mentioned in my book. Ironically, I have no trouble believing in, talking about and describing the angel that appeared to me as a child, or the helpers along the way that I believe were sent by the powers that be, it is god, the one with a capital “G” that I have trouble talking about or describing.

May each of you find your own version of god with a capital, “G” whether it be a He, She, It or an angel with wings─a something, an aspect of the mystery that holds you up when life makes no sense or when you are in need of direction. Blessings to you as you proceed in your path in this life as you experience the depth and breadth of human experience.


Do you believe in angels?

Have you ever experienced the presence of an angel?

What about the people that came into your life at exactly the right time?

Was that just a coincident or help from something greater than yourself?

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  1. Beautiful posting and quite interesting.
    Being brought up Catholic, I do believe my “It” is God. However, even though I do have a strong bond with God, it’s because of the man made “doctrines” that, at times, keep me away from the Church itself. Angels? Yes. Have had many experiences that were felt and shown to me. Coincidents? No. I truly believe that God has a hand in everything about us, people we meet, good and bad times, pain and joy. My mantra has always been Everything happens for a reason, we shall not ask why, just know it is to be.
    As far as the book, it was so engrossing, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the typos.

  2. I believe in God and in Angels. I cannot imagine what a mess my life would be without belief, faith, and hope. I notice that you do not mention the Bible. The Bible says that, “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet still believe.” Folks will believe in mysticism, witchcraft, psychics, etc., so what is wrong with believing in the supernatural concept of God, or following the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Our society is too hung up on being politically correct, and most of us involved in the entertainment industry are concerned with other people’s perception of us if we are Believers. We must not judge people on whether they believe in God or not, but simply love one another and give without expecting anything in return. After all, you never know if that person you are placing judgement on is your Guardian Angel, do you?

    • Right on Mel!

      In your comment, I am reminded of the question, “How big is your God”. In all of the great religious traditions we are reminded not to judge people, but to simply love one another and give without expecting anything in return. Thank you for giving of your time today.

      Warm regards, dawn

  3. Absolutely!

    Nearly 15 years ago, the little girl I carried inside of me died at 28 weeks in utero. During the worst of my suffering, I woke one morning with the sensation of being held and comforted. I was incredibly calm in the midst of the most horrific experience of my life. Though the feeling didn’t last, I carried it with me through the long, dark times that lay ahead, and it reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

    The following Mother’s Day, a plant that I had on my porch had suddenly bloomed. I didn’t even know what it was! Some of the petals had fallen off, and they were in the shape of white hearts with bits of pink. The plant had never bloomed before, and never bloomed again. I felt affirmed yet again, and I found a way to see the pain of my experience as a necessary part of my path. I ended up writing a book for bereaved grandparents, and then life took off from there in new and unexpected directions.

    Thanks for sharing this post. Sometimes I forget about the great mystery that has brought me to where I am now, and how much guidance, support, and comfort exists — and I do call my helpers angels.

    • Dear Nadine,

      I am so sorry for the loss of your little girl. I do believe she appeared to you in the form of heart petals.

      So many times in my darkest hours, I have had the experience to which you refer to as “being held”. I will never know if it is God or angels. Yet I know for certain that there is a something, a mystery that passes all understanding, which offers guidance, support and comfort requiring only that I be open to Its grace.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Blessings to you always, dawn

  4. Yes, yes, yes I believe in angels. I have seen them and I have felt them brush past me. I believe God sends them. They ‘work’ for Him……I love being in the supernatural atmosphere, places of knowing God and angels are present. I love seeing things happen that have no other explanation other than being done by a power much bigger than myself. I used to be drawn to the dark atmosphere….now I am drawn to the place of Light.
    Dawn I have shared with many people about when you had me make a collage….one side of it was how I saw my dad and the other of how I saw God. What an eye opener that was for me. Jim and I have a home for women…..often when we counsel, we share about how, until we come to terms with our earthly father and forgive….we will have a stinted view of our heavenly Father. What you taught me in that one assignment, took years to fully develop into the relationship I now have with God. It was a big part of my being able to walk in peace. For this I am so thankful.
    Dawn, Jim and I have talked several times about what you brought into our lives…. We believe you were listening to a Voice that wasn’t your own…. What you taught us, has prepared us to be able to do what we do today. We are thankful for your willingness to teach and share what has been given to you.

