What Are Your Spiritual Assignments and How Can You Show Up for Them?

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Do you ever feel like the same situation or problem keeps coming up in your life again and again in different forms?

One common one has to do with dating. Lots of people have told me they feel like they keep manifesting the same relationship with different partners.

Or maybe you keep repeating a cycle when it comes to money, or with your job. Maybe you have a physical problem that resurfaces every so often.

What are spiritual assignments?

When the same type of problem, person or situation keeps appearing in your life, that’s because it’s one of your spiritual assignments. (I also call them Universal assignments. I use these terms interchangeably.)

In my book The Universe Has Your Back I dedicate an entire chapter to them.

Spiritual assignments show us that we’re always being guided, even when it doesn’t feel like it. The Universe wants us to heal, so we’ll keep being presented with our issues until we choose to heal them.

I went live on Facebook to talk about this chapter of the book and give an overview of how to recognize spiritual assignments and show up for them. You can watch the whole video below or keep reading for guidance.

(If you don’t see a play button, don’t worry. Just click and the video will start playing.)

What does a spiritual assignment look like?

In the book, one example of spiritual assignments that I give is that of my friend Lance, who had this core childhood wound of feeling like he wasn’t smart enough. As an adult Lance became sober and quit dating for a few years to focus on his recovery. When he decided to start dating again, he got into a relationship with an awesome woman who was super into him and respected him deeply.

Amazing, right? Well, not to Lance. He came to me one day saying he had to break up with her because she clearly needed to be with someone smarter than him. His evidence for this was that she’d rib him for things like misreading a recipe or not being up to speed on some news story.

What she intended as loving jokes triggered his wounds big-time. Being 10-plus years into my own recovery, I saw this immediately and was like, “Whoa, hang on!” I explained to Lance how his girlfriend was literally the perfect spiritual assignment.

Tweet: Spiritual assignments show us that we’re always being guided, even when it doesn’t feel like it. @gabbybernstein #TheUniverseHasYourBack

I could see the light bulb go off over his head. The Universe knew that he was ready to tackle this issue now that he’d been in recovery for long enough to feel stable in it.

7 steps to showing up for your spiritual assignments

Whatever your spiritual assignments are, you can show up for them and heal them. Follow my 7-step process when you’re ready.

Step 1: Recognize the spiritual assignment and call it by its name

Its name is fear. When you find yourself in a super uncomfortable situation, recognize and accept that fear has shown up in this way to get your attention.

When you can see the situation as an assignment, that’s the beginning of healing. This is a beautiful step!

Step 2: Accept that you can’t avoid the spiritual assignment

Here’s a gorgeous quote I put in The Universe Has Your Back. It’s a quote from my teacher Ken Wapnick, who was one of the great teachers of A Course in Miracles:

We should be grateful for all the situations that make us the most uncomfortable, because without them we would not know there is something unhealed within us.

Take that in. Read it again. How awesome is that?

Can you be grateful for your discomfort and and see it as an opportunity to grow and do more healing work, instead of seeing it as a punishment to complain about?

When a spiritual assignment (aka Universal assignment) comes up for me, I say thank you for the assignment. I thank the spiritual assignment for giving me the chance to heal.

Step 3: Honor your feelings

I find a deeper meaning and personal growth amid discomfort | gabby bernstein card deckIn The Universe Has Your Back I give you a beautiful meditation to do that helps you honor your feelings.

Let yourself be present with what’s up with your pain and fear. If we want to get to the root cause of these assignments and really show up for them, we have to be willing to feel the pain.

When you notice yourself triggered by your spiritual assignment, breathe into the pain. By feeling the pain you allow it to pass through you. You strip away its power.

My coach Rha Goddess says that feeling a feeling for 90 seconds can transform it. You can literally set a 90-second timer on your phone and give yourself that minute and a half to safely feel that feeling you’ve been avoiding. You can know that you will have transformed it in some positive way when the timer goes off.

You can check out the book for my guided meditation that supports you in this practice as you honor the spiritual assignment that keeps presenting itself to you.

Step 4: Call on compassion

the universe has your back gabby bernsteinWhen I recognize a spiritual assignment come up in my own life, I don’t judge myself for being back in the old belief system.

Instead, I honor myself for being willing to heal and witness. When you have the courage to witness your spiritual assignment, take a moment to call in self-love and say, “Here’s this old belief system again, but I’m awesome for showing up for it.”

Being compassionate toward yourself is a big part of healing your old wounds.

