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RA RA's Logo There Is A Solution! The E-Newsletter of Recoveries Anonymous; The Solution Focused Twelve Step Fellowship.
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A Change in Perception!RA
Which do you see? Is it a white vase? Or is it the silhouettes of two faces? Do you see the positive or the negative? If we focus on the problem, we progress into the problem. If we focus on the solution, we progress into the solution. An open mind while reading R.A.'s Suggested Literature will bring about such a change in perception.RA
    In the Big Book on page 58, the pioneers write that "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path." However, many of us did seem to fail. We have now found that we simply could not see the pioneers' path clearly enough to follow it thoroughly.RA

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Faces
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    Most people take only a few hours to follow the suggestions that are in R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction, which is on page 2 in R.A.'s A Change In Perception Guide. Doing this provides a simple way to begin having a change in perception. Doing it gave many of us our first opportunity to see the Big Book as the explicit instruction manual the pioneers intended it to be.RA
    Using R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction allows us to begin reading the Big Book with a positive frame of reference. We could begin to see that the contents of the Big Book are solution focused. We could also see that the Big Book contains the pioneers' actual experiences. In it, they tell us that "clear-cut directions are given showing how [we] may recover." In it, they also tell us that only "Rarely have [they] seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed [their] directions." So, we began to believe that the Twelve Steps had worked for them. We also began to believe that since they had been restored to sanity, since they had permanently recovered, since they had their problem solved, taken away so that it no longer existed for them, then these results can happen for us too!RA
    Then, reading the Big Book with this new perception, we could clearly see and follow the pioneers' path. We could duplicate their experience. We could relate to and identify with the solution, rather than the problem. We could have our sanity restored. We could be permanently recovered. We could have our problems solved, taken away so that they no longer existed for us too!RA
    Following the suggestions in R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction will result in a Big Book that is full of very helpful highlights. They are a great help when we work with others. We talk about these highlights with our sponsor and the people we are sponsoring. Doing this helps us to see, understand, and follow the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps.
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    R.A.'s Highlighting Introduction can be found in R.A.'s A Change In Perception Guide along with some other helpful information.RA
Download R.A.'s Guides one-at-a-time    Download all R.A.'s "How To Begin..." Guides at once!
 
