“Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." (Jn 12:24-25)There's a song I really love that includes the lyric:
So, God, bruise the heels we've dug in the groundBelieve what, exactly? That the death we experience when we let go of ourselves does indeed lead to a better rebirth.
that we might move closer to love
Pull out the roots we've dug in so deep
Finish what you started; help us to believe
- Jars of Clay, Eyes Wide Open
Actually, that's not quite right. The thing I'm letting go of when I let go of myself isn't even me. It's all the misunderstandings I've accumulated about myself and about others, and all the armory and reflexive panic I tinkered up for myself in response to those misunderstandings.
The paradox is that the more I let go of control, the freer I am. It is indeed a kind of dying to relinquish my idea about how the world works, about who I am, and it's an ongoing pain the in the tukhus. Yet, every time I force myself to die a little bit, I am freer and better and more myself on the other side.