Have you ever felt that you were built for a single purpose?
College was undoubtedly one of the defining experiences of my life, not least because it’s where I first came in touch with The Course.
My first few months at college were not easy. I’d moved half away across the country today to study in Boston, moving away from my friends and family, and despite how much my parents tried to instil me with confidence, I found myself utterly alone and isolated by new surroundings. I’d never been one to leave my comfort zone as a kid. The friends that I made as a kid were the friends that I’d kept until leaving High School, I’d never had a girlfriend and the thought of joining a social club full of strangers was not one that I was comfortable with. On my way to and from my dorm, college advertising tried to point me in the direction of new opportunities, but I was rigidly locked on to my destination and never wavered from that path.
I excelled in my studies during those first months, but my mental health declined sharply. I didn’t sleep well in my dormitory, the sounds of other students partying and drinking kept me up, not to mention the loud stumbling of my dorm-mate. Thankfully there was one place that I could escape to during these loud nights, the college library was open 24 hours a day and provided a place for those like me to hide from the noise. It was on one of these days that I found a copy of The Course.
I was slowly walking up and down the aisles of books, scanning the hundreds of titles for the volume that I was looking for when The Course drew my eye. The bold blue hardcover stood out from the rest of the books there, the gold lettering shining in the light. I stopped in my tracks and reached for it intuitively. The log line read ‘Foundation for Inner Peace’, something that I would have associated with some New Age nonsense, but the appearance of the book seemed so serious and scholarly that I trusted it implicitly. I took it back to my desk, sat down and spent the rest of the night absorbing its contents.
For the first night in weeks, I was able to lie down in my bed and drift off to sleep. I woke the next day feeling rested and oddly different. The book sat on my bedside table and I spent the morning absently flicking through it, all the time calmly considering how different I felt. Something had changed, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. When my dorm-mate returned from his run, I found myself asking him what he was up to for the rest of the day and before I knew it we had plans to go for a party in the evening, and head out on a run the next day.
I never picked up A Course On Miracles again and its lessons faded in my mind over the years, but I’ll always attribute that night spent reading it to my personal turn around at a time when I really needed it.