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DefectsRA
The Fifth Step says, "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs." This step raises two interesting questions. First, what do the pioneers mean when they say the "exact" nature of our "wrongs"? Second, what do they mean by the term "wrongs"? While no one has to agree with us, in R.A. we believe that the pioneers give us the information we need to answer these questions. In the Big Book, on page 72, in the first paragraph, the pioneers say, "that we have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our defects."RA
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LquoteAdmitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.Rquote
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    This paraphrase of the Fifth Step gives us the answer to the second question. It makes it clear that the pioneers use the word "wrongs" as synonymous with "defects." Therefore, the "wrongs" they are talking about are not the times we behaved badly, or did something we shouldn't have done. These wrongs are the character defects that they tell us on page 64, in the top paragraph, are the "causes and conditions" that result in our problems and behaviors.RA
    So, now the first question becomes, "What is the exact nature of our defects?" In the Big Book on page 62, in the first paragraph, we believe that the pioneers give us the answer. They say, "Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt."RA
    In other words, "selfishness—self-centeredness" is the "exact nature" of our defects. In the Big Book on page 64, in the second paragraph, it says, "We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations."RA
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Lquote...admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our defects.Rquote
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    While no one has to agree with us, in R.A. we believe that this is telling us that all of our other defects are manifestations of our "selfishness—self-centeredness." The pioneers, in the next paragraph, go on to tell us that among self's common manifestations, "Resentment is the 'number one' offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically."RA
    Now, thanks to this paragraph, it is easy to understand the importance of admitting the exact nature of our "defects" instead of just looking at our "wrongs." The pioneers are letting us know that our character defects are the result of a spiritual malady, an illness beyond our control. They also let us know that we need to work all Twelve Steps by following their "clear-cut directions." This is how we develop a conscious contact with a loving God. He then heals us spiritually. He removes our defects, and restores our sanity. We will then behave sanely and normally in the same situations, which used to baffle us.
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  A page from R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery.
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Miracles Revealed:
R.A.'s Journal of Recovery
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The page to the right is from R.A.'s second book, "Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal Of Recovery." This page provides the focus for this month's newsletter. This book will give even the most experienced person a fresh look at the program. You can read it like a daily journal, or you can read it straight through. R.A.'s Journal will help everyone come to a deeper understanding of our program of recovery. If you enjoy this sample, please visit R.A.'s web site and download a copy of "Miracles Revealed: R.A.'s Journal of Recovery."RA
A Story of RecoveryRA
Our experience is that the stories in the original Multilith Big Book were written to validate the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for working the Twelve Steps. To help your recovery, we encourage you to visit R.A.'s web site and get "The Original Way Out Revealed: R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book" and read all of these original stories. The following passage is from the story "HINDSIGHT." In R.A.'s Annotated Multilith Big Book, in the First Edition personal story section, on page FE372 it says:RA
RA"Six months later I was sitting in a small hotel on the west side of New York full of remorse and desperate because I didn't know what would happen next. A middle-aged man approached me and said in a very sincere voice, "Do you really want to stop drinking?" Immediately I answered "Yes," because I knew that was the correct answer. He wrote down a name and address and said 'When you are sure you do, go and see this man.' He walked away.RA
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"I began to think, 'Did I really want to quit? Why should I? If I couldn't have this girl and I couldn't ever have a good job again, why in the hell should I quit?' I tucked the address into my pocket along with a nickel for subway fare, just in case I ever decided to really quit. I started drinking again, but could get no happiness or release regardless of the number of drinks.RA
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LquoteYou must be decent for your own sake. And because you want to be decent, not because some one else wants you to be.Rquote
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RA"Occasionally I would check up to see if the address and the nickel were still safe, because I was being tortured with one thought this girl had given me. 'You must be decent for your own sake. And because you want to be decent, not because some one else wants you to be.'RA
RA"A week later I found myself in the presence of the man whose address was in my pocket. His story was incredible. I couldn't believe it, but he had the proof. I met men whose stories convinced me that in the ranks of men who had been heavy drinkers I was an amateur and a sissy.RA
RA"What I heard was hard to believe but I wanted to believe it. What's more I wanted to try it and see if it wouldn't work for me.RA
RA"It worked, and is still working. For weeks I was bitter against society. Why didn't some one put me wise to this before? Why did I have to go on like that for years making my parents unhappy, abusing friends, and passing up opportunities? It wasn't' fair that I should be the instrument to make people unhappy.RA
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LquoteI believe now that I
was given this experience so that I might understand and be of use in helping others to
find a solution to this and
other problems.
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RA"I believe now that I was given this experience so that I might understand and be of use in helping others to find a solution to this and other problems.RA
RA"When I decided to do something about my problem, I was reconciled to the fact that it might be necessary for me to wash dishes, scrub floors, or do some menial task for possibly many years in order to re-establish myself as a sober, sane, and reliable person. Although I still wanted and hoped for the better things in life, I was prepared to accept whatever was due me.RA
RA"Once I became sincere, good things began to happen to me. My first experience in overcoming fear was three weeks later when I applied for a position with a national organization. After numerous questions I was finally asked why I had left the company I had been with six years. I replied that I had been fired for being a drunk. The manager was flabbergasted and so completely astounded by the truth that he refused to believe me. I referred him to my former employer but he refused to write him—but he did give me the job.RA
RA"It has been six and a half years since I made that decision. Those years have been the happiest years of my life. The little girl, who was big enough to tell me the nasty truth when I need it, is now my wife."
 
