Posted by: innerpilgrimage | March 26, 2010

Inspiration, Intuition, and Mourning Doves

Abstinence from Compulsive Eating: 5 months, 12 days (163 days)

      In my effort to open up to the possibilities, I have been reading (though not doing the exercises of) You Already Know What to Do: 10 Invitations to the Intuitive Life. I read a section about going outside in the morning and asking my Higher Power for guidance, and in the tree outside of my balcony window was a mourning dove.

      Mourning doves have been everywhere in my life for about a year. In the pre-dawn darkness, they coo sadly–it sometimes sounds like dozens of them. They’re all over the lawns, picking seeds. And they nest in the trees outside my balcony. In this book, there was an example of the earth-centered model of understanding intuition: sacred relationship between our spirits and the world around us. A person was confronted regularly with a type of animal and finally divined what it meant. Well, my animal is the mourning dove.
      So, I went out to find out symbology of doves first, then mourning doves. And this blog here really got into the symbology. I got some serious meaning out of it, too.
      Between constantly being driven to seek security out of my troubled childhood to needing to release emotional discord to even hope I can be healed on “all levels” (spiritual, mental, physical”), the mourning doves have really been making it clear they want to be my totem animal.
      Air animal totems, from what I read, assist in the seeking of higher knowledge (especially spiritual) by taking up our desires and needs to the spiritual realm. They symbolize mental and physical strength (I assume from the spiritual guidance), which helps in new transitions. I am comforted by the mourning doves’ presence, despite the connection they have with death. However, not all deaths are physical; I am, by working the steps, dying to the life of the compulsive overeater. While I accept it will never be completely gone from my life (like past lives sometimes crop up in dreams or feelings we can’t explain), each day I live away from that cage of food, I do not understand how I could have lived like that.
      I just had an inspiration. I talk about God being caged by organized religion, taking man’s limits and putting them on God. Well, I caged myself in food. I took a life of nearly infinite possibilities, and I caged myself in a religion of food. I worshipped my power of being able to eat myself to death. I was all-powerful in that way . . . . well, until physical limitations stopped me. It’s wonderful to take a vacation from myself. In fact, despite writing about “me”, I’m not concerned about what I look like, what choices I make today which will influence others, any of the things I obsess on sometimes (Hey, just because the food plan is working doesn’t mean I woke up healed after my first 24 hours of abstinence). I’m focused on the inner and outer world at the same time–where I feel my HP residing, existing, flowing through me. I used to reach far out for my Higher Power, to the ends of the Universe; recently I’ve reached as far as a held hand. Now, I’m not reaching at all–nor am I diving into that sometimes-filled spiritual ravine. That valley of the shadow of death that’s inside, you know? My Higher Power is everything, everywhere, and I don’t have to reach because it’s here, too.
      I have that weird, lightheaded feeling that I’m about to have a huge enlightenment moment in my life, though I’m on the verge and don’t know what it will be. A word, a sight, pretty-much anything will tip this spiritual apple cart, and send spiritual food and deeper understanding all around my path.
      Patience or passiveness, then, Jess? Am I exercising patience or passiveness? Patience, because I am looking forward to the results.
      My name is Jess and I am a food addict. And no, the lightheadedness I’m having right now isn’t because I’m hungry for regular food. Well, maybe a little.



  1. lol! funny end comment about the lightheadness!

    i think it is beyond cool that you are taking this week to kick back and that HP brought the awareness of the mourning dove into your life and that you had the awareness to grab on.

    i hope the enlightenment you are seeking happens for you, but please don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t. you are still young in your journey.

  2. My quest for info on mourning doves brought me to your sight. I`ve had a mourning dove outside my house eating grit all morning (pun and homonym intended). This came 3 days after asking my mother (while remaining scheptical), to show her presence to me 6 years after her death. We had a pact, afterall. After watching a couple of episodes of Long Island Medium, and getting more pissed that she didn`t show herself, not even in a dream fer chrisakes, for more than 6 years, I said outloud to the painting I did of her, “I guess this is all crap”. I don`t know what to make of the so called after life but somehow I thought energy just dosen`t dissapate like that.

    One hour later my ex showed up to my door with Mom`s desk from her childhood. My ex and I haven`t been civil for quite some time, and to tell the truth, I`d forgotten about the desk and the fact that he had it. And there it was.

    Day 2, or the fourth of September. Mom was born on the 4th of June, married on the fourth of October, she had four kids and died on the 4th of August. She wore a chain and a charm that said 4-Ever. I bought groceries that day to the total of $44.44.

    Day 3. I know about the symbolism of birds. What I thought was a baby pigeon hung out with me the entire day. I found out via Google that this pigeon was in fact a mournig dove. Hence your site. She`s gone now, but her memory has lingered.

