Last night I read Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott. It's a sewing metaphor for taking life stitch by stitch. "We live stitch by stitch, when we're lucky." It's a lovely little book and would make a wonderful gift for all Anne Lamott fans.
"As far as I can recall, none of the adults in my life ever once remembered to say, 'Some people have thick skin and you don't. Your heart is really open and that is going to cause you pain, but that is an appropriate response to this world. The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams. However, you're not going to feel that a lot in seventh grade. Just hang on.'"
-Anne Lamott, Stitches