Self-possession seems the simplest gift, yet one which most people struggle to find. It is the inner security that makes it possible to live without fear of surrendering too much. It is that which allows a lucky few to actually thrive within social constraints--families, career, marriages--while remaining true to themselves.
Learning to Be Human is a guide to finding this balanced sense of self through all the critical "touchpoints" of life: establishing autonomy, finding love, managing closeness and distance, experiencing marriage, sex, the rearing of children, and the ultimate meaning of it all in the face of death. But this small volume contains no plan or program. Instead, in form and function it will remind some of a secular prayer book, offering elegant and exquisitely brief essays, enriched by the worlds of music and literature and art, which capture our attention and animate the heart and mind toward a personal response. Intended to be read slowly and thoughtfully, and doubtless read more than once during life's changing circumstances, it resonates with wisdom from an eminent psychotherapist who has spent years mapping the human ground.
Intended for anyone striving to live more consciously, Learning to Be Human ultimately unmasks what Dr. Havens calls the "secrecy of the obvious." The finest people, he points out, often seem ordinary or simple... because they are simply human. But to become so simply human--to strip away the distortions that limit and diminish us--that is often the work of a lifetime.