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.
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
About 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.