    • Hi Merrily,

      Wow. This is one of the nicest responses that I have ever received. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

      I was unaware that you have a home for women. Just as you and Jim feel gratified in your work, it is heartwarming for me to know that I participated in some way toward your higher purpose. How wonderful that you have listened to your inner voice.

      The main reason that I went back to school was for a degree in pastoral helping as I wanted to lean, “things of the spirit.” I worried that I might not be listening to the right voice as it were. So one day I asked Sister Mary, “How do I know if this is truly God directing me in my work?” To which she responded, “You will know by the fruits.” Duh!

      Thank you again and God Bless,

      Fondly, dawn

  5. Hi Dawn,

    I believe in Angels. I studied the subject of Angels and surrounded my daughter with hundreds of thousands of them when she took to the streets of Seattle when she became addicted. I always heard that if you surround a person with Angels, then they would have the extra amount of help they might need to find their own way. From the belief in Angels, I found God. But it was first the Angels because they are the Nuturers. I looked at people differently believing that we could be visiting with Angels and not realize it. Or better yet, maybe one of the Angels would walk right up to my daughter and take her off the streets. Well, the truth is I did find God and I still believe in Angels. So much so, that I recognize the number sequence 444 means Angels are surrounding you. My license plate has that sequence. I took a Doreen Virtue class in Earth Angels and learned so much that we can do in our lives that help us to be Angels too.
    I love your last comment…”How do I know if this is truly God directing me in my work?” and the answer being …”You will know by the fruits.” I made a promise to God once and right now he is directing me. That is amazing to feel.

    • Hi Nancy,

      I am glad that you have found comfort in knowing about Angels especially, “When she (your daughter) took to the streets of Seattle when she became addicted.” I have had a similar situation with one of my children. However, I think that he is the angel that has come to teach me. His life style has caused me great pain while he seems content to live his life way, way outside of societal norms. He has taught me a great deal about surrender and powerlessness which ultimately helped me recently with the death of our oldest daughter due to a cocaine overdose.

      May all things spiritual help to guide and comfort us each as we walk through our individual and collective dark nights of the soul.

      Warmly, dawn

  6. Beautiful post, Dawn. Even your name brings lovely images to mind. I do believe in angels – the kind with real skin. Women friends who come in and out of ones life are certainly for a reason, and the ones that stay become part of us. There’s a certain energy out there, call it angel, god, or whatever you want, capital or lower case “g”, and when I am in touch with it/her/whatever, all seems right. You remind me a bit of the protagonist in my novel, which I blog about. Good luck with yours.

    • Hi Linda,

      Thank you for your comments. What is the name of your novel? I would very much like to read it.

      Best, dawn

      • Hi Linda,

        How nice of you to be so affirming about my blogs AND about angels with or without skin. I remind you a ‘bit’ about the protagonist in your novel? Wow, can’t wait to find out the name of your book and your blog.

        Thanks for the good luck wishes. dawn

  7. AMEN

  8. oops, meant to finish. Angels are everywhere in my life today and “God” as I understand loves me today no matter what- thanks to you Dawn. When I first got sober I believed that “God” could never love or forgive a piece of crap like me. Today- “God’s” lap is where I take myself each morning for guidance, reassurance and I ask to wrap my loved ones that I am so powerless over in white, soft, fluffy, warm angel wings and give me direction for the day. I lost one of my best friends when I was 19 and raised her children for a while and they are still part of my life today. After she died, we friends took one of her Christmas cactuses and split it up so we could all have a piece of it. Mine has bloomed every October instead of December- I didn’t have the clarity until two years ago- her youngest son Brad was up staying with me in October- I suddenly looked at him with tears in my eyes and said “Oh my God, your mom is sending us flowers today- she died in October-and I think every year that plant blooms early to say thank you for taking care of my babies and this year to say hi to YOU!!” Angels in disguise, we were able to cry, laugh, look at pictures and I have been able to keep her spirit alive for these precious boys that didnt have the chance to know their beautiful mother. I have definately bummbled along the way and not sure I did the best job with them but I am so grateful for the experience and love, lessons, pain and joy that has been generated through the years because of it. Thank you so much for being you Miss Dawn. T

    • Thanks for following these stories Toni. You help me keep going. Dawn

    • Hi Toni,

      It is a miracle that we are finally able to see the mysteries of God in action through simple things like the blooming of flowers! Keep on keeping on Toni and so will I as I am able to experience more Grace. Blessings, dawn

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