Step 5: Place your faith in the Universe

Here is the prayer I put in the book to help you place your faith in the Universe when you’re dealing with your spiritual assignments:

Thank you, Universe, for presenting me with this divine assignment for spiritual growth and healing. I am ready and willing to show up for this assignment with love. I welcome your support. Show me where to go, what to do and what to say. I trust I’m being guided.

Step 6: Clean up your side of the street

So often when we get caught up in our spiritual assignment, we can create a lot of drama around it. It’s easy to blame other people for our discomfort.

With my friend Lance, he went back to his girlfriend and said, “Hey listen, here’s what came up for me, and I didn’t show up for it in the best way.” In doing this he was able to restore their intimacy.

In The Universe Has Your Back I offer up a detailed breakdown of how to clean up your side of the street.

Step 7: Welcome healing

true healing | gabby bernstein card deckIn this step I’ll let you go to the book because it’s laid out really beautifully for you. When you read this chapter and follow the steps, you will be amazed by the miracles that unfold!

Are you ready to start showing up for your spiritual assignments and heal them once and for all? Learn more about The Universe Has Your Back!

ALL these steps are laid out in the book, with a beautiful meditation and lots of guidance. I hope this serves you.

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  1. Hello Gaby…. I just wanted you to know that I’ve been searching for a new books.. The universe has your back………. About 5 years ago my best friend had passed away we were always Reading new books always talking about the universe ..positive thinking. ….. I had moved to Rochester New York.. Been living here about 11 years now……… Just wanted to say thank you!!!! Bonnie ..

  2. I just purchsed the book The Universe has Your Back!
    I can’t wait to get started! I also picked up a journal and SUper Attractor!
    I am serious about moving forward and automatically felt a connection to you & your site!
    Thak you for what you do!

  3. Hi Gabby! Thank you so much for this. I have been on the spiritual path for about a year and a half now, and oh my Goddess, it has been a bumpy ride!! This morning, I woke up at 3 am for some reason, with loads of energy, so I decided to take a walk. I’m up here in snowy Rochester, NY, and the night before it had snowed quite a bit, so the roads were slushy. As I was walking, a car right behind me swerved and came very close to hitting me. A passerby witnessed the entire incident, and remarked that I was almost killed. Oddly enough, I had this feeling of peace of lightness surrounding me while the entire thing occurred… there was no fear whatsoever (I’ve been repeating the mantra “I am divinely guided and protected” for awhile, now, which I’m sure makes a difference in my mentality). But of course, as soon as I got home, my mind started racing, the fear kicked in, and I shaked and cried, and started second-guessing the enormous work I’ve done with Spirit to establish trust and show up as the most authentic version of myself. Naturally, I got on the Internet looking for messages or hints as to why this happened, and miracle of miracles, I was led to this! I’ve actually had a deep seated fear of being hit by a car while walking since my son was born three and a half years ago. Every time we walk, I have to pray beforehand and do a creative visualization to get there safely. Now I know that isn’t even necessary, as the Universe wants me to get to the root of this, and place even MORE faith and trust in it’s ability to keep me and my family safe. My freaking out has completely dissolved and I feel happy and empowered again. A million thank you’s to you!!!!! 🙂 🙂 -jillian <3

    1. Jill thank you for sharing here. It sounds like this intense experience helped you shift from fear to faith. I’m grateful that you’re spiritual practice is supporting you and that you are more certain now than ever before that the universe is always guiding and supporting you. xoxo

  4. Hello. When you refer to spiritual guides or the Universe do you mean God? Im a little confused.
    Can you clarify this for me? Thanks

    1. I refer to God as the Universe, source, energy, as one. Everyone has their own relationship with this and comfortable with different titles, so please do what feels best for you <3

  5. I began my spiritual journey recently after suffering with my own demons and overbearing ego. I can’t even remember how I came across ‘Spirit Junkie…’ but I am glad I did as it has left me inspired. I completed it within 4 days which is a record for me (as I have never found a book to grab my attention).
    I’ve always been interested in spirituality, and meditation while maintaining my kick-ass female spirit, but never knew where to start on my journey… so wanted to say thank you!!