    I`m not a compulsive eater. I`m the opposite. I`m 5`4″ and 92 pounds, and not the least bit happy about that. People think I`m a bad looking crack whore when actually I`m a actually just a 52 year woman who dosen`t like to eat much.

    I, too, am light headed. In a good way!


    • I still find it special that the unexplained is part of reality. We do sometimes need to be lifted from the depths of grief, and to become aware of these things which remind us of the love we’ve experienced is such a kindness of nature.

      I understand being on the other side of compulsive overeating. Within the last couple of years, I was told “Eat a sandwich”. Though I physically felt weak, I felt that I had finally found that willpower people admire as a societal standard–the ability to not eat and get very, very thin. I weigh about ten pounds more than I did then, so I understand the frustration of being underweight, so my food plan sits between anorexia and binge eating. I had to put a floor on my food plan to keep me from the anorexia addiction.

  3. Hi I want to congratulate you on your spiritual journey and send good thoughts and wishes your way. I, myself am having a bit of a difficult time at the moment. My emotions are a roller coaster as I try to get in tune with myself and who I really am. I was born on August 23, so I am borderline virgo/leo, I always felt there was “something more” to life than this outer reality.. I never “got it” the purpose of work till death or retirement. Life is to be enjoyed and there are so many obstacles to drag us down spiritually. I too was on a search on the meaning of mourning doves… on the day I started noticing my third eye was activating I went outside to my balcony and noticed a nest of mourning doves in the tree directly in front of me. I didn’t think much of it that day and just showed my husband then went about my business, as “life’s stresses” got to me I noticed when I would look for the bird it was not there, but when I changed my energy and realized what it is I was feeling and let it go the bird would come and stare directly at me for as long as I was there. I feel a strong connection to the bird and taking a look at the circumstances really gave me the motivation to look up the meaning of this.. You are amazing, may you continue and receive many blessings on your path of enlightenment. 1love<3

    • Hi, Bella!

      I love your message that life is to be enjoyed. I forget that more often than I would like to. Okay, maybe not forget, but I compulsively restrict the pleasure in my life because I still feel unworthy. Progress, not perfection, right? I am so happy that you took the opportunity to seek knowledge about the ineffable experience you had when you had conscious contact with the dove and wanted to know why it drew your attention.

      You are amazing, too, as a teacher of how I can recover my humanity. And as an aside, I was definitely drawn to this because I wrote a main then recurring deeply spiritual character in a book series who was born on August 23. It jumped out at me, and I am really happy you added it because the character I wrote has struggles and self-awareness over similar things. So, thank you for sharing your experience, strength, and hope. Keep looking out for those totems, because something within is probably trying to bring up a mystic moment.

  4. as a child i woke up 2 the mourning doves in my grandmother&fathers home they raised me i always dream being there as th present home~well recently being back sharing space{house} with my x i ran away so 2 speak from his controlling verbal abusive nature only 2 return 2yrs later~it’s half my home 2 with my free spirit alive yet depressed by so mostly g ~it’s been 8yrs now yet the birth of 2 grandsons 4yrs & especially the past 2 with one son moving back in oncount of failed marriage with his son so Im stuck back in a situation i raised my sons telling them this grandma isn’t baby sitting cuz noone baby sat 4 me imfact my x was rarely around as he partied or was at bars where my friends had grandma & i stayed home so i got into my art worked trial&error as sign window painter volunteered joined local gallery did my thing &now stuck doing th domestic thing yet i no these young souls need me! i once again stuck&put me on back burner lately 2 doves have been here so close giving me hope

  5. I have a beautiful mourning dove sitting on a nest on the ledge of my patio right now, June 27, 2014. She appeared with another dove about four days ago and they just moved right in, without a word to me lol. It was such a beautiful experience just sitting here watching the two of them building that nest. He would fly away, come back with a twig or some plant and literally stand on her head and they would build together, It’s so funny how she sits there and just stares at me while I film her, but he walks to the other side or flies away. One day I didn’t see him for a while and thought he had abandoned her, (topical male species) I laughed. But after a few hours I saw him land on the ledge and walk up behind her, she then walked the other way and flew off as he claimed his place on the nest. She came back a few hours later and he was off again (teamwork). Wow! How awesome these birds are.
    So strange that a few days before that, June 19th, I had attended my friend’s funeral. She had lost her battle with cancer. While staring down at her casket, I prayed to God to take care of her, as so many others did. So my first thought seeing this bird staring at me was: “Anita, is that you?” I told her sister and we both laughed…
    Seems God is trying to tell me something through my precious, feathered new roommates! I can’t get close enough to see how many eggs there are but they are welcomed to stay as long as they need! Let’s be like the BIRDS of the air and take care of each other!!!

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