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A man came back from a weekend retreat experience and, when a friend asked him how it was, he said, "I died!" The friend asked him what he meant. "You see," the man answered, "I went to this thing not knowing what to expect. But in the process of that long weekend, I discovered that I had spent my whole life hiding behind a lot of masks.

“I realized that I had never even let my wife see me as I really was. I'd been playing games with her, and playing games with my children, and playing games with others -- never letting anybody know who I really am.

“The worst of it was to discover that even I didn't know myself. I was not in touch with my own honest feelings about myself. And, as all of this was being exposed over the weekend, I died over and over again."

It is a painful thing for a middle-aged man to discover that he is not even in touch with his own feeling about himself. "I am convinced," he said, "that I had to go through this death experience in order to become the new person that I hope to be now."

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