We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Some of us have never accepted the hurtful circumstances of our lives. We may be living in denial to avoid the pain. We continue to struggle against the painful realities, to rebel against who we are or what has happened to us. There are others of us who have accepted the bad, even to the point where it feels normal and comfortable. Therefore, we repeat cycles of behavior that are destructive; but we can't receive the good.
The apostle Paul wrote, "I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little" (Philippians 4:11-12). When Paul wrote these words he was in a Roman prison waiting to hear if he would be executed. And yet, we hear no whining or complaining. Instead, he learned to accept the circumstances he could not change.
Working Step Four should be a time of learning to find serenity while also accepting ourselves and our lives as they are. Life isn't fair. It isn't predictable or controllable. It can be wonderfully rich in some ways and terribly difficult in others. We must be willing to face the hurt in our lives and consider how we have reacted to it. Then our discomfort can lead us to break the destructive cycles. And then we can learn to be content with the things we cannot change.
Contentment lies in knowing and accepting ourselves, while also trusting in Christ and his power.