When you feel embroiled in the world and susceptible to it, overrun by it, unbearably sensitive to it, then ease your heart by stepping outside your life a little. In your mind, take yourself out of the arena. Instead of being the main character in your novel, be a narrator who is not so involved in it. A narrator stands back a little. He is not centered on himself. He is interested in the story and the unfolding of it. He has impressions of it. He sees from a certain vantage. He is there, but he is an audience. He cares but is at a distance from the page.
It is like this: When you bet on a race, you are exceedingly involved in the outcome of the race. You have added an investure to it, and so it is more significant than another race another day. You have made it crucial when it is only another race.
Today, or whenever you feel overcome by life, release your investment. Observe. Watch the story as it unfolds. Let life become like an envelope you open to see what is inside. It is only an envelope with something written inside it. Perhaps an unwanted bill. Perhaps a check. Perhaps a Dear John letter. Perhaps an invitation. But you are you after reading the letter as well as before it. What has really happened? Are you different?
Or you have banked on a certain letter, and no letter has come, and so you feel empty-handed and empty-hearted.
Become like a banker who is not spending his own money.
Be like a reporter rather than the foot soldier he reports on.
Life, as it is lived, is communication.
Not all the messages you receive are about you.
Be like an actor on a stage who has a bit part. You are on the stage for just a moment. For the sake of the play and the rest of the cast, you give this moment all you've got, but you know it's only a part, and you do not take it overmuch to heart, for you also know you are the audience who watches the play and then walks away.
Your life is not at stake. Your life is not indemnified. Your life is a climate. Seasons change. Today is only one temperature. Today's breeze is a passing one. You may feel hot or cold, happy or sad, but those are passing things. Do not take passing things overmuch to heart.
There is a tendency to think that every day is a verdict on you. But life is not a court case. You are not on the stand.
Consider life more like a casual thing. Consider it more like your puttering around.
What makes you happy? Do that today.
Do something today that you have not done in a long time. Or have never done and would like to. Let this day called today be one in which you offer yourself the gift of nourishing your heart. If it means staying in bed and reading a book, so be it. If it means walking in the woods, go for it. What could this day mean to you if you allowed it to be a gift to yourself?
And if this is a workday, and you feel you cannot take the day off, then make this workday what you would like it to be. Go to work as though this is your first day.
If you want this day to be new, have new thoughts. Surprise yourself.
Try looking forward.
Take a different path to work.
Enter a different door.
Treat yourself to today.
Watch it unfold.