Even When Your Life Is Coming Apart, There Is Hope

Banksy is a British street artist who has been active for decades. He has spray painted his artist expressions on streets, bridges and walls all around the world.

Three years ago today, Sotheby’s auctioned Girl with Red Balloon, a Banksy painting in a thick wooden frame. The winning bid came in at $1.37 million. As the auctioneer lowered the gavel to end the auction, the audience applauded, and then a beeping sound began ringing out from the painting. 

The audience turned and saw the painting scrolling down into the frame, emerging from the bottom, shredded into vertical strips. Unbeknownst to anyone, Banksy had installed a shredder in the frame twelve years earlier, intending to shred the painting should it ever go to auction as a statement against art capitalism.

Sometimes life doesn’t go as we hope it will. Things we value fall apart, they unexpectedly shred before our eyes. A relationship ends or we lose a job. People we trusted let us down. Life isn’t what we expected. 

Next week, on October 14th, the shredded Banksy painting, which was renamed Love is in the Bin, will hit the auction block again. This time it’s expected to sell for somewhere between $5M to $8M. 

It’s a healthy reminder. Sometimes the things that fall apart and seem terrible in the moment turn out to be blessings in disguise. The events in life we thought destroyed something we loved, end up leading to a season better than before. As Sonny, the Hotel Manager in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel said, “Everything will be alright in the end. So if it is not alright, it is not the end.” 

Stop judging your story when it’s not done being written. Focus instead on writing well for the rest of your story. Life is full of unexpected events, and some, even the devastating ones, will turn out to be amazing. 


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