    I have a long way to go before I feel like I know what I’m doing… but I’ve started eating better, started meditating and am dealing with my health issues and pain… now to conquer my ego and show it who is boss

    1. This is awesome Jess! Love seeing your transformations and excited for what’s ahead! XOX

  6. The chapter on universal assignments is helping me heal a deep, old would I’ve been carrying for years. For the first time I feel light and free from this wound — I recognize the pain that came up was just an assignment to help me face it and let it go. I’ve spent so much time and energy being upset by this assignment, but once I recognized it as an assignment, the pain immediately disappeared. Truly a miracle. Thank you so much, Gabby.

  7. I watched your spiritual assignment video and literally 5 mins later my assignment showed up. My secret debt from my husband who asked me if I had a line of credit because my bank sent me marketing mail. I had so much going on when he asked me that I wasn’t ready to answer him just lied to his face. On Monday I’m suppose to go to the bank with him to clear it up. I’m freaking out instantly felt sick body chills. Tonight I have a chance to have a good talk since grandparents will be with our kids. I’m petrified my marriage will end… but reading your book to give me courage to speak my truth with love and finally heal myself so our marriage will truly be all that I ever wanted.❤️

  8. I absolutely love this, and this section of the book – I’ve been working through it now for a few months and it’s been life-changing for me! THANK YOU! I’m also a career & life purpose coach, supporting spiritual women and men out of meaningless careers and into careers or businesses full of passion and purpose. I send them your way for just about everything!! You are such a bright, guiding light for so many of us. Thank you for being you, and for supporting us to do the work we were put on earth to do. So much love for you Gabby.
    Erica xx

    1. Beautiful! I’m so glad it resonates with you and has been such a wonderful tool. So much love to you too. <3 xoxo

  9. Dear Gabby

    Thank you. I heard your name ‘by accident’ last year (I now know it was no accident, and thank the Universe for sending your name to me) and bought your book The Universe Has Your Back. Every time I picked it up, I read exactly what I needed to read that day, almost as if the book was being written on a daily basis just for me in that exact moment. Sometimes it was so incredible that I was laughing out loud in public with the joy of realisation it was just for me. The book and your resources are still at my side every day and every day the world is filled with more light for me and from me. I am coming to your one day workshop in London in 2 weeks time and cannot wait to shine a light of love and joy with you.
    With warmest gratitude, love and joy

  10. Hi Gabby!! I just started your book may cause miracles.. listening g to ur mssg on spiritual assignments I know what mind ISO labeled it by what it is too!! I know what my other book will be!! I am so unhappy making my choices and letting fears win over me!! I have to get out of this!! I have stayed in relationships not good for me

  11. I’m afraid I am looking at this and Deepak and other spiritual feel better talkers to avoid focusing and trying new things and realizing that naivety IS NOT a requirement to progression. That I can enter new things, aware that there will be the same issues and the change needs to be MY REACTION to them. Many of us are unhappy with things that happen, how people behave etc. but we can’t change that. All we can do is stop throwing fuel into a fire that is out of control. Controlling ourselves is the greatest act / practice / construction we can endeavor in – a controlled combustion to a creator of good things.

    1. Recognizing what you can control and letting go of what you cannot is powerful. I often turn to the Serenity Prayer, which you may be familiar with. A daily prayer practice with this prayer or a similar one you create for yourself will realign you with love and compassion so that you can serve at your highest capacity. You may also want to try a surrender practice. xo

  12. It’s officially my birthday. I’m so getting the book/workshop for myself. I truly believe that the universe brings you to those that need you, when we needed you most. I look forward to you five teaching the messages. Can’t miss!

  13. Thanks Gabby. I read the book about 6 months ago and absolutely loved it. This was a great reminder of the wonderful learnings in the book and an inspiration to get it out again for a refresher! 🙂

  14. Gabby,
    I am so looking forward to one, reading your book and two, putting the above into action. I have struggled for many years with anxiety and now have a tremendous plan of action. I will thank my next universal assignment and send it light and love.

  15. When the student is ready, the teacher appears! You always seem to appear at the right time with the right message. Countries apart but universally in synch. Looking forward to attending both your London events. X

  16. Hi Gabby!

    Thanks for the video!
    I just finished the chapter in the Universe has your back, so it was very nice to hear a summary from you.
    And I am also doing the SJM tomorrow I’ll start with module 5. Very grateful for this as well.

    And I am sooooooo exited to see you in Amsterdam on the 7th

    Again thanks so much for you being YOU! Thanks for the light and love and guidance.

