An artist, after suffering a personal tragedy, wrote to the Rebbe about his depression and despair. The Rebbe responded: “The genius of the artist is his ability to detach himself from the external qualities of the object he is portraying, to look deeply into the object and see its essence. He must then be able to express that essence so that whoever views the painting sees an essence that he, the viewer, had never noticed in the object itself.

“The same applies to each individual: his inner essence is G‑dliness. One must take great care that the secondary ‘external’ matters of his life should not obscure his essence and the ultimate goal and purpose of his creation. The trials, tragedies and difficulties of life must be seen for what they really are: part of the Divine system of toil and endeavor, which enables us to achieve the highest levels of happiness and goodness.”

Likkutei Sichos, vol. 14, p. 253; and
a letter from the Rebbe