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.

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