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A Newcomer AsksRA
Q"In the other programs I was in, I thought that my wrongs, my bad behaviors and my sins were my defects of character. Now, in R.A. my sponsor has told me that all of these were caused by my defects of character. So, can you please tell me exactly what you mean by a defect of character?"RA
QThere are probably many definitions of what a character defect is. However, while no one has to agree with us, in the context of the Twelve Steps, and Recoveries Anonymous, we believe that we can give you a clear, relevant description. Our experience is that, "Character defects are flaws in our soul that show themselves as various symptoms." These symptoms are the problems and behaviors that cause us to hurt others and ourselves. RA
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LquoteCharacter defects are flaws in our soul that show themselves as various symptoms.Rquote
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RAIn the Big Book on page 64, in the second paragraph, regarding the Fourth Step inventory, it says, "We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations."RA
RAIn this passage, the pioneers talk about "the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure." While no one has to agree with us, in R.A. we believe they are referring to the defects in our character that caused our symptoms. In the Big Book on page 62 in the first paragraph, the pioneers tell us the exact nature of these defects. They say, "Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt."RA
RAThese defects cause our various symptoms. They cause our alcoholism, overeating, gambling, depression, etc. They cause all of the problems and behaviors that have made our lives unmanageable. Now that we have defined character defects, we need to go on and define the exact nature of our character.RA
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Lquote...prayer is the only thing that changes one's character. A change in character, or a change in soul, is a
real change.
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RAFor that we need to look at "The Sermon on the Mount" by Emmet Fox. It was one of the main books read in the early days of the program. Bill Wilson readily admitted that he adapted many of the concepts from this book into the Big Book when he wrote it. Within R.A., we read "The Sermon on the Mount" from a purely historical perspective, because the pioneers read it. We neither endorse nor oppose the contents of this book. However, comparing the concepts, which were included in the program with those that were not included helps us to understand the pioneers' intent as they detailed the Twelve Step program of recovery. It is important to note that one of the things they did not include was the need to be Christian to work the program.RA
RAIn the "The Sermon on the Mount," on page 43, in the bottom paragraph, it says that, "As a matter of fact, prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one's character. A change in character, or a change in soul, is a real change. When that kind of change takes place, you become a different person and, therefore, for the rest of your life you act in a different way from the way in which you have previously acted, and in which you would have continued to act had you not prayed."RA
RAIn other words, in this passage, the character is equated with the soul. This is important to understand because someone might mistakenly believe that they can, with enough time and effort, change their behavior. Many hold on to this belief even while saying that they are powerless. However, most can recognize that only a loving Creator can heal the soul. Once God heals our soul by removing our character defects, we straighten out mentally and physically. Our sanity is restored and we behave sanely and normally.
 
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R.A.’s “How To Begin…” GuidesRA
To find out more about our Twelve Step Fellowship, and how you can get started working the Twelve Steps of our Solution Focused Program of Recovery, we suggest that you visit our web site and Download R.A.'s "How To Begin…" guides. This includes R.A.'s Newcomer Guide, "How To Begin Living In The Solution."

R.A.’s Solution Focused BooksRA
Move up to the next step in your search for recovery by downloading and reading the PDF versions of R.A.'s Solution Focused Books. We do not charge for the PDF versions of our books. Instead, we give the passwords needed to open our books to thank those who support our efforts to help others. You can show your support by making a small, one time, tax-free contribution to R.A., or, if you truly cannot afford to make a contribution at this time, by filling out our Feedback Form. RA
    If you are reading this, you have probably spent a lot of time and energy trying things that did not work out the way you hoped they would. Doesn't it make sense to invest a little more time and energy in this time-proven method of finding the recovery you've been seeking? As the pioneers promise in the Multilith Big Book: ''It works—it really does. Try it.''

R.A. Is Self-supportingRA
If R.A. has helped you, please consider making a contribution in support of our efforts to help others.

Recoveries AnonymousRA
For more information about our Twelve Step Program Of Recovery visit our web site at www.R-A.org

 
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