Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power

( 5 )

Overview

For those who don't believe in God, feel disconnected from the concepts of God presented in organized religion, or are simply struggling to determine their own spiritual path, Marya Hornbacher, author of the New York Times best sellers Madness and Wasted, offers a down-to-earth exploration of the concept of faith.

When Hornbacher, a recovering alcoholic with bipolar disorder, began her journey through sobriety she, like many addicts who go through a Twelve Step program, was ...

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Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power

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Overview

For those who don't believe in God, feel disconnected from the concepts of God presented in organized religion, or are simply struggling to determine their own spiritual path, Marya Hornbacher, author of the New York Times best sellers Madness and Wasted, offers a down-to-earth exploration of the concept of faith.

When Hornbacher, a recovering alcoholic with bipolar disorder, began her journey through sobriety she, like many addicts who go through a Twelve Step program, was faced with the difficult task of finding her Higher Power. In Waiting, Hornbacher uses the story of her personal exploration to offer a fresh concept of faith for atheists, agnostics, and skeptics like her. She contends that, if you agree that you're not the biggest thing in the universe and that the universe does not, in fact, begin or end with you, this may be as far as you need to go for a 'spiritual experience.' Simply knowing that you aren't God can teach you how to wait.

In this beautifully written book, Hornbacher shows us that waiting is an art, requiring skills like patience, acceptance, and stillness. The trick of waiting is this: You don't always know what you're waiting for. This is the nature of the author's ongoing spiritual experience: She learns by doing, and she learned to wait by waiting—without knowing what for. Waiting becomes an act and can be a kind of spiritual practice in itself. Sometimes you do it because you know you need to do it, though you may not know why. In short, you do it on faith.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a Power great than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." For many nonbeliever addicts, the first of AA's famous Twelve Steps is an easy admission; it's the second and third that make them falter. Marya Hornbacher's Waiting is a recovering alcoholic's thoughtful attempt to demark a concept of faith for atheists, agnostics, and skeptics such as herself. A valuable book for men and women in honest recovery.

Publishers Weekly
How should an atheist approach the Alcoholics Anonymous program? Writing with affecting prose and remarkable honesty, Hornbacher (Wasted) examines the 12 Steps as a nonbeliever, wrestles with a process that promotes connection to a higher power that may not exist, and is able to find a sober and spiritual life that is independent of God. Arranged so the months of the year parallel the 12 Steps, Hornbacher takes readers through the depths of addiction to moments of sober but solitary reflection, and eventually toward a recovery marked by spiritual purpose and a desire to help others. An atheist referring to "spiritual steps, leading to spiritual experiences" may raise eyebrows, but the author persuasively shows that a personal spirituality is indeed within reach. This work may be invaluable for individuals facing addiction or a crisis of faith, or for anyone having problems squaring the practicality of AA with its religious language. The bottom line seems to be that living a healthy life in the service of others is spiritual enough. (June)
Booklist

Most 12-step programs insist that connection to God or a higher power is necessary for overcoming debilitating addictions. But how does this work for nonbelievers? Best-selling author and award-winning journalist Hornbacher carefully crafts a memoir of her recovery from alcoholism to answer this very question. Connecting each step toward freedom from addiction to months of the year, the author shows how the path to spirituality without God can bring forth healing and wholeness. This involves a process of 'waiting,' slowing down, opening to the stillness and quiet, waiting for answers within. This form of waiting prepares a path for personal grounding that can make us self-sustaining versus needy. Hornbacher's version of spirituality, although without a God being, contains a high regard for the spirit of life and a deep faith in the value of connecting and sharing with others. Her personal experiences reveal the preciousness of self-acceptance and gratitude, and comfort gained through comforting others. An extremely valuable offering for individuals attempting recovery through 12-step programs while questioning God-centered faith and organized religion.

— Susan DeGrane

— Susan DeGrane

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592858255
  • Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 257,978
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marya Hornbacher is the author of two best-selling nonfiction titles, Madness: A Bipolar Life and Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia; the recovery handbook Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the 12 Steps; and the critically acclaimed novel The Center of Winter. She is currently working on a new novel and is active in the Twin Cities recovery community.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Despair / January 1

Chapter 2 Doubt / February 15

Chapter 3 Letting Go / March 29

Chapter 4 Self-Knowledge / April 45

Chapter 5 Reaching Out / May 57

Chapter 6 The Moral Self / Early Summer (June and July) 69

Chapter 7 Healing / Harvest (August and September) 81

Chapter 8 Spiritual Practice / October 95

Chapter 9 Spiritual Growth / November 111

Chapter 10 Spiritual Action in the World / December 127

Epilogue 139

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous 141

About the Author 143

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    This is part of a growing secular wealth of discussion about rec

    This is part of a growing secular wealth of discussion about recovery. I know that nonbelievers have always been finding recovery by using the Steps but they have been largely written out of AA history. Hornbacher has a fresh new way to look at recovery that no one with an open mind will find offensive. Doubting is so much more humble and maybe more spiritual that certainty. I think so anyway. I read a review by Joe C on RebellionDogsPublishing DOT com and ordered a copy. I've bought three for gifts since then

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    If you want something spiritual - check this out

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The spiritual direction it took really surprised me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

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    Posted May 31, 2012

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