Book Excerpt: Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein
Through reading the Text I was guided to understand the mission of the Course. Simply and succinctly, the Course states that "its goal for you is happiness and peace." The Text also gave me a deep understanding of the basis for my fear and guilt, and how they could be overcome. Finally, the Text taught me the meaning of "the miracle." The miracle is simply defined as the shift in perception from fear to love. Then I embarked on the Workbook for Students, which consists of 365 lessons, an exercise for each day of the year. This one-year training program began my process of transforming my own fears to love. The Workbook guided me to know a relationship with what I call my ~ing, an inner guide, or, as the Course calls it, an Internal Teacher. This relationship with my ~ing became my primary tool for restoring my mind. (I’ll explain ~ing further in chapter 1.) Then, when I was ready, I began to practice the Manual for Teachers. This section of the Course prepared me to share its lessons in a way that was authentic to me. As a result of my dedication to the Course, I was blasted open to reconnect with my true inner spirit, which is love.
My intention and my hope is that this book will act as a conduit through which I can share the beautiful, life-changing lessons that I learned as a student of the Course. Through the telling of my own life’s stories, I will relate how the lessons of the Course led me to release my fears of the world and become a full-on Spirit Junkie. These days I’m addicted to finding my happiness and love inside myself. Thus the title. With this book I want to show you how to tap into your own spirit in your search for happiness. This is not a book on how to get happiness; rather, it’s a guide to releasing the blocks to the happiness that already lives inside you. I will guide you on a journey of new perceptions and show you a whole new way to view your life. Your hangups will melt away, resentments will release, and a childlike faith in joy will be reignited.
Throughout the book I’ll share personal anecdotes of how I overcame the stronghold of my ego (my fearful mind) with the help of A Course in Miracles. Through my Course work I’ve learned that my darkest struggles in relationships were by far my greatest teachers. To drive home this message, throughout the book I’ll often refer to my parents, friends, and former lovers. (For the record, I have tons of love for these people today and am deeply thankful for the lessons I’ve learned from our relationships.) Through my interpretation of the Course’s principles you’ll learn that all the safety, security, and love you’re seeking is not "out there," but inside yourself. Trust me: I spent more than two decades looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I thought happiness was in a credential or a boyfriend or a new pair of shoes. I thought that if I accumulated or achieved enough, my misery, insecurity, and anxiety would somehow disappear and be replaced by joy, confi dence, and lightheartedness. It never worked. Turning inward can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but by committing to the Course you’ll learn that inward is the only place to go. When you truly know this, you can release the need to be saved, stop controlling, and let life flow.