How do you die so that you can live? Many religious traditions reference this mystery, but what does it mean?
I think it means this: there are parts of all of us that have developed throughout our lives to protect us. And when we reach a safe place, and can allow these parts to drop away and die, our original—and real—essence emerges.
In dying, we find an opportunity to be real. And in that being, we find all the joy and peace and belonging that the great religious traditions of the world point us towards.
I have spiritually died about four times in my life that I can recall. These were crises that changed everything about me from the inside out. In fact, just last year, I think I hit the jackpot of internal deaths. I discovered some very deep truths about myself that were likely obvious to others, but not to me. Let’s just say, they weren’t pretty. As the old saying goes, the truth hurts—and it did. A large part of me died. Now, 12 months later, I can say with astounding gratitude: THANK YOU!
Death is in abundance. It’s a part of every human experience. We live to die. And in between the stages of birth and death, ego comes into the story to make things more interesting for everybody.
The thing about ego is that it’s a double-edged sword. It will save you some times, and other times it will kill you. Sounds intense, right? What I mean is: when it’s not protecting you, it will cut you off from people and opportunities. More importantly, it will cut you off from yourself, the real you.