What is dying to thyself really mean?
After mentioning to a client that it’s essential to die to yourself a little bit each day, she then asked me “what does that mean and can I elaborate on that concept?”
I’ve been “consciously” dying to myself everyday in numerous ways for 23 years to create a healthier, happier and purpose filled life. That was the period in life when i came close to death from built up childhood traumas, chronic alcoholism, utter hopelessness and 12 years of homelessness, to eventually make a choice to live beyond the self inflicted pain and suffering that I unconsciously took on for my 28yrs.
I had attempted on numerous occasions beforehand to resolve my suffering until I finally hit rock bottom and was faced with an ultimatum…live or die!
In making that exceedingly difficult choice of redeeming myself from the brink of mortality, was itself, a dying to self. It was the ultimate test of willpower and spiritual resolve, to lift myself up from years of self loathing, chronic depression, a multitude of physical issues and choose to become the person I inherently knew myself to be. As I see it now, it was nothing short of a miracle.
And what a beautiful blessing it turned out to be!
It’s mind blowing, when on the verge of death, how you can find that part of you that says “hold on, i’m worth more than this.”
Potentially, when in that dark place of utter despair, something can shift and a glimmer of faith rises up to meet you. I believe that fateful shift is the part of you that chooses life over death and experience that priceless moment of redemption as the most divine gift ever.
Yes indeed…the realms of darkness, when discerned, certainly have their rewards.
Sinking into complete darkness was where I discovered my sacred calling and the true purpose of my life. I had to experience enough trauma, adversity and sheer hell to venture deep within the caverns of my heart, know the truth and enlighten the spirit within.
So that was my initiation in learning to die to something greater than myself. Of course, I could have continued to deny, avoid and disassociate and not be here today, but that wasn’t my path.
You only experience that which is meant for you!
Ever since then, I’ve been on a path of healing body and mind, practicing and applying my work as a Human Movement Specialist, Holistic Lifestyle Educator, Plant Medicine Facilitator, as well as being a father to a son, which is certainly my most profound teachings of all.
In discovering how to apply that knowledge into a daily practice to live and become my best, have been the most challenging experiences of my entire life. Even moreso, than those dark, depressive 28yrs, as facing the “truth takes considerably more resolve than anything thats gone before. Solely because the greatest fear a human can experience is “dissolution of the ego” NOW THAT’S DYING!!
I realize that without going through that early life of adversity and suffering, I wouldn’t have acquired the necessary knowledge and more to the point, WISDOM, to know how to effectively help, guide and support others to live their greatest potential too.
I believe one of the most effective ways in learning to die to self, is to apply yourself to your inner calling, the sacred mission that you came here for and the overarching dream that lies before you through this life journey. The part of you which authentically yearns and aches to become the person you know yourself to be at the highest level. Or put another way, wherever possible, making choices that are solely motivated by love. Choosing with love is a sure way of dying beyond the ego’s story.
Not the easiest of paths when programmed and conditioned from an early age to follow society’s ideals, which ultimately becomes a survival mode. A survival mode that eventually causes mental and physical breakdown, loss of spirit and a half lived life..
Then again, part of the human journey is to awaken from that first unconscious or instinctual stage of development and consciously align with our highest purpose.
That unconscious to conscious growth can only be transformed through subconsciously dying to those old, limiting beliefs, and truly differentiate the difference between mindlessness and ignorance to mindfulness and understanding.
In my experience, dying to self has to happen many times over, preferably on a daily basis so it becomes an autonomic response and new set of behaviors.
Dying to self is a conscious practice that is potentially available anytime you decide. Perhaps one of the most accurate explanations of what dying to self truly means is, doing something that is outside of your comfort zone, which is usually a creative expression of some kind, and creativity on any level begets a new experience. In habituating this creative flair, it cultivates more life force energy (chi) opens up the mind to greater possibilities and a new sense of self emerges for constant growth and evolution.
In some respects, that new sense of self feels exactly like a part of you is “dying.” I can feel trepidation, unease and even anxiety when faced with making a positive decision. Conversely, I can be inspired, excited, intense passion and an urge to become the person I’m seeking to be. Sometimes, I’m not sure which is which?
Perhaps both…A K A. loves confusing Joy!
To me, those sensations are transforming the flight or flight conditions that have been biologically suppressed for years, that are rooted with shame, fear, insecurities and old habits, which are now being “burned off”, arousing feelings of accomplishment, fulfillment and joy.
Go live and learn to die! Face those fearful parts that are reluctant to step out and become reborn to live a dream that can only be experienced!!