Can You Accept Your Life Exactly As It Is Right Now? by John Cali

Many years ago I had a dear friend who was about the unhappiest person I’ve ever known. Charlie (not his real name) was a successful businessman. But his personal and family relationships were rocky.

Charlie’s problem, simply stated, was people. He just could not accept most people as they were. He was an expert at finding something wrong with them. And, of course, he found little about himself to like, despite his worldly success.

His life was often a living hell. He could not accept himself, other people, his life exactly as they were in the moment.

To cover up his pain, Charlie used alcohol. When sober he was warm, charming, and lovable. When drunk he was the opposite. A Jekyll and Hyde personality. He hated his life, and often struggled to get from one day to the next, from one moment to the next.

The result of that was he suffered from debilitating pain most of his long life, and he died a painful death.

The lesson I learned, in my many years of a close relationship with Charlie, was to accept myself and everyone just as they are—to just be in the moment, loving life exactly as it is right now. To let go of pain, anger, fear. To embrace joy, peace, love—especially love.

Love is the great healer. It’s all that matters. Thank you, Charlie, for teaching me that lesson.

Related posts:
We’re Right and They’re Wrong
Letting Go
Live Like You Were Dying


Have you ever known someone like Charlie? Can you accept your life exactly as it is right now? Please share your thoughts with us below.

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions, whether you agree or disagree with us. Please keep your comments polite and relevant to the topic of this post. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.

14 Responses

  1. Dan

    Thank you John and everyone who has contributed to this topic – the side stories are as good as the main story.

    I do have a story of someone I used to work with in what at the time seemed like a very stressful work environment – almost always behind and rushing to catch up – unappreciative customers etc. My coworker Allen was always miserable – you didn’t have to ask him how he was doing – he was always having a lousy day – at least that was his persona – who really knows except for him. In any event, I always commented how much I appreciated him … because no matter how bad of a day I might have been having – I knew he was having a worse one and it always made me feel better 😉

    My other thought – which is a truth I have realized for me – and I don’t know exactly when I figured it out – but whenever something bothers me about someone else it is invariably because it is something which bothers me about myself. As I have learned to love and accept my self more and more – less and less bothers me about other people – how cool is that – Another case for loving oneself first and foremost.

  2. Corine

    Well,loving and living the “now” is the main thing I’m practicing right now. I normaly worried about the future all the time so I missed a lot of joy . Since I became aware of that I started to change that behavior. Every time I cath myself worrying, I say “stop” and then meditate for a while or go for a walk with my dogs and think of all the things I’m grateful for. I worry a lot less now and I keep on practicing. Slowly I am creating my life the way I want it to be because without the worries, I can see everything much brighter and in better perspective! It’s a big and difficult challenge but I feel a lot better !

  3. Sandy Cronin

    What an appropriate blog you have today. I have a father very similiar to your friend Charlie. My father was always extremely critical of others and now I am witnessing his slow debilitating life. I do all I can to help him and am noticing some very positive changes coming from him. He is beginning to compliment me with things I never would have expected. In my last visit, he complimented me on my youthful appearance, what a good mother I had been, and my fine domestic and interior design skills. That’s a lot and a big change for him. I don’t know how much longer he will be in this human experience but it is becoming a pleasure to see him mellow. I am open and willing to help him however I can for his remaining time here and am enjoying his mellowing.

  4. Ed


    While I can’t think of a Charley in my life, I can relate to accepting my life as it is, with a simple event that happened on Thursday.

    It was a foggy damp day, as I headed out to drop my son at school. Getting into my wife’s car, I noticed a napkin on the ground beside her door. I knew I could leave it and it would eventually blow away. I picked it up and put it in my pocket, planning to dispose of it when I got home.

    I pulled over in front of my son’s school, he said bye as he left the car. The rush of damp air as he closed the door, fogged up my rear-view mirror. Both outside mirrors were covered with mist and my rear window had not yet defrosted. I couldn’t see out to check traffic, and I knew the lineup behind me was growing with anxious parents the longer I waited. Then I remembered the napkin, reached in my pocket as I rolled down the window and wiped the side mirror. I could see a break in the traffic and pulled out.

