We cannot try to be happy. In this endeavour, trying is failing. What we can do is investigate why we are unhappy, to see how our dream of happiness depends on some person, situation or circumstance. Dependency is misery. True happiness comes from within. It already is.
Step Four in AA’s addiction recovery program invites us to make a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves. The requirement of this inventory is but minimally met if its only yield is a laggard’s list of shortcomings and missteps. The real work in Step Four is to identify and investigate our dependencies. When a dependency is discovered, the remedial act cannot be second-guessed, negotiated or dithered over. We take an axe to its root.