“In order for something to live, something has to die.”
I don’t know if this is an anonymous quote I once read, something wise uttered by a friend or it was placed on my heart by the One who places things on our hearts. Regardless, it is a revelation that has helped me to understand my own transformation and journey over the past few years.
We see this in the foundation of creation. The cycle of life in nature. The seed dying so the root can spring forth. We see it in humanity. Heroes laying down their lives for their friends and causes. It is all around us but it is also in us — this cycle of living and dying.
I have found much of the construct of “me” has died or is dying. Old beliefs, old roles, old expectations, old methods, old plans. Like in nature, each of these deaths have been messy. I would love to say that I plunged into each of them with enthusiasm and bravery but that would be a lie. In each case, my heart saw the death before my head did. And oh did my head fight back. “This isn’t the plan!!” uttered or screamed in anger or desperation many times.
In each case, there was an eventual surrender to the process of dying. This surrender was a massive perspective shifter — for in the surrender, I saw the new life emerging. I saw that the construct of “me” was a limiter of potential, expansion, love, gratitude. By letting these old constructs die, I saw tremendous growth in all of these areas. I entered into new revelations, new friendships, new adventures. All of which would have been impossible if I had embraced stasis.
I also noticed this … some things didn’t die. They became stronger. My faith in God. My belief in sovereignty. My love for others. My self-worth. My intuition. These came with me and grew as I emerged from the carcasses of each phase.
I also lost some things in each of these deaths. The illusion of control. Any ability to tolerate or participate in conversations about small things. My political and religious stridency. My trivial passions. My obsession with acceptance. My propensity to waste time.
I know new deaths await me. I feel my ego’s white-knuckled grasp on several things. I feel fear flood my psyche. I hear the voices of preservation. But now I know a secret … these responses are simply evidence to keep going.
Of course, at some point my soul will leave the shell of this body behind. My hope is that I will be prepared for that — because I would have already lived and died and lived a thousand times before.