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Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr

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In books on addiction
Jun 4th, 2014
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breathing under water book review

For those in 12 Step recovery who want spirituality books that deal directly with the Program, check out

Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr

In his much-loved book, Rohr starts out by agreeing with the premise that those who seek spirituality should start with an experience of "powerlessness".  This, in many of our experiences and definitions, translates into hitting some sort of a bottom.  Alcoholics and addicts are in a unique class in that they are generally brought to a state of powerlessness in their lives and given many opportunities to surrender.  Some are forced into this, and that's ok too.  All surrender is a starting point for spiritual growth.

Only those who have tried to breathe under water know how important breathing really is, and will never take it for granted again. They are the ones who do not take shipwreck or drowning lightly; they are the ones who can name 'healing' correctly, they are the ones who know what they have been saved from, and the only ones who develop the patience and humility to ask the right questions of God and of themselves.” - Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water

Rohr brings a lot of christian narrative into the book and translates into program language and how it relates to the the 12 Steps and recovery.  Rohr is a Franciscan priest but there is not really Catholic theology woven into the narrative as you might expect.  However, if you don't like bible versus and quotes, this probably isn't for you.  If you are open to spiritual teachings from all sources though, this is a great one as it has a lot of insight.   You can find it here:

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