    Sending you ❤️

  17. Thank you for this blog! I’ve read this book and I definitely will read the audio book again! I’m in the process of changing careers and I’m seeing a lot of perfectionism show up. I’m leaving my IT job to become a health coach from IIN and I’m continuing to bust the blocks to why I can’t get any clients. I know I’m perfectly capable of taking in clients right now, but feel like I keep having to be a certain behavior in order to attract clients. What do you do in order to bust perfectionism?

    1. Perfectionism is an attempt to CONTROL everything. When we insist on perfection it’s because we are afraid we will fail unless every detail is exactly how we want it. It’s a sign that we need to surrender. I suggest you follow my 5 steps to spiritual surrender, which I outlined in my Super Soul Sessions talk. A daily practice of surrender will help you detach from the outcome and turn it over to Spirit. Ask for guidance and pay attention, because you will receive it.

  18. Dear Gabby, Thank you for once again reminding me of my divinity. I just printed out the prayer and mounted it on a placard for my writing desk. I created a sacred space yesterday for this purpose. The universe has been reminding me as well that I am being guided, that I have asked for this and it has been showing me the way by keeping my business very slow for the last week. It is holding the space for me to create my own book, comprised of the 2 books that I have already written about my journey/ my life story. I am going on a treasure hunt thru my life story to be able to recognize my own spiritual assignments and bring them to fruition so that I can share the lessons and choosing new direction now. This journey I am on started or I really dug in for the ride after reading your book May cause Miracles. So thank you a million times, as I know that I was even led to you so that I could start working with my higher self, my loving self. My gratitude is inexplainable. Much love Tammy

    1. That is gorgeous. You are always being guided — lean on Spirit to help you write your book. Ask for guidance daily and listen. 🙂

  19. Thank you Gabby! I’m trying to be easy with myself as I’m showing up for a physical manifestation of fear that’s been with me for a few years now (that right shoulder blade is holding a lot of gunk!). It feels like anger, frustration, and sadness bottled up together, but I’m happy to say that I’m showing up for it. I have replaced alcohol with lots of water, have been meditating and taking it gentle with yoga, have had the opportunity to get a new desk, computer, and desk chair to ease my pain, found out my insurance pays for more chiropractic visits than expected, and I’m loading up on healing foods. Healing mode feels good (bumpy, but good!). 🙂

    1. Beautiful. That’s amazing. You are showing up in a big way and you will feel massive relief. Trust in the healing path. xoxo

  20. I love your videos always! You are an inspiration! But I think that illnesses manifesting over and over is a tough one, how about cancer over and over? Or a child born with a serious disease that deals with that their whole life? I think we have to be careful with saying that about our health.

    1. Absolutely agree. I’m talking about those nagging health issues we often ignore or don’t address the root cause of. xo

  21. I have the audiobook, it is amazing just for the energy that you send out. I will definitely get a paper copy as well to really dive into the excercises.

  22. Hi Gabby, 20 years recovery and STILL struggling with the relationship stuff – Just finished Digital Spirit Junkie and coming to LONDON day – I really appreciate how much your teachings bolster my 12step work. I have a wonderful life as a result of getting clean at 21 – just this last bit of fear to sort out, or probably not ! Love & Light , Karen X

    1. I use terms like the Universe, God, Spirit, Higher Power, love, and inner guidance system interchangeably. The Spirit Junkie approach is non-denominational, and I encourage everyone to use the term that feels right to them and create a spiritual relationship of *their own* understanding. You can use whatever word/words resonate with you. xoxo

  23. Hi this is Marilee from Texas and I listened to your book and it was so amazing because I not only got all your awesome lessons but I listened to you tell them to me that way I could close my eyes and relax and let it sink in and I recognize it my assignment that keeps coming around and coming around and I am going to start taking care of my side of the street thank you so much I used to say that at a place that I lived at one time if everyone took care of their side of the street the road would look so nice thank you thank you thank you thank you

  24. I was lead to you and your book(s). I have been going to a zone healer for the last two years and EVERY principle you touch on is in alignment with my beliefs..but even better. I have had so many experiences with miracles my whole life- and am just now realizing it. I cannot share you with enough women in my life! And I can’t wait to take your course in NY in June of 2018. I know my calling – it is to live what I believe – have no fear in it- and connect with others who need to hear it- as a spiritual mindset coach. Thank you.

  25. Talk about synchronicity. This is amazing. As this has been happening to me a lot over the last couple of weeks. Off to find that chapter in the book. P.S. looking forward to seeing you in London in September.

  26. I love you, Gabby! Thank you for this and all that you do. I have the book and will get the audiobook too.

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