I had a defining moment in my life many years ago when I was in my mid 20’s. Finding myself recently divorced at the time due to extramarital affairs on my spouses side I found I harbored a lot of hatred toward one of the men involved. Once somewhat friends I could no longer think of Bob without wishing the greatest of evils to befall him. One day while reading the local paper in my office I turned to the obituary page to read that his son had died in a tragic accident. I recall feeling a sense of satisfaction at that moment.
That was the moment when I realized that hatred was controlling my life.
I went on to read the wake was being held that day. Folding the paper I drove the 30 miles to the funeral home. There were many people crowded in the viewing room. The strangest thing then happened. As I entered the room I had a sense of not being in my body but being outside watching. As I crossed the threshold I saw Bob kneeling in front of his sons lifeless body. Only seconds passed when he turned and saw me standing there. As I walked slowly across the room to speak with him he came towards me and we met somewhere near the center. I hugged him and told him how sorry I was for his loss and he whispered in my ear, “I am so sorry too.”
The moment lasted but 30 seconds, we shook hands, I turned and walked out the door. I do not remember my feet hitting the floor on the way out, I felt almost as though I was levitating just above it. I felt lighter. It was the strangest sensation as I literally felt a millstone was lifted from my shoulders. To this day although I get mad at people, I never feel that hatred.