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The lessons of the Course allowed me to see how I replayed this fear from the past in all my relationships from high school onward. In every new relationship I began, I’d drag the baggage of that breakup in with me. Even as I was basking in the happiness of being with someone I liked, in the back of my mind lurked a constant fear that my happiness could be snatched away at any moment, and I’d be faced with the same heartbreak and trauma I’d experienced in that high school relationship. Ultimately that fear would cause me to sabotage my new relationship. When the relationship was over I’d try to anesthetize my pain with food, work, and—worst of all—drugs. I’d do whatever it took to avoid feeling my fears from the past. I was unable to savor simple pleasures and happy moments because I was constantly on guard against fear. This cycle was endless. I’m thankful that the Course taught me that the fear I had been lugging around for so many years wasn’t even real, that it was just an illusion I had created and was projecting onto my current experiences. Once I experienced this realization, I was able to work through the fear. The more I committed to this new belief system, the less I replayed my past in the present. In time I began to release those fears and witness miraculous changes. This realization was revelatory in that I’d awakened to the fact that if I stuck to the Course’s plan I could truly relinquish my fearful patterns.

Admittedly, when I first began reading the Course, the language and many of the concepts were extremely foreign to me. Each time the text would refer to "God" or "the Holy Spirit," I’d totally freak out. But, ultimately, I came to realize that getting bogged down in semantics was a silly distraction. What mattered most was the guidance the Course had to offer me at a time when I needed it most. The words were just a vehicle to all the valuable lessons that were available within its pages. I learned that what really mattered was how relevant the Course’s teachings were to my life, and my absolute willingness to be guided to change.

It was with that burning desire for change that I set out to purchase the Course to begin with. Upon entering my local bookstore, I noticed the sturdy- looking dark blue book with the title A Course in Miracles scrawled in gold lettering across the cover. Instead of being daunted by it, I found the thickness of the volume inviting and reassuring. So much so that I smiled as if I had received a wink from the Universe as I grabbed the book off the shelf. Then the most auspicious thing happened. The book literally dragged me to the counter. No joke. I physically felt the book dragging me to the register. It felt strange and yet oddly comforting. Intuitively, I knew I was in for something good. I bought the book immediately and walked out of the store. As I stood on a busy New York City streetcorner, I fl ipped the book open to its introduction and read, "This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take is voluntary. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance." This passage sent chills down my spine. I’d found what I was looking for, a guide to removing all the crap that had been blocking me from inner peace and love. In that moment I made a commitment to myself to become a student and a teacher of the Course—a sacred contract that would change my life.

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