    Now this is not a momentous event, but I was amazed by the synchronicity, as I thought of how far back this chain of events began, to make it easy for my to see clearly and proceed safely!

    I hope that everyone learns too see what is around them, notice the synchronicity in our lives that is there to help us, and appreciate the wonderful lives we have.

    Love & light,


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Ed. What a great story! I think we all have many such amazing synchronicities in our lives, but we don’t always see them.


  5. jerry

    Hello John,

    Accepting one’s life exactly as it is, it seems to me, to be the most profound challenge in one’s life.

    We are taught to take care of others first, to give till there is nothing left, to see an external god who seems to be perpetually angry at us. This takes away our time to self reflect and start asking questions about life, others, and god.

    As I started to consider accepting my life as my responsibility, I really had to come to some harsh reality, because as I started to shift my beliefs, everything fell apart and changed. That was not easy to handle. So, I can see why a lot of people hesitate to take responsibility.

    But I found when I accepted my life as my creation, it then allowed me to change it anytime I desired. For me, I cannot even consider not accepting my life as perfect in each moment because I can change it immediately. Life is now truly inspiring to see unfold in front of you as all your creation.

    Love and hugs,

  6. Robin Becker

    I am amazed that this topic came up now. I am dealing with a Charlie in my life and have been for 40 years…I love him so much. He is not happy in his own skin and uses alcohol to feel better. He is my brother. In fact, I am the only sober one of 4 siblings. This brother- I have always had a close bond with. My parents and I have endured years of trying to get things better for him or get him to do better. Legal issues aside at age 40 he already has cirrhosis of the liver, had bladder cancer, High BP, Severe panic Stress disorder.. and more.
    This year I helped him through major legal problems trying to ease any burdens I could because he was diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer. He tried to drink himself to death but in the end had half his face removed and rebuilt. The doctors did amazing work..My brother went through DTs while in ICU at Roswell. I did my best to guide him towards better alignment and he shocked us all by healing so well. But, he now has introduced alcohol again and his mental and physical state are compromised again. Day after day Mom and I and others talk and talk about what can we do. I finally get it! Love him unconditionally..but I have to stop lowering my vibration to join him in his complaining, alcohol abuse, anger at the world etc. This is his journey and there is nothing I can say or do to change what he does. He has proven that over and over. I have to allow him to do what he does. I have to be okay if he don’t like who I am becoming. Maybe his journey is about teaching others how to love unconditionally by allowing them to be who they are. It is hard to watch so I have some distance now. I will take him to appointments and such. I realized that all of us have a choice. Live life as a victim..where you believe the world is just throwing things at you. Or live your life on purpose..choose to be happy and then get out there and find what makes you happy. I am now choosing to be happy.
    These past few months have been some of the hardest I have lived, trying to help him through some pretty horrific ordeals. At the same time I have felt huge growth and expansion in becoming who I really am. Every emotional hit I took I would come home and crash for a couple hours or so and then do whatever I could to work my way back up the Emotional Scale or push all thoughts away until I felt stronger.
    I have now made the decision to let worries go and instead use my imagination picturing him happy and healthy. Love him unconditionally which means accept him as he is and not try to change him. If there is any change, it has to come from him and only him. He is the creator of his reality. I am not going to lie and say this is easy. Like I said, it has been a lifetime of trying to find the perfect answer in helping him. But I get is an inside job.

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Robin, for sharing your experiences with your brother. I know how challenging these situations can be. God bless you all.

  7. Mikala St. Germain

    I love my life, exactly as it is right now! Additionally, I say prayers of gratitude periodically all day long each day, and express that gratitude to all I meet by sharing the Love. I have examined my life and find that each step on the pathway, whether I liked that step or not at the time, led me to this exact existence. I AM grateful!

    While I am certain that I have known folks like Charlie, along the way I have let them go from my mind and from trying to “fix it.”

    Life is beautiful, and I agree wholeheartedly with Ed. If one is watching in the now, the synchronicity is not only amazing, but it also allows Spirit to use humor and make us laugh.

    Life is good, and getting better each moment.

    Love and happy holidays to all,

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Mikala, for sharing. I agree — life is good, and getting better and better all the time.


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