Human Beings as Works of Art
In my view, being human means having the capacity to experience and to give love (often, through a miracle called human empathy) and to reason and make choices. It also means having the opportunity to embrace the truth about oneself, including one’s life story, back to its early chapters, in order to make sense of the effects these chapters have had upon one’s psyche and soul. As human beings we then have the remarkable potential to change and become more truthful, more intuitive, more loving, more creative and more successful. None of this would be possible, in my opinion, without human beings having a spiritual core—a miraculous internal self. You may see that core as a gift from the universe or a gift from Nature or a gift from God.
But, it is a gift.
I see every human being as a masterpiece, in the making. No work of art is created without new brushstrokes being added, or wise edits being made, or without the willingness to believe that one has a destiny to fulfill.
I once purchased a beautiful painting of a man and woman dancing together at sunset, in an apartment bathed by the last light of the day. Before I bought it, I looked at the back of the canvas, where the artist had written in pen, “2002-2005-2010-2015.” I asked him what the years meant.
“Those are the years I went back to the painting, to finish it,” he said.
“Is it finished now?” I asked.
“It is if you buy it,” he said. “Otherwise, I’ll probably keep at it.”
So it is with the art of living. We never finish the work of becoming the people we were meant to be, from all time. But every day is an opportunity to get closer and closer to that spectacular goal.
Being human allows for the ultimate transformation of one’s life story, because each of us is on a unique and important path in life. My work is helping a client find that path and find the stability, commitment and courage to travel it.
Keith Ablow, MD