See Things for What They Really Are
Circumstances do not rise to meet our expectations. Events happen as they do. People behave as they are. Embrace what you actually get.
Open your eyes: see things for what they really are, thereby sparing yourself the pain of false attachments and avoidable devastation.
Think about what delights you – the tools on which you depend, the people whom you cherish. But remember that they have their own distinct character, which is quite a separate matter from how we happen to regard them.
As an exercise, consider the smallest things to which you are attached. For instance, suppose you have a favorite cup. It is, after all, merely a cup, so if it should break, you could cope. Next build up to things – or people – toward which your clinging feelings and thoughts intensify.
Remember, for example, when you embrace your child, your husband, your wife, you are embracing a mortal. Thus, if one of them should die, you could bear it with tranquility.
When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.
What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.
Stop scaring yourself with impetuous notions, with your reactive impressions of the way things are!
Things and people are not what we wish them to be or what they seem to be. ~Epictetus